Steve Ballmer/Associated Press file photo by Paul Sakuma
Unless the Clippers were to find a way to get out of their lease at Staples Center, they will be tenants there through June 2024.
That’s not the best scenario for the Clippers, who are basically the third team in that building behind the L.A. Kings and Lakers, even though all three teams began playing in the building when it opened in 1999.
Take this past weekend. The Clippers had to play back-to-back day games against Charlotte and New Orleans on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The Kings had the night game Saturday, the Lakers on Sunday.
If the Clippers had their own building, that Sunday game would never have been scheduled for during the day.
Coach Doc Rivers was asked before Sunday’s game if the scenario wants to make him talk to owner Steve Ballmer about the team getting its own building once the lease expires. Rivers balked at first.
“I’m not going to comment on that,” he said. Then he did.
“No, I don’t know,” he said. “I mean, obviously, every team would rather have their own building, but it’s not awful. But you would love to play the evening game tonight; I don’t mind back-to-back.
“But the smart thing would have been 12:30, 7:30. That would have been smart for us, but didn’t work out that way. I’m sure Steve thinks of things like that all the time.”
Unfortunately for the Clippers, they signed a 10-year extension on their Staples Center lease in January 2013, before Ballmer purchased the Clippers in May 2014.
The Clippers, Lakers and Kings work with Staples Center owner AEG, the NBA and the NHL for scheduling times and dates. The Clippers got the short end of the stick this past weekend.