In 2015, Taylor Swift gave Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s daughter Bianka some hot-ticket items during a concert at SoFi Stadium.
Earlier that day, Bryant surprised the singer with a championship banner bearing her name at what was then called the Staples Center (now Crypto.com Arena).
“To celebrate those championships, we do something very special. We hang banners,” Bryant told Swift. “That’s what we do. So, on behalf of Staples Center and all of your fans here in Los Angeles, it is my honor to reveal for the first time, your own championship banner here at Staples Center. It’s going to hang here forever.”
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) June 1, 2023
However, that banner seemingly disappeared during the pandemic and there was no clear answer as to what happened. Until now.
The Messenger’s Arash Markazi reported earlier this week that he had found out what happened.
The banner, which was enormous compared to many of the other banners hanging in the area, was seen as an annoyance to fans of the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, and Kings. The Clippers, especially, didn’t like the idea that there were more “championship” banners hanging for Swift than for them. And during their games, they would cover the banner with giant portraits of players. The Kings also did something similar.
When the Lakers won their 17th NBA title in 2020, there was little room for extraneous banners and the Swift one disappeared.
It looks like the Taylor Swift banner has been removed at Staples Center. pic.twitter.com/YBbQvZbcpc
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 23, 2020
Did it get thrown in the trash? Not exactly. Turns out, the arena owners have the banner and they’re holding onto it for safekeeping.
“We have the banner here,” Lee Zeidman, president of Crypto.com Arena, Peacock Theater, and LA Live told The Messenger in late August. “It’s folded up and locked away in a room here at the arena where we store other things.”
The banner is set to re-emerge after the Clippers officially move out of Crypto.com Arena and move into their new home, the Intuit Dome.
“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.”