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Kawhi Leonard booed before, during Clippers home opener by Laker fans

Los Angeles Lakers v LA Clippers

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 22: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the LA Clippers drives to the basket against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 22, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

LOS ANGELES — This is why Steve Ballmer wants a new arena for his team.

Los Angeles is a Lakers town, and if you need any more proof, here is Kawhi Leonard getting booed as he tries to address the crowd at Staples Center before the CLIPPERS home opener. To be extra clear, this is a Clippers home game.

Leonard also was booed by Lakers fans — who make up close to half the crowd to my eyes (and ears) — later when he went to the free throw line. When LeBron James went to the free throw line in the first quarter, an “M-V-P” chant broke out that was pretty loud, until Clippers fans drowned it out with boos of their own.

Lakers fans dominating the crowd at Clippers home games is far from new, it just feels different now that both teams are title contenders entering the season. As Leonard started to make shots in the second quarter, Clippers fans got more vocal.

Leonard was booed at a Rams game earlier this season. It’s a Laker town. Leonard knows that and made his choice.

Win enough this season — especially in the playoffs — and he will silence the boos. Or, at least have the last laugh.