On December 25th, the Staples Center, home to the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks, will become the Crypto.com Arena. Like my Aunt Kathy, the Lakers are sending sports fans a Christmas present that no one wants or needs.
The Staples Center opened in 1999 with Bruce Springstein and the E Street Band as the opening musical act. It’s been home to seven NBA Finals, three WNBA Finals, two Stanley Cup Finals and the 1st Annual Latin Grammy Awards. Famously known as the House That Kobe Built, this history will all be stripped away thanks to a $700 million dollar price tag.
As Twitter started to burn with the announcement of the name change, I phoned my good friend Luke Tarsitano, a lifelong Lakers fan who recently got a tattoo of Kobe Bryant on his forearm. I thought he was the perfect person to gauge the situation. “I’m hurt”, the former star of the ABC show Fudge responded, “I feel like I’m living in a simulation.”
That line struck me. NFTs remain a microcosm of our current cultural climate; a time capsule subject that will be discussed at length in any future VH1 production of ‘I Love The 2020s’.
Where does this all end? Will the Boston Red Sox be in talks to rename Fenway Park, Bored Ape Arena? Will a shareholders meeting in Wisconsin decide to tear down historic Lambeau and install the Squid Games Dome? Instead of Chicago choosing to move the Bears to Arlington Heights maybe they’ll turn Soldier Field into the Fortnite Fortress.
All of that does not help my friend Luke, however. As distraught as he was I attempted to console him, stating ‘he’ll be calling it The Crypt in no time”. He responded with a simple “indeed”