As the longstanding little brother to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers are attempting to re-establish themselves in their own way — outside of the Lakers’ omnipresence.
Thanks to the largess of owner Steve Ballmer, the Los Angeles Clippers have taken another important step in distancing themselves from the Lakers. Plans for a new Clippers arena have been in the works for a while, and another part of the process has been completed regarding a new arena for the team in the Inglewood area of Los Angeles county.
According to a report from NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin, a bill was passed that would expedite the process of building a new arena. Ballmer was elated, and tweeted about the good news:
California's legislature signs off on a new home for the Clips! Thanks to @sydneykamlager and @SteveBradford for their leadership on the world’s best and most energy-efficient basketball arena — an arena worthy of both Inglewood and all of LA. Go Clips! pic.twitter.com/cpJ9mMzEGG
— Steve Ballmer (@Steven_Ballmer) September 1, 2018
The working title of the new stadium is the Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center, but there are still multiple hurdles that must be jumped in order for the stadium to be built. With the NFL‘s Los Angeles Rams stadium being built less than a mile away (in addition to the revamped L.A. Forum, which is a popular music and entertainment venue itself), there is still a lot of negotiating and legal rigmarole to deal with for the Los Angeles Clippers to find a permanent new home.
The Clippers have long been the bridesmaid but never the bride in the NBA, as even when they were one of the best teams in the NBA, such as during the Lob City era (which ended due to “Donald Trump-level pettiness,” according to former team member J.J. Redick), the Clips were never as popular as the Lakers — and it wasn’t close.
Now that LeBron James has joined the Lakers, the Clippers are once again cast aside in favor of the feted purple-and-gold. Perhaps a new arena with a new team identity will help the Clippers return to relevancy.
While this bill is a great step in the right direction for the Clippers, California Governor Jerry Brown must sign the bill in order for it to take effect.