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Clippers are covering up Lakers’ championship banners at Staples Center

Oct 18, 2013, 11:03 PM EDT

lakers banners

The Clippers are in the odd and historically unfortunate situation of sharing an arena with the storied Los Angeles Lakers franchise.

It makes for an awkward game night when the Clippers are the home team, considering one of the walls of the arena is covered with large banners representing all of the Lakers’ 16 NBA championships, as well as several retired jerseys of greats who have represented the purple and gold in years past.

L.A.’s historically junior franchise is finally doing something about it, some 14 years after living under these untenable conditions.

Doc Rivers was apparently the one behind the makeover, and said it was about establishing a homecourt feel for his team more than it was trying to disparage the Lakers.

From Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

“Well, I didn’t look at it as the banner thing,” Rivers maintained. “I just look at it as putting our guys up.”

“Listen, I think this is our arena when we play,” Rivers said. “So I just thought it would be good that we show our guys. No disrespect to them. But when we play, it’s the Clippers’ arena as far as I know.”

Honestly, it’s about time.

No two franchises have been further apart on the NBA spectrum of success than the Clippers and the Lakers over the years, and the irony of playing in the same building hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The question of whether or not the Clippers should hang a Pacific Division banner just to get something of their own on the walls came up near the end of last season, and Blake Griffin was among those taking the high road while saying he’d prefer not to do it, because the team has bigger goals in mind.

Covering the Lakers’ constant reminders of achievement with their own team artwork is a nice compromise for the Clippers, and a positive step for a team that, for the moment, is the superior one in Los Angeles.

  1. ji8888 - Oct 18, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    Clippers are sure asking for it.

    • spthegr8 - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:41 AM

      Donald Sterling should let the Clippers players go up in the rafters and cover up the Lakers banners. Cuz that as CLOSE as they will EVER get to a Championship Banner wearing that Clipper uniform. LLS…….Just Saying”!!!!! They suffer from lil brother syndrome.

  2. lhollis74 - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    Wouldn’t it be great if the clippers moved to Seattle?!

    • Wammy Giveaway - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      Will never happen. You can thank the late great Dr. Jerry Buss for that.

      Story: Donald Sterling assisted (read: helped) Dr. Buss in the purchase of the Lakers from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979 with a $1 million loan. After the Lakers won the title in 1980, Dr. Buss practically introduced Sterling to the NBA as his personal way of saying “thanks.” When the Lakers relocated to the Staples Center in 1999, Dr. Buss notified Sterling that the Clippers would also have a home in the same arena, and promised him that he would do everything in his power to keep the Clippers in Los Angeles. The vow is still intact.

    • distantrhythm - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      I say back to San Diego!

  3. km9000 - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    Kinda cheesy, but it’d be a little more awesome if it was all Rivers’ idea.

  4. sportsnut101 - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    Get ur own building to play in n u won’t have to worry bout that

  5. marrick24 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:04 AM


  6. lhollis74 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    It’s kinda like a little brother living in with his big brother in his big brothers house, but when little brother brings home a girl he maneuvers everything in the house to make it appear as if its his own place. Lakers built that house, you’ve been allowed to,reside there only cause you’ve not been able to fill and sustain your own arena! Please go to Seattle!

    • 00maltliquor - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:24 AM

      LLLMMMAAAOOO @ the analogy!!

    • antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:50 AM

      But it’s not anything like that. The Clippers, Kings and Lakers have been tenants of Staples Center for the same amount of time. It’s not the Lakers arena – they don’t have their own arena – they share this one. And after all, the first real NBA game at Staples Center was a Clippers game.

      You should just be grateful that the Clippers didn’t cover them sooner because they were being run by a bunch of losers who never took offense to seeing Lakers banners at “home” games. But Doc Rivers is done with that nonsense.

      • musician0785 - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:24 AM

        ^^^ trolling hard, Sterling is too cheap to pay for his own building like EVERY OTHER TEAM in the league, AEG (the company that owns staples) owns a stake in the lakers ans own the kings outright…clippers are on a lease…..

      • antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        The Lakers are on a lease too, hot shot.

        And Anschutz and Roski came up with the idea for Staples Center before either of them were owners of the Kings or the Lakers, so its not as if they were trying to build the Lakers a home. In fact, the original idea was to accommodate the Kings, who wanted to move. The Lakers and the Clippers came into the picture afterwards.

        AEG has only held a minority share since 1998 (part of the deal for the Lakers Staples Center lease) and they were about to sell that share 10 months ago, so it’s not as if there is heavy attachment there.

        For all intents and purposes Staples Center is to the Lakers what it is to the Clippers. AEG has always referred to the Clippers, Lakers and Kings as the arena’s “three team anchor.”

