Clippers Become Hot-Ticket Event At Staples Center As Team Builds New Culture
The Clippers this season have seen Staples Center "jammed with more than 19,000 fans for every game," and are "expected to sell out a franchise-record 100th consecutive home game" tonight against the Grizzlies, according to Ben Bolch of the L.A. TIMES. That could "constitute a 98-game lead over the Lakers, whose 320-game sellout streak was snapped Tuesday" against the Pelicans. It has "been hip to be a Clipper since the team drafted" F Blake Griffin first overall in '09. The Clippers "haven't just become winners but one of the most entertaining brands in the NBA" (L.A. TIMES, 11/17). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth wrote there is a "perfect way" to turn the working relationship between Owner Donald Sterling and soon-to-be NBA Commissioner Adam Silver "into gold." That is to "change the team's name." But Clippers TV play-by-play announcer Ralph Lawler said, "You do not change your culture by changing your name. You do it by changing the way you do business. In case you haven’t noticed, that has been happening the past several years. Witness the league’s seventh-highest payroll and the current streak of ... sellouts, not to mention the product on the court and the upgraded front office." Sports Business Group President Dir David Carter said, "A name change would signal to many that they are trying to run from their past rather than continue to ease into their future" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/17).