Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.
Especially if they think you’re a jinx, jinx, jinx, jinx, jinx.
The Los Angeles Kings are covering a banner that has hung in the rafters of Staples Center since 2015, commemorating Taylor Swift’s record of sellout shows in the arena, because it happens to coincide with their recent playoff failures. Before that banner’s debut, the Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014 and played in the conference finals in 2013. Since the banner appeared, they haven’t won a playoff series. Last year, they had the second-worst record in the league.
Some hockey fans believe T-Swizzle has robbed their team of its sizzle, so something had to change. That change came with the decision to cover the banner when the Kings play at home.
“The connection to our fans is our highest priority and through our engagement they have made it clear that the banner shouldn’t be part of their Kings game experience,” Michael Altieri, senior vice-president of marketing, communications and content for the Kings and AEG Sports, told the Los Angeles Times. “We didn’t see an issue in covering it for our games and in fact see it as an opportunity to show our fans that we hear them.”
With an assist from the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, the banner, which reads “most sold out performances,” was raised on Aug. 21, 2015, after Swift’s record 16th sold-out concert at Staples Center. The decision about whether to cover it rests with Staples Center tenants. The Clippers cover that banner, as well as the Lakers’ and Sparks’ championship banners and retired jerseys, during home games. They hang gigantic portraits of their players over the banners and have done so since 2013. Despite not having won a playoff series in seven years, the Lakers have no plans to cover the Swift banner.
So far, the Kings are 1-1 with the banner covered, winning their home opener Saturday before losing to the Vegas Golden Knights, 5-2, on Sunday.
Swift has not performed at Staples Center since the raising of the banner. Instead, she’ll open SoFi Stadium, the $5-billion (U.S.) stadium that will be home to the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams, with two shows next July. We’ll see whether the Rams and Chargers can just shake it off.
Get more sports in your inbox
Get the Star’s Sports Headlines newsletter for a daily round-up of the latest big news.