      • musician0785 - Oct 20, 2013 at 5:48 PM

        they’re selling their shares in the lakers because they’re selling AEG, so the shares come with that, so the idea that there is no heavy attachment is ridiculous…its a package deal…..and why you think AEG was ONLY building a home for the kings is beyond me. The hockey following is not (nor has it ever been) lucrative enough for a hockey team to be able to support a downtown area in LA on its own….the deal for the shares lakers, as you even admit yourself, was being negotiated since 2005….so to think AEG was gonna build a billion dollar entertainment complex in LA, and the lakers just somehow fell into the plans is either really dumb……or its more trolling

      • antistratfordian - Oct 21, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        they’re selling their shares in the lakers because they’re selling AEG, so the shares come with that, so the idea that there is no heavy attachment is ridiculous

        Not exactly.

        “Anschutz, however, has included his personal Lakers stake…” – Sporting News

        He included his personal stake because he has no interest in the Lakers outside of what it does for AEG.

        Remember, Phil Anschutz is from Denver. He lives and works in Denver. He used to own a piece of the Denver Nuggets and he tried to buy the Colorado Avalanche. His Avalanche negotiations led to the loss of his Nuggets share – he ended up owning a stake in neither – so he tried again with the Los Angeles Kings. He did not get involved in L.A. because he cares deeply about the L.A. sports scene. He did not get involved in London because he cares deeply about the London sports scene (he tried to bring an L.A. Live type of complex to the U.K.). AEG owns a piece of about 11 different teams around the world (the Colorado Rapids and the LA Kings were the original members of it’s sports division); they are all but business opportunities to Anschutz.

        “Anschutz operates his sports business with a dispassion rare among team owners. To a large degree, the teams appear designed to enhance the value of his investment in sports arenas…” – CNN

        Now he’s trying to develop an NFL arena in Los Angeles. Again, it’s not because he’s passionate about L.A. sports. He’s passionate about increasing the value of AEG. If he would’ve seen his desired $10 billion bid for AEG, he would’ve sold it – but the bids were coming in at $6-8 billion. Once the Farmer’s Field deal is ironed out he will again make AEG available.

        and why you think AEG was ONLY building a home for the kings is beyond me

        “‘Ed approached (Anschutz) about doing an arena for the Kings, who were looking to get out of (their former home),’ said John Semcken, executive vice president at Majestic (Ed Roski’s firm). ‘Then the Kings went into bankruptcy and they bought the team.'” – Denver Post

        “Current Kings owners Philip Anschutz and Ed Roski purchased the Kings out of bankruptcy in October 1995 by paying $113.25 million and assuming the team’s debts. Their motivation in buying the Kings was to build a new downtown arena for the team…” – ESPN

        And the initial concept was not a sprawling multi-billion dollar entertainment complex – that’s what it evolved into.

      • musician0785 - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        do u live in la? i dont think you do, because if you did you would know that the AEG was trying to knock down the LA convention center in order to build the complex FOR YEARs

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        AEG was created in 1996, so they weren’t trying to do it before that. Concern for a Kings arena came years before 1996.

      • musician0785 - Oct 22, 2013 at 5:33 PM

        AEG as created in 1994

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 7:21 PM

        In 1994 Anschutz was busy planning a $130 million downtown development in Denver. In 1994 he was still an owner of the Denver Nuggets. He had no interest in the Lakers, Kings or any Los Angeles development in 1994. Anschutz had no interests in Los Angeles at all until 1995 when he purchased the Kings. The ball didn’t get rolling on Staples Center until a year later.

        The AEG that we’re talking about – the one based in L.A. run by CEO Tim Leiweke (“a sort of modern-day P. T. Barnum.” – David Stern) – the one that developed Staples – the one that started Major League Soccer – did not come about until 1996.

        “A.E.G. is so dominant in downtown Los Angeles that some refer to it as ‘Leiweke country.'” – The New Yorker

        AEG under Leiweke from 1996-2013 is a entirely different operation from whatever nascent AEG circa 1994.

        “Leiweke’s climb led to Denver, where he became president of the Denver Nuggets and then head of the U.S. ski team. It was there that he met Anschutz, who lured him away in 1996 to become president of the Los Angeles Kings.

        Leiweke came to L.A. with a three-year contract and an edict from Anschutz to build the Kings — which played in the Forum in Inglewood with the Lakers — a new arena. By 1997 he was in negotiations with city officials to build public support for a downtown stadium.” – L.A. Times

      • musician0785 - Oct 22, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        “The AEG assets include ownership shares in the Lakers, Kings, Galaxy, Staples Center and L.A. Live, according to the sale announcement.”

        looks like you’re wrong again

      • dynamicninja - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        ^^^ get your facts right

      • dynamicninja - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:50 AM

        get your facts right, antistratfordian

      • antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:17 PM

        They are right.

