Clippers star Paul George grew up in Los Angeles and the Staples Center has been the center of basketball in the city for most of his life. Now, for the first time since it opened in 1999, the iconic arena will switch naming rights, after signing a massive deal with the cryptocurrency website Crypto.com.
According to Sam Dean of the Los Angeles Times, the website reportedly paid $700 million for a 20-year naming deal with AEG, which operates the arena.
George doesn't appear to be a big fan of the change. He was asked about it after the Clippers' 106–92 win over the Spurs at the Staples Center on Tuesday.
"It'll be weird. I grew up this being Staples and Staples being the place to play, and the place to be. It'll definitely be weird," George said. "It's the same location, but it's kind of like you're stripping the history here by calling it something else. From there going forward I guess it's a new history to be written."
He likely isn't alone in that reaction around Los Angeles. The Clippers will only play a few seasons in the newly-named Crypto.com Arena. The team will relocate to its own arena, Inglewood's Intuit Dome, which is set to open in 2024.
"It'll be weird for sure," George said. Good thing we won't be here too long. We'll be at our own place. It is what it is, I guess."
The Staples Center name change is reportedly set to take place on Dec. 25.
The Lakers will host the Nets for a Christmas night game as the first major event under the new arena name.
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