Los Angeles Clippers: Can the Best Team in LA Ever Get the Respect It Deserves?

Jose SalviatiCorrespondent IINovember 15, 2012

Beat the defending champs - check. Hand Spurs and Grizzlies their only losses - Check. Dismantle the Lakers - Check. Respectability - Negative
Beat the defending champs - check. Hand Spurs and Grizzlies their only losses - Check. Dismantle the Lakers - Check. Respectability - NegativeJeff Gross/Getty Images

I'm not old. Nothing about me feels or really even looks old. Yet, my kids are constantly reminding me that I am, in fact, old.

Although I personally don't see or feel it, I do have to admit to it when I invoke a name that would make most adults under 30 scratch their heads in confusion. Say "Johnny Carson" to someone in their 20's and you will see what I mean.

That makes me feel old.

So, it's with some trepidation that I write this article, but it's impossible to deny the link between the LAC and a great comedian from a bygone era. The Clippers are the Rodney Dangerfield of the NBA!

Cue confused look for those born in the 80's or later.

Dangerfield was a comedian who made a living cracking one-liners. Each one told a similar story that led up to his classic punch-line, "I don't get no respect!"

The sad thing about the similarity is that Dangerfield was joking. He was, after all, a comedian. For the Clippers, however, Dangerfield's classic punch line is a sad reality.

Clippers: We handed the Spurs and Grizzlies their only losses of the season.

L.A.: Yawn

Clippers: We have arguably the best bench in the Association.

National Media:

Clippers: Um, our point guard is the best at his position.

International NBA Fan: Go Lakers!

The Clippers rise to competitiveness is complete; this team can ball. Their rise to respectability, however, is proving futile. Imagine trying to climb up Mount Everest on a wet slip-n-slide.

Sure, they will be on national TV from time to time, but was yesterday's game nationally televised because of the Clippers, or the Heat? Sure, they get articles written about them in the local paper, but the only blog dedicated to a local team belongs to the dysfunctional Lakers.

Clippers: We don't get no respect!

In fact, it's here in L.A. where the disrespect is most evident. I did a TV listings search for "Lakers" and was amazed at what was available covering the purple and gold. Lakers Compacto, Timeless Lakers, Lakers en Vivo, Lakers Confidential, Backstage: Lakers, Laker Girls and, of course, Somos Lakers.

When I did the same TV listings search for "Clippers" I found Clippers Live and "How's it Made." In this particular episode, the team at "How's it Made" unravels the mystery of how to build padlocks, wooden shoes, synthetic leather and, you guessed it, hair clippers.

No respect, indeed.

SportsNation asked America recently which L.A. team would win the mythical "Battle of L.A." California voted 66 percent to 34 percent for the Lakers. ESPN LA asked Los Angeles who would have the better team at seasons end, 77 percent of those responding voted for the Lakers.

When describing the chasm between L.A.'s two basketball teams Arash Markazi, a columnist for ESPN, made a great point. It's obvious that the Lakers have the better past, by far, but Markazi points out, "..this isn't a history lesson."

Isn't anyone watching this Clipper team in L.A.? If a Laker-fan can, for just a second or two, remove their purple-and-gold glasses and watch these Clippers objectively, they might just give them the respect they deserve this season.

Nah, probably won't happen.

One shining light for the Clippers in the respect category is that in the SportsNation poll, the country was split 50/50 on the question of which team would be better. If you remove the votes from California, it's safe to say that outside of their state, the Clippers are getting the respect they deserve.

Somewhere, Rodney Dangerfield is smiling.