What Kobe won't tweet: Los Angeles is becoming a Clippers town
With Kobe Bryant injured (and tweeting) and the Los Angeles Lakers reeling, the Clippers are making the most of a chance to become the city's top basketball attraction.
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“There’s one big, blistering question facing the Lakers,” writes Los Angeles Times sportswriter Mike Bresnahan, looking ahead to Wednesday’s second playoff game against the Spurs. “So, uh, who’s going to score for you guys?”
Watching Sunday's game from home, Bryant tweeted coaching tips, such as how to buck up the defense and get the ball to seven-time all-star center Dwight Howard. He reportedly got enough negative feedback that he will not be tweeting Game 2, though at least one teammate welcomes it.
“I love when Kobe tweets,” forward Metta World Peace in the L.A. Times. “Kobe should tweet Game 2 the whole time, every possession, critique us, criticize us, chew us out.... I love Kobe. Kobe's great.”
Bryant's absence merely punctuates the changing of the guard in Los Angeles. After all, it’s not just the teams that are shifting, but the key players who hold the spotlight.
When Paul was acquired in a 2011 trade, he gave the Clippers instant credibility. Some consider him to be the most dynamic point guard since Magic Johnson. Besides Paul, the Clippers boast forward Blake Griffin, whose super-athletic dunks and shot blocking have become the stuff of YouTube legend.
Although the Lakers are not completely out of the running, sports analysts are saying Los Angeles's mantle of basketball greatness is being passed.
“Kobe has been the face of basketball there for so long, it seems it’s time to pass it on,” says Lebowitz, noting that the Clippers managed the draft well in recent years and made good trades. “They created a great team with good chemistry between players.”
And in the true measure of L.A. sports clout, celebrities are now as common a sight courtside at Clippers games as at Laker games. So “L.A. can still be proud, just that it will be beaming from a different spotlight,” he adds.