A New Era in the NBA for California Hoops Fans

Some people might remember the San Diego Clippers, back in the old school NBA days when players like Bill Walton, Doctor J and Wilt the Stilt haunted basketball courts not named after major brands and corporations. Those days are gone, along with the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty that used to dominate the NBA West and did so for decades.

The phrase “Beat L.A.” originates from when this dynastic Lakers team traveled around the NBA nation, laying waste to every team they encountered.

Since those decades, when the UCLA Bruins fed superstar players directly to the Los Angeles Lakers, the spectacular collapse of the Los Angeles Lakers gave the now-Los Angeles Clippers an opening to finally represent the NBA West from California and steal the “Beat L.A.” opposition mantra mantle. The Clippers had long since their heyday in San Diego become an NBA doormat, but recently experienced a meteoric rise to almost-greatness with their best player since Bill Walton, Blake Griffin. They have for the past few seasons been the heir apparent to being the kings of California NBA basketball.

But they now have company.

You could see them rising last season, emerging perhaps as a secondary power in the NBA, but I don’t think anybody could have predicted that the lowly Golden State Warriors would so quickly emerge this 2015 season to challenge the Clippers as the best NBA team from California. Now there’s a battle on to see who will be the first non-Lakers California NBA team to represent the West in the NBA Finals. It’s a new era in the NBA!

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