Despite the addition of Chris Paul and first place in the Pacific Division standings, the Los Angeles Clippers are still … well … the Los Angeles Clippers.
The front office wants superfan “Clipper Darrell,” aka Darrell Bailey, to drop the Clipper nickname.
After Bleacher Report was denied media credentials while doing a profile on the man who has stood by the Clippers through thick and a whole lot of thin, Bailey called team president Andy Roeser to get an explanation.
Carl Lahr, senior vice president of marketing and sales, eventually returned Bailey’s call last week and informed him that the organization didn’t need him doing stories or speaking to the media on behalf of the team.
“We got to talking and I said the way I feel, you don’t want Clipper Darrell no more,” Bailey told FishbowlLA Wednesday. “You want Darrell Bailey back. They said, ‘You would do that?’”
According to Bailey, the Clippers offered him an additional free season ticket if he dropped the Clipper nickname.
“That’s when everything went haywire and they said I was trying to make money off sponsorships,” Bailey added. “If people are going to pay me to do some things, why not do it? I don’t see any harm in it as long as I’m not hurting the brand itself. I’m going to high schools, charity events, I do it all. They told me at the end of the conversation that, ‘We would like you not to be Clipper Darrell anymore and would like you to go back to Darrell Bailey.’”
Lahr could not be reached for immediate comment.
Instead of wearing his customary red and blue suit, Bailey wore all black to Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. When the Clippers return home from their six-game road trip on March 11, fans shouldn’t expect to find a vocal Bailey cheering on the team.
“Am I going to go back as Clipper Darrell? I can’t. It’s kind of hard to get back into a groove again. Honestly, it tells me they really didn’t care about me from the jump. They just used me for their advertisement and that’s the hurtful situation.”