According to team owner Steve Ballmer there’s a chance the Los Angeles Clippers never play a game in their brand new arena … because there’s a chance he could change their name.
Yes, with the team set to move into a new, yet-to-be-named arena for the 2024-25 season, Ballmer has left the door open to the chance the team will take that opportunity to *completely* rebrand their franchise.
From the Los Angeles Times:
Ballmer would not rule out changing the logo — and the colours, 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.”
The Clippers are named for the large sailing boats commonly seen around the San Diego Harbour. The name came with the team when they moved up the coast from San Diego to Los Angeles in 1984. The team has never seen success in their 41 seasons using the Clippers name, a new name isn’t a terrible idea (it might even be a great one).
As for the logo, the team just introduced the current look four years ago but has been commonly chosen as one of the worst in the NBA — among readers of SportsLogos.Net it has a rating score of 3.3 out of 10, which places it 29th of the 30 teams in the league.
Changing a name isn’t too uncommon in the NBA, most recently the Charlotte Bobcats became the Hornets in 2014 just one season after the New Orleans Hornets became the Pelicans. About fifteen years prior to that we saw the Washington Bullets turn into the Wizards.