      • Anoesis - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        Please don’t confuse anti-everything-Lakers with the facts. This Public Service Announcement brought to you by the Baby Brother Butt-Hurt Coalition.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 11:18 PM

        “…technically the Lakers and Clippers play in the Los Angeles Kings’ arena. The Staples Center was built by Kings owners Philip Anschutz and Ed Roski in 1999 and attracted the Lakers and Clippers as tenants, as well. Lakers owner Jerry Buss and Clippers owner Donald Sterling had nothing to do with the building of Staples Center and don’t own it. Considering all the Lakers banners in the building and statues outside the building, however, I can understand the confusion.”

        -Arash Markazi, ESPN LA

      • spthegr8 - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        He doesn’t care about having his facts str8. Just spreading his LeBron man love around on PBT!!!

      • jimeejohnson - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        While you spread you’re L.A. phony around.

      • spthegr8 - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        My “La phony” & just what in they BLUE HELL is that??? Please inform us??

      • ji8888 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        Wrong. What the Clippers franchise need to do is leave. Create another building elsewhere.

      • asimonetti88 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        AEG is the company that owns and operates Staples Center, they also own the Lakers and Kings. Not only are the Clippers playing in the Lakers’ arena, they’re playing in the Kings’ arena.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:51 PM

        AEG were not yet minority owners of the Lakers when ground broke on Staples – they were, however, owners of the Kings.

        In fact, they had no idea that they would one day have a share in the Lakers when the idea for Staples was first conceived (for the Kings).

        In any case, the share of the Lakers was part of the deal for the Lakers lease at Staples.

      • asimonetti88 - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        “AEG were not yet minority owners of the Lakers when ground broke on Staples”

        Roski and Anschutz purchased 25% about the same time ground broke. You’d have to be crazy to think they hadn’t been in talks to do so for a long time beforehand.

        The revisionist history to try to disparage the Lakers on here is astounding.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:38 PM

        Ground broke in March 1998. They exercised their purchase options in November 1998. Of course everyone knew this was a possibility as Anschuntz received the Lakers options back in 1995 – but it doesn’t mean anything until they’re exercised and there was no guarantee that was going to happen (as was the case with Fox Entertainment Group’s Lakers options).

        That’s all irrelevant anyway. The original idea for Staples was not to build the Los Angeles Lakers a new home. It was originally about the Kings, then the Lakers, then later the Clippers. But they were all in the fold before Staples opened, obviously.

        In any case, the Clippers are in Staples until 2024 (Lakers lease is up in 2023). So you’re going to have to be uncomfortable about it at least until then.

      • musician0785 - Oct 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        “The AEG assets include ownership shares in the Lakers, Kings, Galaxy, Staples Center and L.A. Live, according to the sale announcement.”

        lets see you explain this one away……and you see how i actually posted the link to the article im referring to and not just posting the news company the article came from…..seems like you have a hard time with that..lmao…

      • antistratfordian - Oct 22, 2013 at 9:25 PM

        What are you even talking about? I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make here. I know everything there is to know about AEG – I am well aware of their assets.

        I don’t post links because the comments that I have that included links never show up, so I was assuming that they were being blocked. You can easily find those articles anyway if you google the quotes.

  7. kb2408 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    The Clips could run off 10 straight titles, and they’d still be 6 behind the LAKERS. What a joke this is. But the Clips are a joke of a franchise, so it only makes sense that they’d stoop to something like this.

  8. pistolpete0903 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    I ain’t anywhere close to being a fan of the Lakers; but seriously the Clippers are just acting up after a few good seasons.
    Hey Cheapo Sterling; loosen up your wallet will ya?

  9. lakerade - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:05 AM

    Boo hiss. Move to Anaheim already.

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      We don’t want them

  10. legend30 - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:02 AM

    Move to Seattle, Baltimore, or Pittsburgh — just leave. They have some good players, but they’re entire organization is a joke.

    • ilovebaxter - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:48 AM

      Pittsburgh? hahahaha

  11. rl077 - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:06 AM

    How about better. Leave Los Angeles!!!!…

  12. antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:25 AM

    They should’ve done this years and years ago.

    • spthegr8 - Oct 19, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      Donald Sterling should let the Clippers players go up in the rafters and cover up the Lakers banners. Cuz that as CLOSE as they will EVER get to a Championship Banner wearing that Clipper uniform. LLS…….Just Saying”!!!!! They suffer from lil brother syndrome.

      • spthegr8 - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        Yeah, cuz that would have helped them win a championship. SMH!!!!

  13. equalizer28 - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Can you say “inferiority complex”?

  14. rodericksilva - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    It’s a disrespect to all of the players that worked hard to win a championship and earn the right to put up those banners.

    Earn your own banner, Doc.

    We all know what’s behind them anyway.

    • antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:27 AM

      Disrespect? They’re up there during Lakers games… which is the only time they should be up there. It would be disrespectful to the Clippers to fly Lakers banners over them while they’re playing a home game.

