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With Kawhi Leonard & Paul George to Clippers, could the LA-Boston battles return

As a fledgling sports writer two years ago, I wrote on Celtics boss, Danny Ainge, possibly having a new rival NBA exec out west in the person of The Logo, Jerry West. After West's move from the Warrior's camp to Clipper Town, I wrote the following:

So Danny has his eyes focused on the western conference, specifically on the Golden State Warriors. He may want to also gaze further south in California and take a look at the Los Angeles Clippers. There is a new guy in Clipper town, and his name is Jerry West, otherwise known as The Logo. But he is much more than simply the image on the NBA logo. The old Boston vs. LA battles may return in the next few years, but with a different look.


Well, a combination of the California sun and the solid owner-leadership core of the Los Angeles Clippers, it now appears that the Clips have landed both the much-sought-after, Kawhi Leonard, and All-Star forward, Paul George. These deals now make the best-of-the-West fight even tighter - amazing what the warm sun and a great organization can accomplish.

So, how about Danny Ainge and the Celtics. The East is pretty much a wide open contest this coming season. Many lessons were learned during the Celtics disappointing campaign last season. Changes in lineups and strategies are already becoming quite apparent. The Ainge/Brad Stevens pairing formerly seemed to favor mid-sized lineups that allowed 1-through-5 switch-ability. But with the addition of 6'1" guard, Kemba Walker, and 6'11" center, Enes Kanter, there may be a somewhat-different approach this time around. Look for that in a future article. Here is more from my original article on the subject - from two years ago.

On our side, we have a very shrewd team president also attempting to construct a dynasty and a top-notch Celts coach with a player-friendly manner. Ainge saw a gem of a future NBA coach in Stevens. Danny and Celts owner Steve Pagliuca, a Duke grad, attended the 2010 NCAA championship game pitting Brad's Butler Bulldogs against Mike Krzyzewski's Duke Blue Devils. Ainge told Pagliuca that he considered Stevens the best coach in the building that night. Quite an endorsement considering Mike's history of success and Steve's loyalty to his alma mater.

So will we see a battle between The Logo and Trader Danny in the next couple of years - a return of the LA-Boston battles of the past, but with a tweak? But right now, Danny has to right his ship and try to come out of the East this season. He is not done making deals. Ainge feels he may be close to having the right blend of talent, character and chemistry this time. Let's hope so!

Follow Tom at @CelticsSentinel and Facebook

Photo via Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images North America

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