Posted on: March 6, 2012 3:11 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver
This tiff between the Los Angeles Clippers and superfan Darrell Bailey was already at the soap opera stage, and that was before Bailey broke down in tears on television.
To quickly recap: Bailey was essentially the only fan of the franchise for more than a decade when they were terrible and he cut no corner and spared no expense to spread the Clippers gospel. The Clippers are finally good thanks to drafting Blake Griffin and trading for Chris Paul, and now they have a problem with Bailey and some of his methods, as they believe he's working to profit personally off of their brand.
Bailey said he was "devastated" by the team's stance and then this video happened.
During an on-air interview with an ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, Bailey broke down in tears and covered his face as a clearly disturbed host attempted to explain the tension between Bailey and the Clippers.
The video serves as a reminder that whether Bailey is trying to cash in or not, he's still poured gallons of blood, sweat and tears into fashioning his identity. It's also a reminder that this is a complete mess. Why the Clippers thought it was a good idea to go public with their grievances will remain a mystery forever.
Here's the video of Clipper Darrell crying on television via YouTube user dwhizzzy and @Marcel_Mutoni.
Posted on: March 2, 2012 4:25 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Watch the video above. It's a documentary done by Bleacher Report as part of series highlighting different aspects of sports. This one being the Los Angeles Clippers most famous fan, Darrell Bailey. But you don't know who Darrell Bailey is. You know Clipper Darrell.
Here's the cliffnotes of what's happened in the past week: Clipper Darrell put up a blog post saying he was "DEVASTATED!!!" that the organization had told him to drop the Clipper off his name. The organization responded with an oddly attacking statement saying Clipper Darrell really was never a fan in the first place, just a money hungry enterpriser trying to make a buck off the team.
It's one of those things that's hard ot understand unless you're involved with the Clipper organization or are Clipper Darrell. There are probably a lot of details, a lot of information we are privy to that would help it all make sense. But when Darrell put up his blog post, the backlash was swift. The Clippers had another black eye. Reason being the organization has a spotty past, especially with owner Donald Sterling. And it would be very much like the team and owner to alienate their most loyal, most famous fan when Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are owning Lob City and have the NBA buzzing.
But then again, after reading Bill Plaschke's column in the L.A. Times, maybe it was the other way around.
"We love him in the arena, fans love him in the arena, everybody loves his energy and his passion," said Carl Lahr, longtime Clippers vice president of marketing and sales.And then shortly after Bailey went public with what happened, the documentary footage surfaced and he had the Internet buzzing about his plight. But could it all have been some brilliant plan to make a buck off the organization in a backwards way? If he wasn't succeeding by being their unofficial mascot, maybe he decided to go a different route and get people talking the other way? Could it be?
Consider this: The Clippers have given Bailey a free ticket for years, and even kept it up when a Clipper ticket turned nearly hot as a Laker one. And it's not a bad seat. It's a lower bowl ticket that's worth a fair pricetag. Say what you will about Sterling, but it's not like the organization is straight stupid. They know how it wouid look if they dumped Darrell. Why do you think they've kept him around and seemed to bend over backwards for him for so long?
I'll admit it. When Darrell's post went up, I was one of many that reacted with disgust toward the Clippers. It reeked of being a very Clipper move. Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul all tweeted support for Darrell. And then a funny thing happened: Griffin and Jordan deleted their tweets. Maybe they got a little more to the story themselves. We might have all gotten ahead of ourselves here.
Maybe the most damning piece of evidence in the column is that Bailey reportedly flew to Dallas to meet with Mark Cuban about becoming their new superfan. It was Cuban's offer, but it definitely lines up with the idea that Darrell isn't simply just a lover of Clipper basketball. But maybe a lover of Clipper Darrell and what he can get out being that.
Posted on: February 29, 2012 6:53 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 9:47 am
Posted by Royce Young
The franchise's most famous fan, Clipper Darrell, put up a post on his website Wednesday titled "I AM DEVASTATED!!!" detailing that the Los Angeles Clippers are having him remove the word "Clipper" from his superfan moniker.
It sparked some serious backlash in just a few short hours with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan all tweeting support for Clipper Darrell, while the L.A. superfan actually trended on Twitter for about an hour. The Clippers, an organization that doesn't have a sparkling public image, released a statement regarding the issue.
Via the O.C. Register, here's the statement in full:
“The Clippers have done absolutely nothing wrong or inappropriate as it concerns Darrell Bailey. His claims are absurd and unfounded. He has never been an employee or representative of the Clippers organization, and therefore cannot be terminated. The Clippers have never engaged Mr. Bailey’s services. When he has been in need, the organization has regularly provided him a seat for games. No good deed goes unpunished.
