Laker fans are getting an extra special gift this Christmas. (N.B., fans of the Clippers, Kings, and Sparks are getting the same gift.)
Yes, under their purple-and-gold decked tree, bright with the hope that their beloved Los Angeles team will turn around their embarrassing season that is at present most notable for its elderly players and fierce dedication to a style of play that does not win games, will sit a bright, shining, sort of computer-y looking box. Creeping from their bedrooms on Christmas morning, their Lakers apparel wet with anticipatory sweat, the fans will carefully tear back the corners of their gift. What could it be? A scarf? A time machine? No — oh no … not this, please no, not:
Yes, beginning on Christmas Day, December 25, 2021, the Staples center will be known as “the Crypto.com arena.” The deal was announced Tuesday night, and ESPN reports Singapore-based Crypto.com will pay $700 million over 20 years to rename the 20,000 seat stadium.
According to NPR, the venue will feature “lots of Crypto.com signage and branding.” This will include “a 3,300 sq. ft ‘activation space’ at the building's entrance and ‘dedicated activation areas’ throughout the arena.” These spaces will offer, says the LA Times, “crypto-centric interactive experiences for sports or music fans.” Ah yes, that certainly sounds very cool. In addition, the agreement makes Crypto.com the Lakers’ and the Kings’ "official cryptocurrency platform partner.”
According to ESPN, Reggie Jackson expressed unhappiness about the name change, saying, "[The Lakers] have their history here, Kobe, especially my era, growing up, watching those championships. Shaq [O'Neal]. Nah, it's too many memories. It's gonna be hard to not call it Staples.”
Indeed it will be. Still, congratulations are in order for the Crypto.com arena. You have taken Ball Arena’s top spot as “Most Embarrassingly Named Sports Center in the United States,” and no one can take that away from you until Mark Zuckerberg buys the Miami Heat and forces them to play as digital avatars in the Zucky Good Boy Metaplayplace.
Our prayers are with Santa on this frightful day.