Hear me out: From LA Clippers to Inglewood Aviators

With Steve Ballmer’s unveiling for a brand new arena for the Clippers in the city of Inglewood and a potential rebrand of the franchise, I started giving some thought as to what I believed would be the best way the Clippers could become the embodiment of the area that they will be moving to. I think I may have discovered that name for my beloved team: Inglewood Aviators. As someone who was born in Inglewood and raised adjacent to one of the most recognizable names in Los Angeles County, here are my justifications on why this would be the perfect rebrand for the Clippers.

Inglewood is near LAX and home to multiple aeronautic centers

As I have driven through Inglewood for years going to my siblings’ athletic events, I observed multiple buildings that are dedicated to aviation and engineering. The Aviators would be a great way to attract the true LA native and those that work at nearby airports and facilities. With Inglewood’s proximity to LAX and practically being the first place you enter when you visit LA, what better way to promote a team than having numerous¬†“Inglewood Aviators’ advertisements strewn through one of the busiest airports in the world. Aviation is one of the great prides for the westside of LA and would make perfect sense for a re-branding team moving to Inglewood.

Taking on Inglewood name over keeping LA untethers franchise from Lakers

Ever since the Clippers have moved to LA, they have been bullied by Laker nation and referred to as the little brothers in the city. For as massive as LA County is, becoming the Inglewood Aviators instead of the LA Aviators would break that dynamic from the Lakers, allowing the Clippers to form their own identity and grow their roots in the city. The Downtown LA/Hollywood fantasy of the city can belong to the Lakers, while the Clippers can take on the true heart and soul of it.

Inglewood Aviators does not come off as corny or a gimmick

I have seen some potential names thrown out like the Los Angeles Stars or California Coast, but they would just make the franchise look ridiculous. By any means necessary, they cannot become the Los Angeles Beaches because you already know how their rivals are going to send that nickname into vulgar purgatory. Ballmer needs to stray away as much as possible from how LA is viewed from outside and embrace the roots of this city. Do not be Hollywood; be Los Angeles.

In conclusion…

I have all the faith that Steve Ballmer will find the best-fitting rebrand for the Clippers. He has rebuilt the franchise after a tumultuous run following the ugly breakups with Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, and Blake Griffin. Five years from now, this franchise can become THE sports hotbed of LA. With the meat of the NBA season taking place after the NFL season, Inglewood would be the new hotspot for sports in LA over STAPLES Center(sorry Kings, but you can move here as well though if you choose). “Inglewood Aviators” rolls off the tongue perfectly and would be an iconic brand name for the city of Los Angeles.

If the name I suggest does not suffice for you, what would you re-brand the Clippers to?

 

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Thoughts on the 2019 NBA Christmas Day Games

The greatest day in the NBA regular season has been finalized for the upcoming season and the slate of matchups on deck for this special day is as intriguing as the NBA can get, especially for what could be a season for the ages. I am going to give my thoughts on the games in the order that I think they will take place from early morning to evening as the times have not been made official yet. Let’s get into it!

Bucks vs. 76ers

This was one of the games that I predicted would happen a few weeks ago after Kawhi and Paul George joined the Clippers. These squads should be the top two in the Eastern Conference at this time, thus having this game set the bar for who the better team will be for the remainder of the season. The matchup I am looking most forward to is the battle in the trenches between Al Horford and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Clippers vs. Lakers

The matchup that the sports world throughout the regular season will have one of their four meetings on Christmas Day as expected. The game should take place in the premiere time slot in the afternoon on the East Coast and around noon-ish on the West Coast. Kawhi, Paul George, and Pat Beverley versus LeBron, Anthony Davis, and DeMarcus Cousins. All eyes will be glued to the television and should be their first meeting of the season to up the ante.

Celtics vs. Raptors

The Raptors were the one team that I did not expect could land on Christmas Day after the loss of Kawhi. However, I am intrigued to see where they fit in the Eastern Conference layout. Are they still a conference title contender or will they be a mid-tier, non-contender? Pascal Siakam will be the man to watch as he is now THE guy in Toronto. I would have preferred to see Kyrie Irving, now on the Brooklyn Nets, take on his former team that he left with quite bitterly. Having the game in Boston would have been peak entertainment and Kyrie versus Kemba would have been an epic, 48-minute war.

