Move over Mamba, there’s a new king in the city of angels, and his name is Blake Griffin.
But I can hear you say, "Why Griffin? Kobe has five titles, kills himself to be the best player in the NBA, and is playing at an elite level despite a wrist injury." Well, you would be right, but Kobe is in what should be the final stages of his career, while Blake is only getting started.
The Dawn of the "Human YouTube Clip"
The rise of Blake started in his first active year with the Los Angeles Clippers. Yes, this is technically his third year in the NBA, however a knee injury kept Griffin on the sideline for his first year in the NBA.
His first year of NBA action saw Griffin win the Rookie of the Year award, a Slam Dunk Championship and a career’s worth of highlight-reel dunks.
While Griffin became the "Human YouTube Clip" in 2010-11, Kobe put together another year where he played in 82 games, averaged 25 points per game, shot .451 from the field and finished in the top five of the MVP voting.
That great season for Kobe helped him keep the title of "King of L.A." in the basketball world. However, because of Blake’s huge first year, you could tell that his grasp was slipping.
Never have two words ignited a lifeless fanbase. However, when video surfaced of Griffin and teammate DeAndre Jordan reacting to the news of Chris Paul being traded to the Clippers, Blake let out the phrase that set the Clippers world on fire, "Lob City!"
Since that phrase was uttered, it set in motion what has been the Blake takeover of L.A. Now, for the first time in the history of the franchise, the Clippers are sold out of their season tickets.
This upswing of Clippers momentum started with the drafting of Griffin. That season saw their highest attendance (772,462) since the 2005-06 season.
Now, with the addition of Paul, they rank seventh in the NBA in attendance, and are out-drawing the Lakers on an average per game figure. With the team winning this year, as they are 5-3 on the season, these figures should only grow as the season goes on.
Winning Will Silence the Kobe Fans
The only thing Lakers fans have on Blake is the fact that Kobe has five titles, while the Clippers haven’t had more than two consecutive records above .500 since 1991-93. Blake has to get this Clippers team not only into the playoffs, but at least to the Conference finals, and the NBA finals.
Once he can lead this Clippers team that deep into the playoffs, he will have won over every fan in the Los Angeles market.
Until then, the Kobe supporters will have his success to hold over the Griffin supporters. However, that lone argument will be null and void soon, as Blake will lead this Clippers team to the playoffs this year.
Kobe’s time is up and Blake’s time is now.