A few weeks ago, when the Los Angeles Clippers created a media frenzy by asking their biggest (or at least their most recognizable) fan to essentially “back off,” I took the side of the Clippers. While it may have seemed ridiculous to some for the Clippers to ask Darrell Bailey to no longer go by the name “Clipper Darrell,” it was a smart PR move by the organization.
Darrell Bailey wanted to use his persona to make money by making public appearances in his custom-made blue and red Clipper suit. He would roll up in his red and blue painted Clipper car, but the team had no control over what he did or where he went.
Now that has changed. Bailey and the Clippers have come to an agreement that Bailey will notify the organization of any appearances he is going to make and any endorsement deals he’s considering.
“We have a mutual understanding of what my role is now,” Bailey said. “Nothing has changed. I’m still doing what I’ve been doing, but I’m letting the Clippers know when I make certain appearances. All these appearances though are through season-ticket holders that asked me to come to their kids’ games. People wanted to make it seem like I was making appearances in front of Ralph’s [grocery stores] or something. It’s not like that.”
In a rare occurrence, it seems like the Clippers organization has done something right. Even if they waited a lot longer than they should have to get this done, all parties are happy with the way things are now.
“I’m always going to love this team,” Bailey said. “This team has brought me through a lot of pain and suffering. I didn’t realize how much love I had from the fans. The Clipper Darrell chants have been wonderful for me. It’s been a beautiful situation. I can’t complain one bit.”
“Clipper Darrell” has the love of the fans, the city and even the players. It would have been tough for the organization to shed the image of being selfish, controlling, financially focused monsters, even if they were right in the first place. Now they just need to win something.