      • Anoesis - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:40 AM

        Why? The Clippers rent space in the Lakers’ building. Why should they be allowed to redecorate? Don’t like seeing banners you haven’t earned in a building you don’t own? Build your own arena and you won’t have to cover what ain’t in it.

      • antistratfordian - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:20 PM

        If you want to take it back to the genesis, the Lakers and Clippers actually rent space in the Kings building.

        In any case, the Clippers, Lakers and Kings are all on leases.

  15. DonRSD - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:23 AM


  16. rjlink1 - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    The first of many indignities sure to be visited upon the Lakers this year.

  17. detroit20iron - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    Get your own building then.

  18. Anoesis - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    How appropriate that the Celtics’ ex-coach doesn’t want to see Laker championship banners in the building his new team rents to play in.

    The Lakers won’t have to worry about covering up any Clipper banners any time soon.

    • sdlakerfan - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Doc probably especially hates seeing that last banner the Lakers won over the Celtics when he was coach…lol

  19. imakcds - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Laker Fan, to the core, and I always wondered why, if the Clippers call staples home, they didn’t do this before.
    the answer: Staples AIN’T theirs, they are but TENANTS.
    Yes, this is insulting, but it makes a whole lot of sense.
    The Home Court Advantage is more than the color of your jerseys, all those banners must really be embarrassing to the Clippers.
    Which only ADDS to the Embarrassment of BEING a Clipper.
    I respect Doc, but he is only the coach, knucklehead Sterling makes the important calls.
    Good luck with that, Doc.

  20. jimeejohnson - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Lakers fans are just jealous of the better team in L.A.: the Clippers.

  21. mackcarrington - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Just as a matter of FACT, Staples Center was built for the L.A. Kings to be the primary tenant.
    The Lakers are renters just like the Clippers are.
    AEG owns the Kings and they built Staples for their hockey team.
    Also Sterling has had plenty of chances to move the Clippers to Anaheim but he turned them all down.
    He made his money in real estate in Los Angeles, not in Orange County.
    Just the FACTS……

    • asimonetti88 - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Just as a matter of fact, AEG also owns the Lakers. There is a reason why there are six statues of Chick Hearn, Wayne Gretzky, Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and even Oscar De La Hoya but no Clippers.

      • mackcarrington - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        AEG owns a small stake in the Lakers. NOT a majority interest.
        Did you hears AEG mentioned at any time during the Dwight Howard situation?
        No… you only heard about the Buss family.
        And the Clippers not having a statue outside only means that they don’t have anyone who has EARNED one.

        So what the heck is your point?????

      • asimonetti88 - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        AEG owns 40% of the Lakers. They are the second largest ownership stake in the Lakers after the Buss family.

      • mackcarrington - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:38 PM

        Ok. So what?????

      • asimonetti88 - Oct 19, 2013 at 6:46 PM

        AEG is a for-profit organization. They built the Staples Center to bring money into two of their businesses- the Lakers and the Kings.

        Your contention that the stadium was built for the Kings is incorrect- it was built for AEG, which also includes the Lakers and Kings.

        Your contention that the Lakers are renters is incorrect- they are owned by the same company that operates the stadium.

        Your mention of the Dwight Howard situation makes no sense- when talking about the Dodgers, you hear about Magic Johnson all the time, but that doesn’t mean that Peter Guber and Stan Kasten aren’t a part of the ownership group.

      • mackcarrington - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:04 PM

        I get it; You are a “last word” guy.
        You have to have the last word. That’s Ok.
        Your mention of “statues outside of Staples Center” makes no sense either and I don’t know what that had to do with anything. And you are looking for an argument that I am not giving. I’m not denying the AEG Group owns a piece of the Lakers. Magic Johnson is a part owner of the Dodgers. The Public Face of the owners. I know that.
        Are you saying that The Buss family are only figurehead owners of the Lakers? Are you saying that AEG is really behind the curtains making major decisions for the Lakers? I mentioned Howard because AEG’s name never was a significant part of the discussions that we know about. Are you saying that Jim Buss is not really making Laker decisions?
        And I never implied that AEG was a non-profit organization.

      • musician0785 - Oct 20, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        ^^^ moron alert

  22. disimprimatur - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Note to Clippers: get 1 humongous banner (NBA Championship preferred) and cover up all 16 Laker banners (and retired numbers too while you’re at it) for all your home games.

  23. eugenesaxe1 - Oct 19, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    I’m surprised that hadn’t been standard procedure all along. Hell, I’m sure the Lakers would gladly pay someone to do it.

  24. scbaby2013 - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Rivers is a former clipper and boston coach, bet this crappy move is due to both these facts. They should let the banners stay up and use it as motivation to get their own, shoot they have the talent to win

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