HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Of all the organizations in professional sports, the Los Angeles Clippers should know better than to test fate, to mess with karma and to upset the balance of the basketball world.
They know better than anyone what life is like on the wrong side of good fortune. That’s why their decision to apparently ban the one and only Clipper Darrell from using the first name of his moniker stinks.
Clipper Darrell (sorry folks, but we can call him whatever we want around here) revealed on his blog today that he was “DEVASTATED!!!” when he was told by Clippers’ management to stop using the nickname:
It is with great sadness that I must report to all those in NBA NATION that I have been told by Clipper management they no longer want me to be Clipper Darrell, a name that was given to me by the media because of my unwavering support and team spirit. I am devastated!!!!
I have been a season ticket holder for over a decade and a FAN for over 15 years and have dedicated a major part of my life to support the Clipper organization and it’s players no matter what the season’s outcome. Over the years (400 home games) I have gone to great lengths to show my appreciation and loyalty in my attire, the car I drive and in my very own home.
I’ve taken seriously the mantra of being “Clipper Darrell” in performing community service, mentoring young children and my participation in outreach programs. I’ve appreciated the struggles of the team to overcome obstacles as I’ve done in my life. I felt vindicated for all the years we as Clipper fans have gone through trials and tribulations and NOW we have a team that can win it all.
Yesterday was the hardest day of my life, I felt powerless as a fan, as I was stripped of my identity however, no one can take away my heart and the love I have for my team!
I don’t care what their reasoning might be, “Clippers’ management” is just flat wrong on this one. Clipper Darrell has been the one constant for the organization throughout the doldrums of the past decade and a half.
As much as it for is for Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the rest of the current Clippers, this should be his time. This is the season, the team and potentially the era he’s been living for. To have his identity snatched away like this … it’s just wrong!
The Clippers need to do right by Clipper Darrell and allow him enjoy this season and this team in peace.
Paul, Griffin and Clippers’ center DeAndre Jordan have already expressed their support (via Twitter) for the league’s most popular superfan. You can expect the rest of the basketball world to stand up do the same before this is all over, Clippers’ management …
… released a statement insisting they have done nothing wrong in regards to the man also known as Darrell Bailey, calling his claims “absurd and unfounded.”
The statement, courtesy of the Orange County Register:
“The Clippers have done absolutely nothing wrong or inappropriate as it concerns Darrell Bailey. His claims are absurd and unfounded. He has never been an employee or representative of the Clippers organization, and therefore cannot be terminated. The Clippers have never engaged Mr. Bailey’s services. When he has been in need, the organization has regularly provided him a seat for games. No good deed goes unpunished.
We have had multiple conversations with him concerning his inappropriate use of the Clippers’ team name and trademark for his own unmonitored commercial gain. We have spoken to him repeatedly about his desire to make public appearances in ways which improperly suggest that he is officially affiliated with our organization. In all cases and over a long period of time, he has consistently rejected our efforts to operate in consultation.
In a conversation with an authoritative and tenured Clippers’ executive last week, he was asked again to either consult with the team on all public appearances and/or commercial ventures, or stop undertaking those opportunities representing himself inappropriately. His response was an offer to stop representing himself commercially in that way and his offer was accepted in principle.
The next thing we heard was the baseless claims he has made today and the ensuing media rush to judgment.
We hold all of our fans in the highest esteem and we have been patient and generous with Mr. Bailey. He has not returned our support in an honorable way. He is not actually a fan of the Clippers, but a fan of what he can make off of the Clippers. We are no longer interested in that kind of association with him, and that is why we accepted his offer to remove our team name from his stage name.”
We’re going to respectfully disagree with the Clippers on this one, because they had no problem with Clipper Darrell doing his thing when they were at the bottom of the Western Conference standings on a regular basis. Now that they’re near the top, they don’t want him to do his thing?
Again, it’s just wrong!