Pelicans vs. Nuggets

Zion Williamson versus Nikola Jokic? SIGN ME UP. Aside from Zion, the New Orleans Pelicans are still a team that I have on my radar to surprise the NBA and reach the postseason. With the additions of the young trio in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, and Josh Hart, plus veteran leadership in Jrue Holiday and JJ Redick, the Pelicans should be an entertaining team to watch. Denver is the only team, at the moment, that could steal a top-two spot from the Lakers or Clippers. Jamal Murray should breakout into an elite player in the league by then to give us a very exciting late afternoon game.

Rockets vs. Warriors

The Russell Westbrook-James Harden handicap match versus Steph Curry should be quite the show to close out our Christmas celebrations. With the addition of D’Angelo Russell, who currently replaces a recovering Klay Thompson, this game will play out as the three-point shootout we expect(with a lot of misses). It will also give sense into what kind of season Golden State will have and it will be cool to see the Chase Center on the national stage, even though we probably will see it on national TV multiple times prior to Christmas.

So those were my thoughts on the 2019 Christmas Day Games for the NBA. Are you intrigued by these matchups and if you could swap out a matchup or two, which would you insert?

The Lakers represent everything about LA: A Cultureless Cesspool of Transplants

Twenty years of growing up in the city of Los Angeles have culminated into this piece. It pains me to be writing this but it is about time that LA, and the people residing in it, get called out for the lack of culture in the city and the reality that LA is not a sports town. From childhood to today, the city that I have called my home has experienced meteoric changes for the worst. LA prided itself on its diversity, no matter your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, this city was a haven for all. However, as we advanced further in time and my understanding of the city expands, LA is only a city with a visual representation of two distinct social classes. The wealthy, “important” people live in the hills while everyone else looks up and aspires to be them. Every day, people like myself, received those constant reminders as we drove to school or work. You would look out to the hills and see the majestic homes and wonder to yourself why are we not like them. Here is the thing, the people with these homes were not born and bred in LA. It reminds you of a certain LA professional sports team that has never been an accurate representation of LA, oh yeah, the Lakers.

First off, the Lakers? Where in Los Angeles is there a natural lake? You have to go past Six Flags to even get to a man-made lake. The population in LA has seen a shift, especially on the westside, thanks to gentrification. These gentrifiers are people coming from the midwest and taking over the city to build their business and live out their dream lives because LA is such a magical place to live. It’s where dreams come true… The Lakers came from the midwest as well. Minneapolis, Minnesota was their original home and for odd reasons, the citizens of LA want to throw that history under the rug. Not one Laker legend has ever been born and raised in LA. Magic Johnson, a midwesterner, has a statue outside STAPLES Center, even though he never played in the arena. Yes, Magic is a Laker legend but this expands my argument of why LA is cultureless. This year, the Clippers are bringing in two superstars, both born and raised in LA, but will be ostracized by the city come October in favor of two transplants brought onto the Lakers. Anthony Davis is from Illinois and LeBron James is from Ohio. Can someone explain to me what the Laker brand has to do with Los Angeles? Hollywood has never been an accurate representation of LA. Why will a population of people in LA embrace a franchise that is the definition of everything they have come to hate about LA in 2019?

The reason why the Lakers have always been embraced and why they will be more embraced this upcoming season than ever before is simply because LA is not a sports town. The majority of LA citizens do not attend sporting events because they are hardcore fans of those teams. They do it for social media, A.K.A. “clout”. Whether it be a Laker, Dodger, or Ram game, LA is attending these events because it is popular. If these teams were not playoff contenders, nobody would be attending these games. Just look at the Rams’ first season in LA when they went 4-12 and the Coliseum was empty. You do not see empty seats at Browns games, Raider games, any professional Canadian teams or any European soccer clubs because the fans are passionate about the sport that they are attending and these franchises embody everything about their city. When the Dodgers lost two straight World Series, nobody put pressure on the franchise to make the winning decisions. Not media, not fans, no one. This does not happen in hardcore sports towns like Boston. Why do you think Boston wins championships year after year? Sports media in that city lights their teams on fire when they struggle because they care about the franchise and want to see them win. The LA population could not care less if their teams won or lost. They just care about the clout and showing up when a team is succeeding because it is popular. If you ever wanted to live in a nightmare of bandwagons, then LA is your destination.

Minus a few areas that still hold that true LA culture, LA is a lost cost for any type of defined culture. Thanks to the gentrifiers colonizing the city and the masses turning a blind eye towards this major problem, it has given a false impression on the dynamic between how the Lakers and Clippers are viewed in the city and has given an unearned arrogance to LA sports fans.

Photo via David Crane|Los Angeles Daily News