No one really cares about the Clippers in Los Angeles, and definitely not in the rest of the United States, but when you are a poor college student and can’t afford Lakers tickets, the Clippers start looking really good. Also, I have seen Blake Griffin twice at USC athletic events, so I feel like we’re friends and therefore I should go support him.
My brother, Travis, lives in San Diego, and though he won’t admit it, he misses me all the time…so he recently decided to come up and visit. We wanted to go see a game, so I bought tickets to the Clippers-Mavericks game. $60 seats in the Premier section at the Staples Center–not too bad. It’s way better than the expensive nosebleed-section tickets you can buy for a Lakers game, even if you don’t get to see Kobe Bryant.
Travis came to pick me up and we drove the 10-minute drive to LA Live. All of the restaurants were packed right before the basketball game. It looked like a 20 minute wait to even get our name down at the Yardhouse, so we just checked out the line and walked away. At the ESPN Zone, we only had to wait for 15 minutes, so we put our name down and decided to wander around LA Live.
In the middle of LA Live, there is this open area, and on that day there was big art installation smack in the middle. While we were waiting for our table, my brother and I went to check it out. I had no idea what it was. It looked like a two-story steel thing with black and white balloons hanging from wires.
Turns out, it was Muhammad Ali’s face!
Michael Kalish, the artist, created the piece for the Ali family using a metal frame structure, stainless steel cables and thousands of speed bags (the things I thought were balloons). You can’t see Muhammad Ali’s face unless you stand dead center, in front of the art installation, so that all of the speed bags line up perfectly. Once you are there, though, it is easy to tell who you’re looking at because the installation is based on a famous picture of Ali. I obviously tried touching the speed bags… and I was subsequently kicked out, because apparently that’s not allowed. Good thing that was about the same time we were called back to ESPN Zone for dinner.
We were seated on the patio, which is a lot of fun because you get to watch all the people walking around. Everyone in my family is big on people watching, so my brother and I were easily entertained. There were some die-hard Clippers fans decked out in tracksuits, hats and beads. There were girls who looked like there were ready to go to the clubs, wearing heels and tight clothes, who had thrown on a baseball hat just to pretend like they were fans. A few people were wearing Mavericks jerseys. And then there were normal people like me and my brother, not dressed up in any way (though I was wearing blue) and just going to a game to see our friend Blake Griffin.
We finally went to the game and I got a fancy sign at the door, which I kept waving around throughout the whole game. We were directed towards an escalator and went to this level that seemed really fancy. The floor was carpeted, there was a restaurant, and there was even a person there to bring us food in our seats, so my brother and I felt like quite a big deal.
It was a great time, though it was a really ugly game and the Clippers ultimately lost. The best part of the night was when Blake Griffin, who is normally pretty reserved, got a technical foul. Obviously that’s not a good thing, but it was cool seeing him all riled up. That’s not a side of him that we, his friends, know very well.
Oh, one more thing– I saw a celebrity! Dan, from Hellcats on the CW, was sitting 2 rows in front of us. I’m sure everyone watches that show. (…crickets…)