Advertisement

Can the Clippers new look establish them as L.A.'s team? | Good Word with Goodwill

Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill is joined by Sam Amick of The Athletic to discuss the latest move in the Clippers' rebrand - from a new arena to new logo & uniforms - and how the push to separate themselves from the Lakers plays into it all. Hear the full conversation on “Good Word with Goodwill” - part of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Video Transcript

VINCENT GOODWILL: The Los Angeles Clippers are going through a complete and massive rebrand. They are moving to Inglewood to the Intuit Dome starting next season. But now they've changed the team colors, the jerseys, the logo, where it looks like a little bit like a ship pointing north with a C around it. Is this necessary? Do you like it, or is it just further separating themselves from any vestiges of the Donald Sterling era? Further separating themselves from any comparison to the Lakers?

SAM AMICK: I mean, first of all, it's not only separating yourself from the previous Sterling era, it's the Lakers component. They have to, you know what I mean? Because business-wise, I don't think casual fans, so to speak, understand the absolute massive divide between the Lakers fan base and what that entails and the Clippers, even to this day, you know? Even with the better team and better players at this particular time.

But you know, Steve Ballmer, I am buying what he's selling. You know what I mean? Like you get the arena done, all-star weekend coming in two years. That's going to be a huge moment for them. And this is the best kind of branding, is just go out and play really good basketball. To go get Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the floor, to convince these guys that, enough with the load management era, like it's time-- as your contracts come up this summer-- to go compete and to go play. And they, obviously, get James Harden, and they have a good thing going.

But the branding stuff comes with it. They have to absolutely, kind of, grind and fight tooth and nail for every fan in that city, because that is still to this day a massive Laker city.

VINCENT GOODWILL: Yeah, and I will tell you this, I think they're halfway there. I think it takes about 20 years for a fan base to truly connect with a franchise. When Doc Rivers got there in 2013, that's when we started looking at the Clippers. Chris Paul was already there. Blake Griffin had already been there. I feel like we started looking at them differently.

Then a year later Ballmer comes because of the whole Donald Sterling fiasco, and now we're 10 years later. The building is going to be one thing, being in the heart of Inglewood is-- the Intuit Dome, then right across the street from that is SoFi, then a little bit further down it's The Forum. Like this is really in the heart of Inglewood.

And I like the colors. The colors look serious, the logo looks like you should be taking us completely serious. And I do think that from a optics perspective, Sam, and from a, we know this is a long game thing, Sam, I feel like they're making the right moves.

SAM AMICK: I'm with you. I'm with you. And not only that, I mean again, the marketing department exists for a reason, all these things matter. But the basketball is first and foremost and within that-- I don't know how you feel about this, but if we were doing a power rankings of high functioning organizations they are doing pretty well. They are title contenders this year.