OTG Series: Hire or Fire - Los Angeles Clippers Edition
For the first time ever, Off The Glass writers will be making some executive decisions regarding their favourite (or least favourite) teams, in the form of one suggested team hiring and a single team firing.
While all basketball fans can complain about the players on the court, we here at OTG are turning the blame game into an off-the-court naming exercise, where we can share our gripes with non-player personnel and offer meaningful suggestions for improvement.
Every organizational position is available here, aside from the players. Coaches, assistants, executives, video coordinators, scouts, even the mascots; everyone's resumes are on the table.
Without further ado, here is today's Hire or Fire piece on the Los Angeles Clippers.
Hire: Steve ‘Clippy’ Ballmer (Mascot)
So, when you think of a mascot and what their role is, consider that Steve ‘Clippy’ Ballmer is the perfect guy for the job. Mascots are hired to entertain and engage with fans during games and events, and that’s precisely what he does.
When watching the L.A. Clippers, it kind of feels to me that Ballmer is the unofficial mascot anyways, so why not make this official? It’s only fitting that the man who brought us the irritatingly amusing ‘Clippy’ feature on Microsoft Windows back in the late 90’s be hired here, proudly touting that name in his new role.
This coming season, the Clippers need as much support from their fans as they can get as they embark on their most important season in, well, ever. Having Clippy running around the arena with that red face of his, punching the air as if he’s struggling to breath whilst fighting for the heavyweight championship, is exactly what they need to roar the crowd on!
Ballmer embodies everything about this organization; since buying the Clippers back in 2014, he has gone on to manage them remarkably well, hiring the right people for the front office all the way through to the coaching staff. Here is Clippy’s interview tape; I'll think you'll find it to be quite convincing.
Fire: Chuck the California Condor (Mascot)
Chuck was hired in 2016. Prior to this, the Clippers were one of four NBA teams without a mascot. He was introduced at halftime during a game against the Brooklyn Nets. The bird was lowered in complete darkness from the rafters. Moments later, in a cringe-worthy scene, the spotlight hit Chuck and the fans around the arena saw him for the first time.
Somewhat reminiscent of scenes from popular cartoon films ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ and ‘Space Jam’, the new acquisition was welcomed with an underwhelming response from both the Clippers fan base and larger NBA community, creating a ‘who can come up with the best sarcastic joke’ competition on Twitter. I’m sure if you look back at videos, you could create plenty of memes from the reactions present on people's faces.
Sharing his views on the new addition, Doc Rivers said, “It’s like us. It used to be extinct and now it’s coming back." I think we can all agree that Chuck should have stayed extinct.
The Clippers are moving in a new direction, and have openly said they are considering a rebrand in the near future, most likely aligning with the opening of their new stadium in 2024. This is the perfect opportunity to start making design changes, as the organization is no longer a laughing matter. They are serious title contenders and the mascot needs to reflect this.