Don't tell Clippers center DeAndre Jordan that the Clippers and Lakers are a rivalry just yet.
Yes, Jordan said, the Clippers and Lakers both play in Los Angeles, they share Staples Center and they both play in the Pacific Division. And, yes, the Clippers open the regular season Tuesday night against the Lakers in a Lakers designated home game.
But in Jordan's eyes, it takes more than that for the Clippers and Lakers to be a rivalry — like meeting in the playoffs, something the two teams have never done.
"I don't think it'll ever be a rivalry. You guys [in the media] want it to be, though," Jordan said. "I would say Memphis more than the Lakers."
That's because the Clippers and Grizzlies have met in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons. The Clippers won a thrilling Game 7 in Memphis during the 2012 playoffs and the Grizzlies beat the Clippers in six games last spring.
"I hate every other NBA team in the league. If anybody [is our rival], I'd say Memphis," Jordan said.
The Lakers have won 16 NBA championships, the Clippers none. The Clippers have a 53-143 record overall against the Lakers, 33-97 since moving from San Diego to L.A., in 1984. But since Chris Paul became a Clipper two seasons ago, the Clippers are 5-2.
Also, the Clippers swept the season series, 4-0, from the Lakers last season for the first time in franchise history. And the Clippers did win their first Pacific Division championship.
"People are going to hype this game to be more than what it is," Jordan said. "But it's just our Game 1 and a Western Conference team that we have to beat and a team in the league we have to beat. That's it."
First-year Clippers Coach Doc Rivers coached Boston for nine seasons and he knows all about the Lakers-Celtics rivalry.
"I don't know what kind of rivalry we have, the Clippers versus the Lakers," Rivers said. "The Lakers have been pretty dominant. We've won of late. But I think it's going to take us a lot more to call it a rivalry, to be honest. We have to do a lot more stuff. Then we can call it a rivalry. But I don't think we've done enough yet."
Rivers said backup point guard Darren Collison, who has a bruised left kneecap, will play Tuesday night. Rivers said Collison didn't do "much at all" at practice Monday.
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