Posted October 19, 2013

Doc Rivers covers up Lakers title banners with Clippers posters at Staples Center

Doc Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Staples Center
(Evan Gole/Getty Images)

The Clippers have erected giant posters to cover the Lakers’ championship banners. (Evan Gole/Getty Images)

You can’t be the kings of Los Angeles while playing under someone else’s flag.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers has taken the extraordinary step of hanging massive posters that depict his players in the Staples Center’s upper deck, where they can conveniently cover up the Lakers’ 16 championship banners. The posters portray — from left to right — Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick, DeAndre Jordan, Jared Dudley, Chris Paul and Matt Barnes in their home white jerseys.

Both the Lakers and Clippers have played their home games at the Staples Center since it opened in 1999.

During an NBA TV broadcast of a preseason game between the Clippers and Blazers on Friday, L.A.’s play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler discussed the new images, attributing their arrival to Rivers, who was hired by the Clippers as coach and senior vice president of basketball operations back in June.

“Doc Rivers has done a little bit of remodeling, redecorating in Staples Center,” Lawler said. “At the end of the court down to our left, these Clippers banners have been put up. I guess the big story in the media tomorrow will be that they covered the Lakers championship banners. In fact, what Doc wanted most of all was to have a Clipper feeling to this building during Clippers games, and he’s certainly accomplished that now. … This building, all the way around, all 360 degrees now, it’s clearly a Los Angeles Clippers home court when you walk in the building.”

A rivalry with the Lakers is nothing new for Rivers, who coached the Celtics in the 2008 and 2010 Finals, prevailing in 2008.

“Listen, I think this is our arena when we play,” Rivers told the Los Angeles Times. “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.”

Last season marked the first time in franchise history that the Clippers captured the Pacific Division title. This year, the Clippers are regarded as one of the favorites to win the Western Conference, while the Lakers are viewed as a fringe playoff team at best.

In April, Griffin said that he didn’t think it was necessary for the Clippers to hang their division title banner in the Staples Center.

“It’s something to be proud of and maybe there’s a banner that goes up (in the training facility),” Griffin told ESPNLA.com. “But it’s not something that needs to go up in Staples [Center], and we don’t need to hang our hat on that.”

(Noah Graham/Getty Images)

The Lakers’ championship banners are no longer visible during Clippers games. (Noah Graham/Getty Images)

Back in January, the Clippers extended their Staples Center lease through June 2024. The Lakers are midway through a 25-year lease that was signed in 1998.

The Lakers and Clippers will meet on opening night, facing off at the Staples Center on Oct. 29. The crosstown rivals will also square off on Jan, 10, Mar. 6, and Apr. 6.

18 comments
MarkButcher
MarkButcher

The most disrespectful thing wasn't the banners being covered, it was the jerseys , those are legendary players on that wall .

MarkButcher
MarkButcher

Let's not forget that Chris Paul was a laker until that snake stern stepped in and almost willed a move to the clippers , even with Paul , Griffen, granger, they still won't win a ship. They win their first pacific division championship just last year!!!

TylerAllen
TylerAllen

You Laker Fans are so funny! For Starters Staples was opened on Oct 17 1999 & The Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984! Staples Center was built under the idea of multiple teams renting it out! Staples is in no way the "Lakers House". Nor is it the "Clippers House". The Building is not owned by any professional sports org. They both are tenants! Get it?!

Secondly the Lakers became great under the influence of Jerry Buss! An absolute business/basketball mastermind who was a LA socialite and everyone loved him! His son jim who currently is wearing the pants...it so dumb i would not let him run a gas station! Seriously! Kobe/Gasol/Nash are done..year/2 max. Kobes not even the best SG in the league anymore and not anything that will win you a title! 

Mark my words Lakers fans. The next Title won in LA will come from the Clippers! As well as the Clippers being the better team in LA for a minimal of 5 years! 

Lee20
Lee20

Dam clippers .. thats very disrespectful on doc part .. move them to Honda center or go back to S%&* S.D 

Otter2k
Otter2k

Sounds like a good idea considering they are the best team in LA.  Why should they have to look at those bright Lakers banners at home games?  I don't know why people think it's disrespectful.  What respect do the Clippers owe the Lakers?  It's a different team.  They owe them as much respect as they owe the Spurs.

SHRIPAL S
SHRIPAL S

They can only dream about winning a championship!!! NOT happening in this century... So may be Donald Sterling should sell the team and move on. Then Clippers can go to some small town no one has heard of........

EvelynTR
EvelynTR

Send the Clippers to the Honda Center.

Dodgers
Dodgers

What's hilarious is that they even covered the Sparks banners.

bambam824
bambam824

What is so kool about hanging up "posters" of a roster of guys who, in their PRIMES were ousted in the first round of the playoffs last season? The laughable clippers will always be crying in the Lakers shadow. "We hate the Lakers Championship banners, hide them...wahhhhhhh". What the clippers have done to themselves with this scheme is like putting lipstick on a pig.

Erick3
Erick3

Hey doc why don't you just leave the way it is, actually you guys belong to san diego not L.A. You are a freaking stranger here.

Dave86
Dave86

Very disrespectful

GeorgeDiaz
GeorgeDiaz

Clippers are a joke. Lakers run LA and will always run LA

Armen1
Armen1

Get a new arena get out of staples center lakers will always run LA

ShawnLakhani
ShawnLakhani

Yeah, that is honestly kind of pathetic. You are in the Laker's building B*#&$@S!!!

RicoHeat
RicoHeat

Best thing to do is to get their own stadium to step out of the shadow of the Lakers. 

JahliSuwaghaman
JahliSuwaghaman

If they don't like flying under another teams accomplishments perhaps they should've tried getting some of their own over the years.  (P.S. I hate the %&*#&@ Lakers)

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

Really sort of a no-brainer for the Clippers.  Shouldn't be that hard to remove and put back up the posters between games.  What surprises me most is that it took this long for the Clippers to start doing this.