The Hollywood Stars. That has a nice ring to it. So does the Hollywood Knights (or Nights).
The Los Angeles Clippers are being sold to Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, for a reported $2B. Ballmer is going to be a great owner, there aren’t too many questions about that. He is a wildly successful businessman who is worth $20B and is widely respected throughout the business world for his ability to connect with people.
While Ballmer has lead multi-billion dollar companies before, the Clippers presents a unique set of challenges, some of which have never been seen before by an American sports owner. Ballmer not only has to complete the deal with the NBA and with Shelly Sterling, but he also has to clean up the Donald Sterling mess, and potentially a lawsuit upcoming from Sterling to try and block the purchase.
However, Ballmer’s biggest issue, once his officially becomes the owner, is reconnecting with the Clipper fan base and attempt to make amends for the past discretions of the Sterling ownership. What better way to clean up the mess than the rebrand the franchise?
The Los Angeles Clippers history isn’t “Sterling”, if you will. It’s more like a little gold nugget covered in piles and piles of cow dung. The Clippers have been more successful over the past three years than they have over the past 30 years combined. They’re the only team in Staples Center without a championship banner of a retired number. They’ve never made it past the second round of the playoffs. They’ve been called the worst professional sports franchise in American sports history, and that may be understating how pitiful they’ve truly been.
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The Clippers name means nothing to the fans, the players, or the city of Los Angeles. What is it is a glaring reminder of the Sterling ownership and the failures of the franchise. What better way to move forward and change the image of the franchise than to change the name of the team? There is none. Steve Ballmer’s first move as owner of the Clippers should be to change the name of the team. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Clippers fans, the city, and the NBA would embrace this change wholeheartedly and would expedite the name change for the 2015-2016 season.
So, we’ve decided that Ballmer must change the name of the team. But what would he call the new team? There are tons of options available. Here are a couple of my favorite.
1. Hollywood Stars
Is there a better name available for the Clippers? In my opinion, NO! The Hollywood Stars is a throwback to the old Pacific Coast Baseball League team in Los Angeles that used to be named the Hollywood Stars. Plus, does anything say Hollywood more than stars and celebrities? NO! Los Angeles will always be known as a Lakers town so why try to take over their territory? Why not own the whole Hollywood scene by using it in your name? The Clippers don’t play in Hollywood, yes. But the Angels don’t play in Los Angeles, the Pistons don’t play in Detroit and so on. It’s a name. It’s an identity. It doesn’t always have to match your exact zip code.
2. Hollywood Knights
Anybody like Game of Thrones? The color scheme of black and silver would mesh well with the Los Angeles Kings, as would the name. Also, the black and silver is an ode to the Los Angeles Raiders. The name is cool and hip. It’s a fantastic option.
3. Los Angeles SuperStars
Ballmer attempted to buy the Sacramento Kings and rebrand them as the Seattle SuperSonics last year. While that deal fell through, and Ballmer is permitted by the NBA from moving the team to Seattle, he could give a nice nod to the Seattle fan base and use “Super” in the new Clippers name. Also, SuperStars is a pretty sweet name that fits right into the Hollywood vibe of Los Angeles.
4. Hollywood Nights
Hollywood is known for it’s beautiful and sexy nights. What a better way to capture that vibe than to name the team the Hollywood Nights.
5. California Condors
Condors fly high. So do the Clippers. Why not transform Lob City into an actual flying animal who soars gracefully through the sky?
For more thoughts on a name change, listen to this B.S. Report podcast with Bill Simmons and Dave Dameshek on Grantland.com.
What do you think the Los Angeles Clippers and Steve Ballmer should change their name to?