As if the Clipper Darrell saga could not get any more bizarre, Los Angeles Clippers super-fan Darrell Bailey appeared with ABC7 sports anchor Rob Fukuzaki in studio for an interview during the station's Sports Zone program following the Los Angeles Lakers' Sunday afternoon victory over the Miami Heat.
According to Fukuzaki, the interview was meant to shed light on the odd Darrell vs. Clippers dispute that broke out last week when Bleacher Report was denied a media credential to interview Clippers players about the mega-fan.
On March 1, Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plashcke published a scathing review of Bailey's conduct, accusing Bailey of wanting to be "a paid spokesman" for the Clippers.
In what has become a tremendous he-said-he-said debate, on Feb. 29, Bailey accused the Clippers organization of playing the role of the buzz-killington: "I have been told by Clipper management they no longer want me to be Clipper Darrell."
Bailey went on to describe the event as, "The hardest day of my life, I felt powerless as a fan, as I was stripped of my identity."
The Clippers responded by calling Bailey's allegation "absurd," stating that the team had done nothing wrong and were only concerned with "inappropriate use of the Clipper team name and trademark for his own unmonitored commercial gain."
Apparently, this all reached a boiling point (at least for Bailey) today during the four o'clock sports news show.
After reading the Clippers' response, Fukuzaki referenced another Clippers statement before observing Bailey tearing up and succumbing to the pressure of being at odds with his favorite sports team: "'They never asked you to stop using the name,' and said that ... you're getting very emotional right now. I'm sorry, Darrell."
Fukuzaki then attempted to comfort the fallen super-fan, referencing players Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan's public support of Clipper Darrell—which were subsequently and suspiciously deleted from Griffin and Jordan's Twitter accounts—and telling Bailey, "The Clippers say they want you to come back to the games, they say they love you and the energy you bring to the games."
Sensing the demise of what could have been an insightful interview, Fukuzaki quickly thanked Bailey for his appearance on the program and threw to a much-needed commercial break.
Instead of clearing the air and clarifying his exchange with Clippers management that occurred last week, Clippers fans are left wondering exactly what has happened to their team's de facto No. 1 fan.
After this new emotional low, is a Darrell-Clippers reunion even possible at this point?
Will Bailey return to Staples Center, apparently stripped of his unofficial title, or will he continue using the Clipper Darrell moniker and continue to sell Clipper Darrell merchandise on his Web site, which features the Clippers' red-and-blue color scheme—yet not the actual name "Clippers"—Clipper Darrell is sans the letter "s"—and a prominent font called "Walt Disney Script."
Could the wonderful world of Disney be the next company to knock on Bailey's door?
Gil Imber is Bleacher Report's Rules Featured Columnist and owner of Close Call Sports, a website dedicated to the objective and fair analysis of close or controversial calls in sports.