The Clippers recently made a statement at Staples Center, covering up the various Lakers banners and retired jerseys in the rafters with oversized images of players, including Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.
Should the Clippers obscure the Lakers' history during home games?
According to Hall of Famer and TNT NBA analyst Reggie Miller, absolutely.
“I love it! It’s about time. You cannot tell me that any Clippers coaches before have not thought about that and gone to management and actually said something," Miller said on a Tuesday conference call.
An NBA executive familiar with the team's thinking said the Clippers have been mulling around the idea for years.
"It took Doc Rivers to come in here. You play in the same building, how could you not cover them up?" Miller said. "I think it’s a brilliant move. You are telling your team: ‘We’re taking over L.A., and we respect the banners ... but this is our time.'"
The Clippers won their first Pacific Division title last season with 56 wins before losing in the first round of the postseason to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Lakers struggled with injuries, winning 45 before a playoff sweep by the San Antonio Spurs. With Kobe Bryant still rehabbing a torn Achilles' tendon, most pundits have low expectations for the Lakers.
Include Miller among the experts who don't expect the Lakers to advance to the postseason.
"Right now it is Clipper nation in Los Angeles. Without Kobe starting the season and not knowing when he’s going to be back, there are a lot of people jumping off the Laker bandwagon and getting on the Clippers bandwagon," Miller said. "I think [the Lakers] will be competitive, I don’t think they make the playoffs."
Miller also questioned if the Clippers are ready to take that next step and truly challenge for at title.
"For them to take the next step they have to compete for a championship," he said. "The Lakers pride themselves on championships. It’s all about those banners. That’s what separates the two. It’s about the mind-set."
To that end, the Clippers brought in Rivers, hoping his championship experience will help the club make the necessary leaps.
"I think Doc Rivers is bringing that championship mind-set to a team that has underachieved for the last 20 or 30 years," Miller said. "We’ll see when the bright lights are on and you have to go out and beat the Spurs, [Oklahoma City] Thunder and [Golden State] Warriors on a nightly basis. Let’s see if this team can bring it like we know the Lakers have.”
The Lakers' regalia will be on full display on opening night Oct. 29 as the team hosts the Clippers.
ALSO:Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times