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Anthony Davis: Lakers- Clippers’ L.A. battle ‘bigger than a rivalry’

Once all the pieces fell into place during a frenetic offseason when multiple superstars ended up on new teams, the notion that there will be a battle between the Lakers and Clippers for Los Angeles’ basketball soul became one of the most intriguing storylines heading into the 2019-20 season.

According to Anthony Davis, the stage has been set for a showdown between the Lakers and Clippers will go far beyond what a traditional rivalry entails.

The Lakers of course reloaded this offseason with moves highlighted by the acquisition of Davis. The Clippers, meanwhile, upgraded significantly — to put it mildly — with the addition of Kawhi Leonard and acquisition of Paul George.

The Lakers and Clippers are both now rightfully considered legitimate contenders in the loaded Western Conference, and Davis is envisioning some serious fireworks when the two teams square off in Staples Center this upcoming season.

“I’m not sure what the Clippers are thinking. But I know what the Lakers are thinking—and that’s to play basketball,” Davis said in a recent interview with Peter Flax of The Red Bulletin. “Obviously, they have a great team, but we know that for us it’s going to be bigger than a rivalry. You know, winning a rivalry game doesn’t win the championship. So for us the goal is to win a championship this year.”

It’s not like both teams aren’t eagerly anticipating a challenging battle overall in the West, either, as James and Leonard both planned team minicamps before preparations for the upcoming season officially begin in earnest.

“We haven’t talked about it yet, but I don’t think it needs to be said,” Davis said of the Lakers’ title aspirations. “I think that any time that you’re on, your goal is always to win a championship. If it’s not, I don’t understand why you’re playing.”

However things shake out for the Lakers and Clippers, it’s safe to say that for perhaps the first time ever, Los Angeles has two teams that are legitimate contenders for a championship.