Wow. So not only did they deny the accuracy of Darrell's story, they burned Clipper Darrell to the ground. "He is not actually a fan of the Clippers, but a fan of what he can make off of the Clippers." That's... wow.
There likely has been a rush to judgment and I'm sure we all don't know the extent of the relationship and all the details involved. But that's the point of PR. To make sure the message is clear and the story is handled well. Even if the Clippers have a point, you can't deny that this is a bad look. And that release certainly isn't going to help things. They basically assassinated the fanhood of their most famous fan.
Obviously this wouldn't be a big deal as the organization certainly has a point about Clipper Darrell's portrayal as a team employee, but the timing is awful. Right when the Clippers have risen to a popular, successful team following a blockbuster trade, they alienate their most vocal and visible fan.
But then again, should we really be all that surprised?
Posted on: February 29, 2012 5:12 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 5:23 pm
You probably have no idea who Darrell Bailey is. But Clipper Darrell? You know exactly who that is.
He's the most visible, most loyal, most supportive Los Angeles Clipper fan there is. He's been a fixture at home games for the last 15 seasons. Through all the bad, very bad, and super bad, Darrell has stuck with them staying positive and upbeat.
So wouldn't it be the most Clipper thing ever that when they finally get relevant and have a bunch of bandwagon fans jumping on board, that they'd pick on what of their most loyal and vocal fans?
Unfortunately, that's exactly what they've done. Clipper Darrell is losing his first name. Now, he'll just be "Darrell." Via Clipper Darrell's blog, in a post titled "I AM DEVASTATED!!!":
It is with great sadness that I must report to all those in NBA NATION that I have been told by Clipper management they no longer want me to be Clipper Darrell, a name that was given to me by the media because of my unwavering support and team spirit. I am devastated!!!!So to recap, the Clippers have never had a problem with this over the last 15 years, but now that they're good and relevant, they do? Yep, all that talk about the Clippers organization moving forward from the past -- all crap. That free publicity Darrell gave and all that support in the past doesn't count, I guess.
From the organization's point of view, with the rise of the Clippers as a more visible franchise, Darrell is trying to capitalize on it too. He's selling Clipper Darrell merchandize such as wristbands and shirts. With the brand building, the Clippers weren't willing to just let Darrell keep on with it.
Media Bistro has some more details:
According to Bailey, the Clippers offered him an additional free season ticket if he dropped the Clipper nickname.The backlash has been fierce already, with support piling in for Darrell. Blake Griffin tweeted, "Bring back #ClipperDarrell." DeAndre Jordan tweeted: "I love Clipper Darrell....#ClipperDarrell." Chris Paul tweeted at Darrell, "WE GOT YOU!!!"
Not entirely sure what CP3 and others can do other than make their voices heard, but it's not a good look for the Clippers. For an organization trying to move past the stereotypes of being incompetant and sad, they are taking two steps backward.
Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:02 am
By Matt Moore
You know Clipper Darrell, right? He's the guy with the crazy Clipper suit, the one with the Clipper car, the one who's a staple at Staples and not for the taco-chanting Lakers fans. He's an icon in the texture of the league's fans. And he's pretty upset with the lockout. So upset, in fact, that he's staging a lockout sleep-in... at Staples. From Larry Brown Sports:
Clipper Darrell first mentioned the sleepover protest on his twitter account August 16th. “I WANT BASKETBALL BACK!! The LA Clippers finally get a superstar & now it’s an NBA lockout. I WILL SLEEP @STAPLES starting OCT.1 ..are u in?” Clipper Darrell wrote. He’s been running a countdown to the sleepover, mentioning it every few days. He’s even trying to recruit other people to join him “All NBA fans arena & restaurant employees camera people & anybody else this affects on Oct 1 protest lockout sleep over Staples Center.”via Clipper Fan Darrell Will Sleep Outside Staples Center in Protest of NBA Lockout | Larry Brown Sports.
And yes, Darrell's still serious about this.
Now, Staples is still holding events like concerts and what not, and they're probably not going to be fond of Darrell and whoever else tags along sleeping outside the building. Plus, sleeping out in the cold when what passes for fall or winter in L.A. rolls around isn't going to be a picnic. Darrell said he was boycotting the Clippers last year, which last for about two hours before he returned quickly. But it's nice to see a fan so dedicated to trying to get the game back. Not like there's anything else the fans can do to move the two sides to compromise.
And hey, nothing can be worse than following a team run by Donald Sterling, right?