Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro talks with Eric Bledsoe during game against… (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles…)
In this city, it's inevitable that the Clippers will have to answer questions about the Lakers.
But, Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro maintained after practice Thursday, it's not something they have grown tired of doing.
After all, the Lakers have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most in the NBA.
"You have to look at the consistency and the history, and the Lakers have won a lot of championships," Del Negro said. "So there's lots expected there."
Del Negro said the Clippers have their own concerns.
"I spend time on, how do we get better as an organization? How do we put this team in an area of success?" Del Negro said. "I feel we're headed in the right direction, but there's still a lot of improvement, a lot of things we have to go through as a team, as an organization, to get there."
Friday night, the Lakers will host the Clippers at Staples Center in what figures to be a competitive game.
The Clippers won their season opener; the Lakers are 0-2.
After spending seven of his 13 years in the NBA with the Lakers, Lamar Odom will face his old team.
"Any game I play against my big brother, I want to win," said Odom, referring to Kobe Bryant. "I've learned that from him."
Odom apparently also learned something from his former Lakers coach, Phil Jackson.
Odom said he plans on giving his teammates and others in the organization a motivational book, but he wouldn't give the title.
Jackson was known for giving his players books to read when they went on long trips.
"It helps sets goals," Odom said. "Even if you don't want to admit it, you need something to kind of reach for. And when people think about that, it's to help set a goal and the goal is to start this tradition and to be able to change the way the teams and the players and the organizations look at us."
Del Negro said there still isn't a timetable for Grant Hill to return from a bone bruise in his right knee.
Hill, 40, saw the team physician Wednesday night, but Del Negro said the small forward is not scheduled to get another MRI exam soon.
"He's feeling a lot better," Del Negro said. "The doctor feels good at where he's at."
Matt Barnes said Thursday he was surprised to be suspended for one game by the NBA after he pleaded no contest in September to a misdemeanor charge of resisting, delaying or obstructing a police officer in Manhattan Beach.
He missed the Memphis game Wednesday but is eligible to play Friday.
"I really don't want to get into it," Barnes said. "They [the NBA] probably want to suspend me again. I did my time and I'm looking forward to Friday."