Article Written By: John Diaz
The definition of a rivalry in sports always varies. You have teams that are rivals because of their extensive history, like the Packers and Bears. Then there are rival cities based on locale, like Boston and New York. And finally, you have your rivals that form from concurrent success, like the Lakers and Spurs.
But are the Spurs and Lakers really still rivals?
San Antonio and Los Angeles have despised each other for nearly two decades now, but the Lakers recent struggles and Kobe Bryant’s injuries have slightly tarnished what used to be a storied rivalry. From Bryant crying on the Lakers bench at the end of their 2003 postseason run, to Derek Fisher’s 0.4 shot the very next year, and now last year’s most reason chapter – sweeping Dwight Howard & Co – the SA-LA feud has fallen off in interest and intensity.
It may no longer seem like a rivalry, but don’t tell that to the fans. This season, the Spurs-Lakers game at the AT&T Center saw 18,581 sellout the arena just like the good old days. By comparison, this season’s Spurs-Heat and Spurs-Thunder games had the exact same sellout attendance.
So are the Spurs and Lakers still rivals? The San Antonio side of things say yes. Nothing has or will stop Spurs fans from trashing the Lakers, as a whole, every chance they get. Meanwhile, Lakers fans living in the Alamo City love to sport their purple and gold pride regardless if Kobe Bryant is in a freshly tailored Armani suit, instead of his oversized Lakers warm-ups.
In Los Angeles? As of Tuesday night on StubHub, only 621 tickets remain available for tonight’s contest, ranging in price from $13 to a cool $3800 for lower level seats. $3800 to watch the 22-44 Lakers more than likely get shellacked by the best team in the NBA? Sure does sound like a price one pays to see a rival team.