Why the Clippers have told Darrell Bailey, aka ‘Clipper Darrell,’ to cease and desist

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“It is with great sadness that I must report to all those in NBA NATION that I have been told by Clipper management they no longer want me to be Clipper Darrell, a name that was given to me by the media because of my unwavering support and team spirit. I am devastated!!!!” wrote Darrell Bailey on his blog today (linked here).

For more than a decade, a season-ticket holder and a self-professed fan of a team that otherwise had few, Bailey says he felt “vindicated for all the years we as Clipper fans have gone through trials and tribulations and NOW we have a team that can win it all.” But now he says he is “stripped of my identity.”

He says the team has fired him. Told him to stop showing up.

The Clippers say otherwise, that he’s been trying to unlawfully monetize his perceived association with them.

Either that, or they feel he’s too much a goofball to be linked to now that they’re kinda good now.

In a statement by the team, Clippers management calls Bailey’s claims “absurd and unfounded,” and since he was never a team employee, he can’t be terminated.

“The Clippers have never engaged Mr. Bailey’s services,” they said. “When he has been in need, the organization has regularly provided him a seat for games. No good deed goes unpunished.

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Costas’ ‘Tonight’ debuts … uh, tonight

NBA commish David Stern, NHL commish Gary Bettman and WBC welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather will go down as the first guests for Bob Costas’ new “Costas Tonight” hour-long interview show that airs on the NBC Sports Network starting at 5 p.m. tonight.

Costas paired up with an interview show is not new territory. It goes back to his sit-downs with all kinds of celebrities on “Costas Now” for HBO a few years ago, “Later With Bob Costas” on NBC back in the late ’80s and early ’90s and even “Costas Coast to Coast” syndicated radio show. The MLB Network has been using him to do sit-downs with former baseball greats from the past. Costas also recently contributed to the new NBC series, “Rock Center with Brian Williams,” getting Jerry Sandusky to make a fool of himself.

What you’ll get tonight, based on the interview transcripts (the show was taped Tuesday), is Bettman talking about how concussions are “a serious issue,” and Stern calling the Jeremy Lin phenomenon a “frenzy on a global scale.”

We’re most interested in Mayweather’s fair-weathered remarks about a potential fight with Manny Pacquiao while he squirms in his seat in Studio 8G at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (see video above).

Costas will also get a small parting shot at HBO by throwing out a question related to Bryant Gumbel’s commentary about the NBA lockout a few months back, where he called Stern “some kind of modern plantation overseer, treating the NBA men as if they were his boys.”

Bettman: “Let me answer first, because I worked with David for over 12 years. That is probably the most ignorant, stupid statement I’ve ever heard. Anybody who knows David knows that nothing could be further from the truth.”

Stern: “Thank you, friend Gary. I actually, you know, sort of enjoyed it to a degree because the flood of phone calls that I got from a very diverse community said ‘What is this guy’s problem?’ And I said, ‘His ratings are going down, it’s a slow news day, he wants some headlines.’ And I wouldn’t say anything publicly, it was taken care of by Charles Barkley and Jesse Jackson.”

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As long as you don’t call Mike Stanton ‘Francis,’ he’s cool … with Giancarlo

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By Steven Wine
Associated Press

JUPITER, Fla. — His mom calls him Cruz.

Teammates call him Bigfoot.

Most baseball fans know him as Mike Stanton, precocious slugger for the Miami Marlins, but his first name is actually Giancarlo.

“The man of a million names,” said the former Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks standout.

He likes them all, but with spring training cranking up and Stanton touted as a future home-run champion, he said today he prefers Giancarlo.

For the first time, that’s the way he’s identified on the Marlins’ roster. That’s also the name on his paycheck and above his locker. That’s what team owner Jeffrey Loria calls him.

But Stanton’s dad calls him Mike, and many of his relatives call him Mikey.

“I respond to many names,” he said. “It’s all good.”

The Marlins expect to see his surname in a lot of headlines this year. He has 56 career home runs, and in the past 40 years only Ken Griffey Jr. (60) and Alex Rodriguez (56) have hit at least that many before their 22nd birthday. Stanton turned 22 in November.

“This kid has potential that’s unbelievable,” new manager Ozzie Guillen said.

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Wednesday night NFL football? Why not

The NFL doesn’t have its 2012 schedule out yet, but it already has made clear today that the annual season-opening game featuring the defending champion New York Giants will be on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at 8:30 p.m., (EDT) on NBC — moved up a day as to not conflict with President Barack Obama’s Thursday night speech at the Democratic National Convention.

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Truth is, Mike Tyson as a Vegas act has been done before

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You’ll been in Vegas a few extra weekend anyway, suffering from March Madness hangover, with no real reason to stay any longer. Why not stop extend the stay and head over at the MGM Grand and catch Mike Tyson’s new one-man show during a break in the NBA schedule?

Because, you’ve remember the final scene from “Hangover 2,” and you know better. Or you caught the YouTube clip of him singing “The Girl from Ipanema” on a Brazilian television show, and, again, you know better.

And you saw how the movie “Raging Bull” ended with Jake LaMotta trying to become a lounge act, and you still know better.

It’s surreally unbecomming for everyone involved. Kind of like the upcoming Beach Boys’ reunion tour.

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SPI Entertainment announced today the “world premiere” of what they’re calling “Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth – Live on Stage,” where the former heavyweight champ of the world does an “electric” and “no-holds-barred” rendition of his life. The show runs from April 13-18, with performances nightly at 8 p.m. at the hotel’s Hollywood Theatre.

The press release says Tyson “will thrill audiences with untold stories, peeling back layers of tragedy and public turmoil while unfolding his tale of triumph and survival. In an up-close-and-personal setting featuring images, music and video, Tyson, in an intimate and theatrical setting, will share the stories of his life and experiences as a professional athlete and controversies in and out of the ring.”

Tickets start at $99.99 plus tax and service fees. Special VIP packages are $499.99 and include a meet-and-greet and photo with Tyson. They go on sale Friday at noon.

For more info: www.MGMGrand.com.

Or, just rent the 2008 James Torback documentary, “Tyson” (linked here) on Netflix. It’s far less expensive, and you can shower off easier afterwards.

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