Many Los Angeles Lakers fans were upset to find out that Doc Rivers found a solution to all of their championship banners hanging in Staples Center: cover them up.
The Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers share the building, but it’s often felt like just the home of the purple and gold because the Clips have yet to hang up their own championship banner.
Instead, Rivers made large banners of the Clippers’ main players to hang over the Lakers’ when the Clippers have home games. It certainly gives the place a different feel, and the coach is standing by his decision, that many dubbed disrespectful.
In a press conference, Rivers said:
"The culture is changing and we want to be a winner. And to do that, I think we have to make changes. (The change) at Staples Center is one that I thought we needed to make. We don't leave a Lakers (playing) floor down, do we? And they don't play on the Clippers floor. They take it up. That's all we're saying. It's no disrespect and all that stuff. I have an amazing amount of respect for the Lakers. Having said that, I work for the Clippers. When we play it should be the Clippers' arena."
It makes sense. Now that the Clippers are serious contenders in the Western Conference, they want it to feel that way; not like they’re the Lakers’ little brother.
Last year, when the Clippers had the “home” game against the Lakers, the crowd and atmosphere heavily favored the Clips, but that hasn’t always been the case. LA is a Lakers town, and while the tide will never fully turn toward the Clips, they still want to feel like they belong in the city too.
Rivers has already shaken things up quite a bit since signing with the organization. Who knows what he’ll do next.