Friday, January 25, 2002

CLIPPERS UPDATE: Matt Welch writes:

Yeah, the Clippers actually *do* have a somewhat blue-collar audience. You can actually afford to go see a Clippers game, unlike the purple boys (they had a great mini-season-ticket package this year, where you could buy 10 games at 10 bucks a pop, if memory serves well. Me & some friends were all pumped up to buy in, but they sold out really fast). L.A.'s a *huge* basketball town, there's no way to overestimate that, and many of the Lakers' best fans simply cannot afford to go, ever (if it wasn't for Chick
Hearn, it's possible some may have started to defect, for Class reasons).

The crowd at Wednesday night's Clippers-Lakers game seemed, for the most part, like actual Clippers fans, though Shaq and Kobe had their fans --as they will anywhere. The whole Staples Center was on their feet for a key Clippers defensive stand down the stretch. Matt's comments also maybe explain something that the nation probably doesn't understand: why a team as historically pathetic as the Clippers continues to exist. Answer: Los Angeles is an amazing basketball town that actually can support two NBA teams, the Lakers first and foremost and the Clippers when the Lakers are out of reach because Jack Nicholson bought all the good seats. But if the Clippers continue to morph from lovable young-up-and-comers to actually good basketball team, maybe they'll start to win over Angelenos too and stop being the NBA version of a AAA baseball team.

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