Steve Ballmer Ready To Lose Himself In L.A. Clippers

Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer
Aug 18 2014 Los Angeles CA USA Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer at press conference at Staples Center Kirby Lee USA TODAY Sports

Steve Ballmer made quite the splash Monday in assuming the unenviable gig of rescuing the once morally drained L.A. Clippers from themselves and the evil clutches of former owner Donald Sterling.

Ballmer celebrated the formal declaration of his $2 billion purchase of the team by taking the Ice Bucket Challenge and assuring Clippers fans the days of the franchise being overwrought by the salaciousness of the now disgraced and banned Sterling are no more.

The 58-year-old new King of L.A. worked himself into a frenzy during his introduction rally at the Staples Center, shouting, gyrating and clapping to the point he was nearly hoarse as Eminem in “Lose Yourself” that was appropriately blaring in the background.

Sterling owned the Clips for more than a league record three decades, but on one of his first days at the helm Ballmer made it official under his watch L.A. will barely be recognizable compared to the way they were perceived before.

We’re looking forward,” he proclaimed. “Everything is about looking forward. We’re going to be bold. Bold means taking chances. We’re going to be optimistic. We’re going to be hard-core. Nothing gets in our way. The hard-core Clippers, that’s us. I’ll boldly say the Clippers will win many, many more Larrys (O’Brien NBA championship trophies) in the next 26 years than they did in the last 26 years.”

And indeed, if the Clips can stay focused their future appears bright. How could it not, boasting a nucleus that still includes such star players as Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford, along with top-of-the-line coach Doc Rivers and now an owner unapologetically committed to winning?

“Today is about this other guy who just happened to have two billion dollars in his pocket,” joked River. “I asked him are you sure it went through and he said ‘I know my bank account is minus two billion so I know something went through.”

And yet, there was some much more to celebrate, namely the Clippers finally and fortunately being able to exorcise themselves of the evils of Sterling.

While Sterling was notorious for his suspect and backroom dealings, Ballmer openly gave out his personal email address and quickly allayed any fears fans might have about him harboring thoughts of perhaps moving the franchise.

“I love Los Angeles,” shouted Sterling. “Yes, I live in Seattle. We’re not moving the Clippers to Seattle for a hundred reasons.”

As Paul, Griffin, Jordan and Rivers all looked on, the coach added “I love energy. You get caught up in that and that’s good. That was great for our fans.”

Inspirational enough for Rivers to offer the over-exuberant former Microsoft exec a seat anywhere near his bench come tip-off time? “I don’t know if I could deal with that energy,” Rivers quipped.

Well, Doc, my advice is you best get used to it. Steve Ballmer isn’t going anywhere, and the Clips surely will be better for it.ste

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Glenn Minnis
Glenn Minnis is an XN Sports NBA contributor. He has written for the Chicago Tribune, ESPN, BET and AOL. Follow him on Twitter at @glennnyc.