The Battle of L.A. has a long way to go before being decided, considering the season isn’t even at the halfway mark yet. Both Los Angeles teams have proven to be among the league’s best, as they sit in the top-two of the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Lakers boast a 21-3 record, the league’s best. The Clippers trail the Lakers and sit in place second in the Western Conference with a 17-7 record.
Though it’s too early on in the season to say which team runs Los Angeles, many people still voice their opinions on the matter, especially over who is the king of L.A., LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard. In a debate on Skip and Shannon: UNDISPUTED, Skip Bayless, Shannon Sharpe and sports analyst Chris Broussard debated over which L.A. team was the better team in L.A. and which player ran the city.
Broussard made a bold statement while backing LeBron.
“LeBron James has re-established himself as not the best player in the world, that’s up for debate, he is the best player in that building (Staples Center Los Angeles). They are the best tandem, LeBron and AD, because they are more versatile. We saw what AD did to Jokic, who on the Clippers, and certainly not Kawhi or Paul George can do that.”
The Big Debate
The Lakers and Clippers have been battling it out ever since the Clippers moved to the city in 1984. This season the debate has become even more intense as both teams made blockbuster trades this past summer that immediately marked them as legitimate title contenders. The Lakers landed Anthony Davis and the Clippers brought in both Kawhi Leonard (free agency) and Paul George.
Lakers’ superstar King James is arguably one of the best players to ever play in the NBA with four MVP Awards and three NBA Finals MVP Awards. On the other end, the Clippers’ best player Leonard is the reigning Finals MVP and has won two NBA Championships. This season, James is averaging 25.9 points, 6.8 boards and 10.8 assists a game and Leonard is averaging 25.1 points, 7.9 boards and 5.2 assists a game.
During the debate on UNDISPUTED, Broussard said he gave the Lakers props for respecting the regular season. This was said in regards to Leonard’s load management this season in order to peak during the postseason. Bayless argued that by the time playoffs come Leonard will be ready and James will be tired.
“This is classic tortoise-hare argument, because the tortoise is going to catch the hare. The tortoise is Kawhi because he is load managing for April, May and June and LeBron is going all out trying to steal an MVP in his 17th year because he now leads the NBA at shot attempts in the fourth quarter,” Bayless said.
Broussard quickly clapped back and said if Leonard is choosing to rest so much during the regular season he better light it up in the postseason and win the Clippers their first NBA Championship, which Leonard did last season for the Toronto Raptors.
Monday the Clippers play against the Indiana Pacers for their second half of back-to-back games. The Klaw played last night, and per the team’s injury report, he will be sitting out tonight to care for his left knee.