“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.
“We have had multiple conversations with him concerning his inappropriate use of the Clippers’ team name and trademark for his own unmonitored commercial gain. We have spoken to him repeatedly about his desire to make public appearances in ways which improperly suggest that he is officially affiliated with our organization. In all cases and over a long period of time, he has consistently rejected our efforts to operate in consultation.
“In a conversation with an authoritative and tenured Clippers’ executive last week, he was asked again to either consult with the team on all public appearances and/or commercial ventures, or stop undertaking those opportunities representing himself inappropriately. His response was an offer to stop representing himself commercially in that way and his offer was accepted in principle.The next thing we heard was the baseless claims he has made today and the ensuing media rush to judgment.
“We hold all of our fans in the highest esteem and we have been patient and generous with Mr. Bailey. He has not returned our support in an honorable way. He is not actually a fan of the Clippers, but a fan of what he can make off of the Clippers. We are no longer interested in that kind of association with him, and that is why we accepted his offer to remove our team name from his stage name.”
Those who may remember “Dancing Barry” during the times he’s show in the fourth quarter during Lakers games at the Forum, this sounds pretty familiar. Barry wanted the team to pay him for how he’d get the fans riled up. The team didn’t think it was worth it. Barry left.
So long, Darrell. Your ship has sailed.