Clippers Rumors: Team ‘actively exploring’ sites for new arena

The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly ‘actively exploring’ sites to establish a new arena so the team can move on from Staples Center.

The Los Angeles Clippers have never been accepted as L.A.’s team. The purple and gold runs thick in the city and it’s a Lakers town. Thanks to their 16 NBA championships, countless iconic legends and, until the last few months, Kobe Bryant to keep their attraction alive, the Lakers have always resided over the Clippers in terms of popularity in L.A., despite far less success in recent years. However, the Clippers could be looking for a move to shake up their identity.

According to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz, Steve Ballmer and Co. are exploring sites to find a new home, most likely within southern California:

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has begun to explore potential sites for a new Clippers arena, multiple NBA sources said.

The Clippers would neither confirm nor deny they are actively searching for a location, but one NBA source said that an area that piques the franchise’s interest is Los Angeles’ westside…

One league source said the Clippers have identified six locations, all in southern California.

Since 1999, the Clippers have shared their arena with their hometown rival Lakers. Staples Center has been the home court of both teams, resulting in numerous jokes heading the Clippers’ way due to the Lakers’ championship banners gaining far more league-wide respect than the recent team photos that Doc Rivers encouraged to be put up in the rafters for Clippers games.

Arash Markazi of ESPN added to the report, saying that many in the Clippers organization believe a move will happen.

However, leaving Staples Center won’t be happening any time soon for the Clippers. Arnovitz added that a move will follow the end of their lease at Staples in 2024:

In January 2013, the Clippers agreed to a 10-year extension of their lease that would keep the team at Staples Center until June 2024. Sources say any move by the Clippers would come after they fulfill the term of the current lease.

It isn’t surprising that Ballmer is taking further action in establishing a deeper identity for his team. He’s already brought in new jerseys (to almost universal criticism) and a new team mascot with Chuck The Condor.

Of course, both look like baby steps in comparison to moving to a new arena, potentially in Los Angeles’ westside or in another city. And unless something drastically changes, nothing will be happening on that front until 2024 in terms of an actual move.

However, with a forward-thinking owner such as Ballmer, interested in the Clippers’ brand, reputation, technology and new resources such as a new practice facility for the team (Arnovitz mentioned this in his report), more research into possibles arenas is surely on the way.

If these reports are anything to go by, the Clippers and Lakers definitely won’t be sharing a home forever.