Clippers-Lakers: 5 moments that changed L.A.’s power balance

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Jan 7, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) dunks against the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s how the Los Angeles Clippers’ rise in recent years has reversed the power balance in L.A., while the Los Angeles Lakers have experienced far less good fortune.

Over the last 10 years or so, the fortunes of the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers have changed a great deal. Since 2000, the Lakers have five more championships to add to their ridiculous tally of 16, and Kobe Bryant has added thousands more points to his seemingly endless total. The accolades of the team and their legends are remarkable, and they’re far above their rival Clippers in L.A. history. Yet, over the last few years, the Clips’ major increase in both talent and success has allowed them to surpass the Lakers in that aspect for the first time.

It’s not just the arrival of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, though. Of course, they have played a major part and they’re the key players to the series of franchise-record 56+ win seasons the Clippers have had and their immense talent increase (at least, their starting five, that is).

As for the power balance in L.A., the Lakers have been through some serious struggles over the last few years — from failed rebuilds to multiple injury problems. Unfortunately for the Lakers and their fans, the Clippers have benefited from this in terms of capturing the ability and potential of L.A. basketball. Despite the painful second round exits and worrying bench play at times, what they have been doing is still far more than their rivals.

However, don’t take this article the wrong way. In terms of both team’s fan bases, their history, their commercial value and their overall success, the Lakers are obviously ahead by a landslide. You’d need a medical checkup if you suggest otherwise.

This article is going to look back and see exactly how the power (talent) balance in L.A. has reversed due to the changes for both teams, as they get ready for another rival matchup on Christmas Day.

First, we’ll jump back to the earlier stages of the 2000s when a superstar besides Kobe made his mark in Lakers history.

Next: The departure of Shaquille O'Neal from L.A.