Steve Ballmer open to changing Clippers name

Getty
22 Comments

The Los Angeles Clippers are hoping to be out of the shadow of the Los Angeles Lakers sometime soon. The team now has Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and are hoping to make a splash in the Western Conference playoffs this season. They have to take out cross town rivals LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but looking into the future the Clippers have something else.

A new arena.

The Clippers announced that they will be building a new privately-funded arena in Inglewood to be open by 2024. It’s a beautiful glass structure with lots of plants and of course other businesses located around it to try and boost the economic impact of the area.

Owner Steve Ballmer has said that he will not be interested in moving the team out of Los Angeles for his hometown of Seattle. However, Ballmer did tell the Los Angeles Times this week that he is open to changing just about everything else about the team including its logo, colors, and even the name “Clippers” itself.

Via LA Times:

“Hopefully, by the time we’re done, it won’t be a Clipper logo,” Ballmer said. “It will be some naming rights sponsor.”

And Ballmer would not rule out changing the logo — and the colors, and perhaps even the nickname itself — when the Clippers move into the new arena.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to really step our identity up another level,” he said. “I don’t anticipate making a change, but we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and that is the kind of thing you somehow do in consultation with your fans.”

This would be a bold move. The Clippers certainly need a new logo. The basic LAC one looks like something that would come standard in Microsoft Word. The colors are basic, but fine. At least it’s not the NFL where seemingly every other team is red/white/blue.

The name is a real question. At this point, the “Clippers” name doesn’t have the kind of stink it used to have on it. But it also doesn’t have any specific cachet, or an attachment to anything. Do 8-year-old fans even know what a clipper is?

Inglewood is several miles inland, so it’s not next to the ocean. It doesn’t really fit. However, if I know anything about team names in the NBA — Bobcats, Pelicans, Thunder — asking a team to come up with a new name that’s not colossally awful is pretty hard.

If it were up to me, I’d change the logo and keep everything else the same. The building and the richest owner in the NBA will do the rest.