Clippers-Warriors: The rivalry that won’t stop rival’ing


You gotta hate each other for blood to boil over in a preseason game. Because those games don’t really matter, at least for the guys who know for sure they’ll be one of (at least) 15 on the roster come opening night.

But none of that mattered for the Clippers and Warriors preseason matchup on Tuesday, where the two teams accumulated eight combined technical fouls, including a hilarious one from Chris Paul who was ejected because he begrudgingly asked the referee to not speak to him like he’s a child because he already has kids; and the best of it all, Shaun Livingston departed from the 95-130 loss with some words for Blake Griffin and his physical play, or what SL liked to described them as, ‘antics’.

“They were out there talking. If they want to talk, we want to talk,” Livingston told CSNBayArea. “We’re not going to just back down. They’re up 20 and talking, up 30 and still talking. It is what is. It’s the game. But just play the game. That’s all.”

Not to mention this all comes one day after Warriors owner Joe Jacob said Doc Rivers should should keep his mouth closed, after — like the rest of the world — misinterpreting Rivers’ luck comment toward the champion Warriors.

The talk gets annoying, especially as the talks of Golden State’s championship “luck” continues, even though it’s all based on one taking Rivers’ words completely out of context. But on the court, it’s a reminder than when rivalries are done right and are sustained over time, they’re a beautiful thing. And Clippers-Warriors does it in a way no one has done since, maybe Cavaliers-Celtics, when LeBron James tried annually to defeat Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, and Rivers by himself.

The Grizzlies-Clippers rivalry cut close, but that was much of a one-sided affair as the Grizzlies players loved getting physical against Los Angeles flair, while Memphis’ fanbase fed off the hunger, flops, complaining to officials, and pretty much everything that was anti-Memphis as it relates to the Grizzlies.

Pacers-Heat was much of the same, though it’s one-sidedness made it one of those things you get excited about before realizing you know the end result before things even begin.

The latter may be able to apply to Clippers-Warriors — as of now, Golden State is the better team until Los Angeles gets it’s bench together — but the two-way distaste makes it primetime television, and the hate runs so deep not even a playful exhibition team could keep things in order.

Blake Griffin trash talking up the court as buckets were made.

The arm tangling between Griffin and Livingston that the guard spoke of after the game.

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Lance Stephenson and Draymond Green receiving double technicals for chirping back and forth — it hasn’t been spoken of often, but with Stephenson and Paul Pierce (and Josh Smith) now on the Clippers, this rivalry could take another leap as those two (or three) aren’t particularly known for backing down from mouthy foes, especially Lance (and if he’s having a good year in comparison to ’14-15, he may transform back to his Indiana form where trash talking and pompous activity on the court was the norm for the New York native.

Obviously the Clippers players took this game more serious than the Warriors. But that shouldn’t be mistaken as a team looking to gain footing in the preseason; instead of just another game, the Clippers say this moment as an opportunity to make a statement, and luckily their played backed their mouths and actions; and make no mistake, the Warriors, at full health, will make it their business to hit back.

Given the animosity, there’s only one way for this rivalry to go and that’s up.

Nov. 4 (Clippers @ Warriors on ESPN) can’t come fast enough.

Next: Clippers' Chris Paul confronts ref, gets ejected vs. Warriors