“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.