The Lakers vs. the Clippers ‘rivalry’ has failed to generate much attention over the years. What with the Lakers winning championships left and right, and the Clippers relegated to being the NBA’s whipping boys, there was no contest to talk about. But things changed for the Clippers when they drafted Blake Griffin and traded for perennial all star point guard Chris Paul. Suddenly, the future looked bright for LA’s ‘other team’. Last season, the two teams were only separated by one game atop the Pacific division standings, with both teams falling short in their playoff run. The Lakers retooled this year, grabbing all stars Dwight Howard and Steve Nash into the team, in an effort to make that push back into the NBA finals. But now halfway thru the season, there seems to be a changing of the guard in Los Angeles. While the Lakers have struggled, the Clippers are sitting on top of the division standings. Much credit should be given to the Clippers’ good team chemistry. The Clippers acquired veteran players with championship experience during the off season to add stability to an already fearsome team. Players like one time NBA champion Ronny Turiaf of France were taken in to provide the veteran leadership and poise this young team needs.
The 6’10 power forward from France is a proven international and NBA player. Having won a title with his stint with the Miami Heat in 2012, he is one of the few French basketball players who have won a championship in the NBA. Turiaf is known for his competitive spirit for the game and determined will to win ballgames, which incidentally are traits he has also taken into another type of game he loves to play, Poker. Poker is a game enjoyed by millions around the world, and many celebrities and athletes also take part in the game. Celebrities are known to take part in Charity poker tournaments as their way of giving back to the community. Ronny Turiaf has participated in such tournaments, like the 6th Annual World Poker Tour Invitational held in Los Angeles, California in 2008. Most poker players have honed their skills while playing on online poker sites like partypoker français. The recent surge in popularity of the game of poker can be attributed to online poker sites like partypoker. Partypoker offers the best online poker experience, and they also provide many tournaments for online players. Poker is a skill game and partypoker also provides game tutorials for those who have just started to take a liking to the game. They will teach you the basics of the game before you start to master the different strategies needed to win. Similar to the game of basketball, one needs to master and practice the skills of the game in order to succeed. Determination and the will to win, coupled by his championship experience are some of the things Turiaf is expected to impart on to his Clippers team mates.
The first half of the season is almost done and there is still a lot of time to determine where the two teams from Los Angeles are going. At the moment though, the Clippers are looking way better than the Lakers who are still struggling with team chemistry and several injuries that have hit the team. The head to head record for the season has gone to the Clippers so far, who enjoys a 2-0 win/loss record over the highly touted Lakers. And at the rate both teams are going, it seem s that the Clippers can finally claim the title of being the best team in Los Angeles, at least for this season. And with players like Ronny Turiaf of France providing the leadership, championship poise and experience, the Clippers have a legitimate shot at winning it all this year. If this happens, Turiaf will join compatriot Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs as the only players from France to have won multiple titles in the NBA.