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Lakers GM Rob Pelinka downplays Clippers rivalry: ‘Our biggest opponent is in the mirror’

The NBA rivalry between the two Los Angeles teams has never been greater, as both the Lakers and Clippers are viewed as title contenders heading into the 2019-20 campaign, something that has never happened before.

But Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka insists that the rivalry with the Clippers is not that big of a deal:

“Our biggest opponent is in the mirror,” said Rob Pelinka at Lakers media day, via ClutchPoints.

Pelinka can downplay it as much as he wants, but that won’t take any of the attention off the rivalry, not from the perspective of the fans or the media.

There has never been a time where both LA teams were both legitimate championship-caliber clubs. The closest we came was probably back in 2012, when both the Lakers and Clippers lost in the second round of the playoffs.

But this offseason, the Lakers swung a blockbuster trade for Anthony Davis, putting him alongside LeBron James to give the purple and gold a lethal duo. In addition, the Lakers added some key veteran pieces such as Danny Green, Avery Bradley and Dwight Howard.

As for the Clippers? They went out and stole the show in free agency, signing Kawhi Leonard and swinging a trade for Paul George on the same night, instantly vaulting them into title favorite status.

While the general consensus is that the Clippers will be better than the Lakers because of the George-Leonard duo and all of their supporting pieces, this will still be an incredibly interesting matchup to watch, and the two clubs will face each other on opening night on Oct. 22.