On Tuesday, news broke that the STAPLES Center will soon be known as Crypto.com Arena.
One of the more famous arenas in sports, STAPLES Center has been home for the Lakers and Clippers for over two decades. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the change will go into effect on Christmas Day (Dec. 25). It’s believed to be “the largest U.S. venue naming rights deal to date.”
“It’ll be weird,” Clippers star Paul George responded when asked about his thoughts on the STAPLES Center being renamed. “I grew up this being STAPLES and STAPLES being the place to play and the place to be. It’ll definitely be weird.”
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Paul George on Staples Center being renamed Crypto .com Arena:
“It’ll definitely be weird. It’s the same location but it’s kind of like stripping the history here by calling it something else…Good thing we won’t be here too long.”pic.twitter.com/r2JPCtWDF2
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 17, 2021
Born in Palmdale, California, George said that he was both a Lakers and Clippers fan growing up. It’s also well known that he idolized Kobe Bryant, once calling the Lakers legend his Michael Jordan.
George saw the Lakers win three straight championships between 2000-02, plus back-to-back championships between 2009-10. The STAPLES Center has been his home arena since 2019 when he was traded from the Thunder to the Clippers.
“I mean, it’s the same location, but it’s kind of like stripping the history here by calling it something else. From here going forward, I guess it’s a new history to be written.
“It’ll be weird for sure. Good thing we won’t be here too long. We’ll be at our own place. It is what it is I guess.”
The Clippers recently broke ground on a new arena in Inglewood, which is set to open in 2024.
Now in his third season as a member of the Clippers, George is averaging 27.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 2.2 steals per game. He’s powered the Clippers to a 9-5 start despite the team being without two-time Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard due to injury, placing LA in fifth place in the Western Conference standings.
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Following their win over the Spurs, the Clippers go on a two-game road trip, facing the Grizzlies and Pelicans.