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Clippings: Intuit Dome foreshadows a change in LA

The franchise brushed off ill-intentioned critics in its quest for respect and identity.

LA Clippers Break Ground on Intuit Dome Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

At the Intuit Dome groundbreaking ceremony held on September 17, the city of Inglewood and its surrounding communities witnessed the symbolic initiation of a wide-reaching project that will have—and already has had—real consequences. In our article about the Intuit Dome, both the features of the arena and its consequences on the residents of the greater Los Angeles area were discussed, but its effects on the LA Clippers’ franchise may actually be more significant than the average Angeleno might assume.

Let’s remind ourselves of what Steve Ballmer said this past Friday, stating that the fans of the other Los Angeles team may feel threatened, which is actually a good thing. Critics on NBA Twitter have had their voices heard loud and clear, but for the Clippers, all of that is a jumble of white noise. Instead, the focus is on the cultivation of an identity that is inherently one of Los Angeles, but distinct from that of the Lakers. And that brings us the Intuit Dome, a venture that is innovative, unyielding, and all-encompassing.

LA Clippers Break Ground on Intuit Dome
Ballmer’s presentation kept the audience engaged and optimistic of the new arena.
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Like the Clippers, the Intuit Dome is sharing a city with a respected counterpart that typically overshadows the former. Like the Clippers, the Intuit Dome seeks to exceed expectations and set a professional standard. Like the Clippers, the Intuit Dome seeks to give back to the community that has graciously afforded it a home. And, at the head of this, is team governor Steve Ballmer, who made it all happen with a fierce streak of independence and an unmatched determination of a basketball fan with all the resources in the world at his disposal to create a basketball mecca. Just look at his overpriced purchase of the Forum, which simultaneously paved the way for the Intuit Dome to be built while challenging LA’s traditional hierarchy of basketball power.

In short, the creation of a new arena for the Clippers gives the franchise a true home, which will help cultivate an organic identity without having to look over one’s shoulder. And perhaps this new identity will kickstart a period of success, leaving all reminders of mediocrity in the STAPLES Center’s hidden tunnel.

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