One is storied franchise dripping with purple and gold championship banners and another is a sour organization stained in brutal futility and beaming light of yester year now only a faintly lit candle.
With the NBA regular season coming to an abrupt conclusion this week the Lakers and Clippers find themselves on the inside looking out.
It was just last year when the Lakers pushed Phoenix to seven games in the first round of the playoffs.
An off season filled with promise and Kobe Bryant emerging as the top star scorer in the NBA anything less than a second round appearance would be un civilized.
The Clippers on the other hand were pointed in the right direction after taking the Suns deep into the second round before succumbing.
The Clippers brought in Tim Thomas and resigned the old man Sam Cassell, the nucleus of the star core players of Elton Brand, Cuttino Mobley, Corey Maggette and potential superstar Shaun Livingston still intact this was supposed to be a banner season.
The Lakers eventually lost starters Kwame Brown, Lamar Odom and Luke Walton to injury; the Clippers struggled out of the gate with Brand appearing to be fatigued from a long summer of playing the future Olympic team, Thomas trying to fit in and Cassell going down with an injury and then the potential career ending injury to Livingston.
If that's not enough to make your head swing then the thought of both teams playing the final four regular season games as if they are playoff games should.
The Lakers lost at Denver on April 9 and that sealed their fate as a six seed and if the Clippers beat the Lakers it would put the Warriors in a prime position to slip in through the back door.
Problem with all of this is what are these two teams being in this position to begin with.
Bryant shooting percentage in going belly up and he's playing for a coach who on one nights doesn't want him to shoot as much then on the next nights wants him to take every shot.
It's no wonder that Bryant is both confused and fatigued at the same time the Lakers season is drowning in purple reign.
There is already talk that Jackson may take his Hall of Fame selection and go to the front office after this season and you can't blame him if he did.
The Clippers have actually mounted a surge with former Inglewood high star Jason Hart handling the point guard duties.
However, if there were ever a year for the Clips to be in the lottery this would be the one. Any one of those Florida players would be an upgrade. Imagine that, a position in the NBA lottery being an upgrade?