Clippers star Paul George reacts to Staples Center name change to Crypto.com Arena
LOS ANGELES — It was just announced that the famous Staples Center, which has housed some absolutely historic moments in Downtown LA, will soon have a new name. Starting Dec. 25, the arena will be called Crypto.com Arena, and Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George has some reservations about the name change.
The arena, which will house the Clippers in addition to the Los Angeles Lakers, Kings, and Sparks, has been named Staples Center since its opening in 1999. The Lakers won five NBA titles at Staples Center. The Kings won two Stanley Cups. The Sparks won three WNBA championships.
News of the arena’s new naming rights broke during the Clippers’ home game against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night, sending media members and even some fans at Staples Center into a bit of a frenzy.
After the team’s win over the Spurs, Paul George wasn’t sure about transitioning to the new arena name.
“It’ll be weird,” Paul George admitted. “I grew up, this being Staples, and Staples being the place to play and the place to be. It’ll definitely be weird. It’s just, it’s the same location, but it’s kind of like just stripping the history here by calling it something else. You know, from there going forward, it’s I guess the new history to be written. But it’ll be weird. For sure.”
While the Lakers, Kings, and Sparks should stay at Staples Center for the foreseeable future, the Clippers are planning their move to Inglewood. Construction on their new arena, the Intuit Dome, has already begun and is expected to be open for the start of the 2024-25 NBA season.
“Good thing we won’t be here too long, so, we’ll be at our own place,” George joked. “So it is what it is, I guess.”
"It'll be weird. I grew up this being Staples and Staples being the place to play. It's kind of like stripping the history here by calling it something else… Good thing we won't be here too long."
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) November 17, 2021
Cryptocurrency has grown exponentially over the last few years, but especially so over the pandemic. George says he and the team he has put around him have gotten him into cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
“Yeah I’m into crypto,” George said with a laugh. “I mean it’s something that’s growing and I’m not the smartest person in the room, but I’ve had people around me that’s kind of educated me on crypto, NFTs, and just where it’s going, so it’s no surprise that crypto found a way to get their hands on an arena just with where it’s all going. So it’s no surprise, but yeah, i definitely am into crypto and want to see it through.”
While the AEG team is busy changing the name of Staples Center, Paul George and his teammates are busy winning on the court. The Clippers won their ninth game of the year and eighth in their last nine games on Tuesday by defeating the Spurs, 106-92.
George has been playing at an MVP level all season, averaging 27.0 points, 8.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2.2 steals per game.