How a Taylor Swift banner haunted Clippers until they made it disappear

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The Clippers knew the Taylor Swift banner was trouble when it walked in.
In late 2020, eagle-eyed Los Angeles sports reporter Arash Markazi noticed a championship banner gifted to Swift by late Lakers legend Kobe Bryant had gone missing from the rafters at Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center), the home of the Lakers, Clippers and the NHL’s Kings.
Markazi followed up on the case of the missing banner and discovered it was in storage, The Messenger reported Wednesday.
Kobe Bryant and Taylor Swift in 2015. Christopher Polk
“We have the banner here,” Crypto.com Arena president Lee Zeidman told the outlet. “It’s folded up and locked away in a room here at the arena where we store other things.”
The banner was given to Swift by Bryant in August 2015 to represent the 16 sold-out shows she had at the Staples Center.
The Lakers’ partners in the building, the Clippers and Kings, were apparently not devout Swifties, going out of their way to obstruct the banner.
“Clippers fans quickly grew tired of jokes that Swift had more championship banners (1) than the Clippers (0). The Clippers initially covered up the banner along with the entire west rafters with giant portraits of their players. Before the start of the 2019-2020 season, the Kings followed suit,” The Messenger reported, noting Lakers fans also didn’t like the fact the banner was bigger than those of all the franchise’s championships.
Vanessa Bryant and her daughters with Taylor Swift in August 2023. Taylor Swift/Instagram
So the banner was taken down before the 2020-21 NBA and NHL seasons to make space for the championship banner the Lakers earned in the NBA bubble.
Zeidman, however, teased the possibility of the banner’s return in the future, likely when the Clippers relocate to their new arena, the Intuit Dome, and two-year renovations of Crypto.com Arena are complete.
“We are going to look for a place to display it on the main concourse,” Zeidman said. “We want to make it a photo-op where fans can take a picture with it.”
Vanessa Bryant honored her late husband at Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour” in August 2023. Taylor Swift/Instagram
As for Swift, she has graduated from arenas to stadiums, but the Crypto.com Arena is hoping she could have a “residence” in the building at some point, a la Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden.
Swift brought her blockbuster “Eras Tour” to Los Angeles last month, where Bryant’s widow, Vanessa, honored the memory of her late husband, and their daughter, Gianna at one of the concerts.
Kobe and Gianna both died in a helicopter crash in 2020.

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