Jerry West Says Lakers vs. Clippers NBA Finals Would Be 'Ultimate Competition'May 30, 2020
As the NBA continues to discuss return-to-play formats, an interesting subplot is brewing over a potential postseason option.
The league is considering seeding the playoffs 1-16 as opposed to the traditional Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference fans are used to, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst, which could lead to never-before-seen postseason matchups and potentially produce an epic Finals matchup: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers.
If that were to happen, it'd be just fine for league icon Jerry West.
A former Lakers player and executive, West now works as a consultant for the Clippers. Speaking to The Dan Patrick Show, West perked up at the thought of the two rivals pitted against each other with a title on the line:
"That would be the ultimate competition. I think in Los Angeles they have so many Lakers fans, my goodness, the enormous success the Lakers have had over the years. They have a really good team now with two of the best players we've seen in a long time on one team. I think it would be incredible for the people in the West, I'm not sure how it would go over for the teams back East who want to see their respective teams get an opportunity to play. That would be a situation where I think it would be unbelievably competitive. It would make a compelling story."
The matchup would certainly thrill NBA and TV executives alike. Not only would they get the top two Western Conference teams on the league's biggest stage, but they'd also feature generational talents in LeBron James and Anthony Davis for the Lakers opposite the Clippers' Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
It would also mark a first for the league as no two teams in the same city or state have ever matched up in the NBA Finals.
The last time it happened in North American sports was the 2000 World Series between the New York Yankees and New York Mets.
Still, the dream may be just that for now.
"In all likelihood," West said. "I think you're going to see things that are a little bit more normal,"