Magic Johnson defends Clippers for covering up Lakers banners during home games

Once they take the floor, the Clippers will soon cover up some of the Lakers’ championship banners Magic Johnson proved responsible for, but he’s not sweating it. The Clippers will hover with posters featuring their own players in place of Johnson’s retired jersey too, but he doesn’t appear offended.

Lakers guard Nick Young may call the tactic “disrespectful” even though he hasn’t had any role in winning those banners. But Johnson himself chalked it up as something Clippers coach Doc Rivers needed to do.


The Clippers began that practice in their home game Friday against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center, the same venue the Lakers share. Banners of Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick, DeAndre Jordan, Jared Dudley, Chris Paul and Matt Barnes are featured on the same side where the Lakers’ banners usually are featured.

The Lakers have 12 championship banners, including Minneapolis’ five titles on one of them. They also have 10 retired jerseys, including Magic Johnson (No. 32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33), Jerry West (44), Elgin Baylor (22) Wilt Chamberlain (13), Gail Goodrich (25), James Worthy (42), Jamaal Wilkes (52) Shaquille O’Neal (34) and one featuring a microphone to honor the late Lakers’ announcer Chick Hearn.

Despite his connections to the Lakers, Johnson often says things that don’t ring well with the purple and gold faithful. He has expressed uncertainty on whether the Lakers make the NBA playoffs this season. Johnson correctly predicted Kobe Bryant won’t heal his left Achilles tendon in time to play in the Lakers’ season opener Tuesday against the Clippers. And now this.

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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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