Crypto.com Arena? Many are already refusing to let ‘Staples Center’ go
The Staples Center is no more.
On Christmas Day, the longtime home of the Los Angeles Lakers, L.A. Clippers, Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Sparks will have a fresh alias: the Crypto.com Arena.
Crypto.com is reportedly paying $700 million for proprietary rights to the legendary arena’s name for the next 20 years. The cryptocurrency exchange site is headquartered in Singapore. The office supply company Staples originally doled out $120 million for 20-year naming rights back in 1999.
The Staples Center opened on October 17, 1999, adjacent to the Los Angeles Convention Center. It’s the only facility to house two NBA teams, but it’s chiefly known for, and synonymous with, the Lakers and their historic title runs.
Whether you dub it “The house that Kobe built” or “The house that Shaq built,” it saw six championship banners ascend to the rafters during its tenure under the “Staples” moniker, including three with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, two more with Bryant and Pau Gasol, and one more with LeBron James and Anthony Davis (even though that title was won in the NBA bubble).
The history within the center is rich and so are countless memories housed inside it. So naturally, there were a number of people who expressed dissidence with the impending shift.
Paul George of the Clippers was one of them. A California native, George grew up during Bryant’s heyday, and vividly remembers the legendary squad’s early 2000s runs.
“I grew up this being Staples and Staples being the place to play and the place to be,” George said following Tuesday’s announcement.
“From here going forward, I guess it’s a new history to be written. It’ll be weird for sure, [but] we’ll be at our own place. It is what it is I guess.”
Construction is currently underway on a new arena for the Clippers in Inglewood, Calif. It will be dubbed the Intuit Dome and is scheduled to open in 2024.
George’s teammate Reggie Jackson was on board with that train of thought, concurring that he “can’t see” the arena as anything other than Staples.
“[The Lakers] have their history here. Kobe, especially my era, growing up, watching those championships. Shaq [O’Neal]. Nah, it’s too many memories. It’s gonna be hard to not call it Staples,” he said.
Others were able to make light of the situation, maintaining that the name-change was just a product of the ever-changing times.
“This news was met with a bit of heartbreak online,” Kevin Wildes said Wednesday on “First Things First.”
“People have a real affinity for Staples. [Some of you] didn’t always love Staples. You were online, buying your office supplies. I would’ve seen you in the notebook aisle. Log on to Crypto.com and buy some Crypto.”
But several reporters were in agreement with the opinions posed by George and Jackson.
“It will always be known as the Staples Center, no matter how many hundreds of millions of dollars Crypto.com paid for the naming rights,” USA Today reporter Bryan Kalbrosky wrote in an opinion column.
“Nothing means anything until we decide that it means something. This place is only going to be known as Crypto Dot Com Arena (it really doesn’t roll off the tongue, my goodness) if people buy in and agree to call it that.”
Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, also shared a photo to Instagram following the breaking news.
Here is how the rest of the sports-slash-Twitter world reacted to the news:
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