Ivica Zubac calls Los Angeles a ‘Laker town’ ahead of big matchup with Clippers - Lakers Daily Ivica Zubac calls Los Angeles a ‘Laker town’ ahead of big matchup with Clippers - Lakers Daily

Ivica Zubac calls Los Angeles a ‘Laker town’ ahead of big matchup with Clippers

Ivica Zubac and Russell Westbrook Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers center Ivica Zubac acknowledged that even though his team plays in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Lakers are the city’s more popular team.

Zubac’s comments come just one day before the Clippers and Lakers meet on Wednesday at Crypto.com Arena for an important matchup during the final week of the regular season.

The opinion of Zubac shouldn’t be seen as a surprise to longtime observers who are aware that the Lakers first arrived in Los Angeles in 1960. In contrast, the Clippers have only been crosstown rivals with the Lakers since 1984.

Yet, longevity isn’t the key reason why Los Angeles fans have this particular mindset. The simple reason is that the legacies of the two franchises are so drastically different.

The Lakers began in Minneapolis and captured multiple NBA titles during the 1950s. Upon moving to Los Angeles, the team was a perennial opponent in the finals and captured the first title in the city in 1972.

Beginning in 1980, the Lakers captured five NBA championships during the 1980s, an era that simply came to be defined as “Showtime.”

After a lull during the 1990s, the Lakers had a resurgence with five more titles from 2000 to 2010. The franchise’s last title came in 2020 and was won amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the opposite side, the Clippers began life as the Buffalo Braves in 1970. Moving to San Diego in 1979, the franchise spent six seasons there before heading to Los Angeles.

For most of the team’s time in Los Angeles, the Clippers franchise has been the definition of futility. That poor on-court performance was magnified by the disastrous tenure of former owner Donald Sterling.

Due to Sterling’s openly racist comments, he ended up selling the franchise to Steve Ballmer. While Ballmer has brought in top talent like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers are still in search for the franchise’s first title.

The Clippers hope to finally break out of the Lakers’ shadow when they open up the Intuit Dome, a date that’s expected to be next year.

For now, Zubac and the Clippers can’t be concerned about the team’s pecking order among basketball fans in Los Angeles. Trying to win a title is currently the team’s top priority.