A historic announcement came down the pipe on Wednesday that has ramifications for both the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers alike. Staples Center — which opened in 1999 and has served as a home to both NBA teams — is getting a new name.
Beginning on December 25, the building will be known as Crypto.com Arena. And while the renaming of the house that Shaq & Kobe built was inevitable, Clippers star Paul George — a native of Palmdale, CA — clearly isn’t feeling the change.
“It’ll be weird. I grew up this being Staples and Staples being, you know, the place to play; the place to be. It’ll definitely be weird,” George said. “It’s the same location, but it’s kind of like you’re stripping the history here by calling it something else. You know, from there going forward I guess it’s a new history to be written.”
Tell us how really feel, Paul.
“It’ll be weird for sure,” he added. “Good thing we won’t be here too long. We’ll be at our own place. It is what it is, I guess.”
Details on the Name Change
While George and others have been less than enthusiastic about the building’s new name, they’ll have a long time to get used to it. Per the announcement, Crypto.com’s naming rights agreement with AEG will be for the next 20 years.
The companies are set to unveil the venue’s new logo and other branding assets — including internal arena signage — on Christmas Day when the Lakers play host to Kevin Durant, James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets. Meanwhile, all of the external signage will be replaced by June of 2022.
As part of the deal, Crypto.com will also become an official cryptocurrency platform partner of both the Lakers and the NHL’s LA Kings, who also share the building along with the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.
“Known as the Creative Capital of the World, the city of Los Angeles and the people who call it home have always been pioneers, pushing the boundaries and innovating as the undeniable global leaders of culture and entertainment,” said Crypto.com Co-Founder and CEO, Kris Marszalek.
“We’re very excited about partnering with AEG and investing long term in this city, starting with Crypto.com Arena in the heart of downtown, and using our platform in new and creative ways so that cryptocurrency can power the future of world-class sports, entertainment and technology for fans in LA and around the world.”
As relayed by the Los Angeles Times and others, Crypto.com shelled out a reported $700 million for naming rights.
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Twitter Reacts to the News
George isn’t the only person taken aback by Staples Center losing its name. Other members of the team had similar reactions. Meanwhile, a number of fans took to Twitter to bemoan the change as well.
“Capitalism is so trash man,” tweeted one fan about the development.
“This gotta be the stupidest name change ever,” declared a second fan. “Love crypto but come on bro Crypto.com Arena home of the great Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson.”
“Congrats Smoothie King Arena — you no longer have the worst name in the league anymore,” another person opined.
“How does an LA fan not realize that the Staples Center name itself is iconic, regardless of the business it’s actually associated with?” wondered a fourth tweeter.