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Steve Ballmer sends letter to Clippers fans

Aug 13, 2014, 8:45 AM EST

Celebrities At The Los Angeles Clippers Game Getty Images

While Donald Sterling is making his last gasps at keeping ahold of the Los Angeles Clippers (moves that will fail), new owner Steve Ballmer is moving the franchise out of the shadows and into the sunshine.

Tuesday he started that process when he sent out this letter to the Clipper fan base via email.

To the Clippers Family -

You may now have heard that this morning I officially became the owner of your Los Angeles Clippers. So as my first official communication, let me say thank you for continuing to support the Clipper organization. We are now looking forward to an exciting new season and I can’t wait to experience the opening tip off with you.

Today marks the beginning of a new era in the life of our franchise. It also is the culmination of a dream that I have harbored for many years. To Coach Rivers, to our fantastic players, and most importantly to you, the dedicated fans that make this all possible, I pledge this: I will be hard core in my commitment to give the team the support it needs to be its best on and off the court. And I will do whatever is necessary to provide you, your family and friends with the best game-night experience in the NBA.

The Clippers franchise is a true public trust, and my goal is that the Clippers will play an ever-increasing role in the life of our community. We will achieve this goal the same way we will succeed on the court: By waking up every day and figuring out how we can be better – how we can do more – how we can ensure that the Clippers organization is not only winning on the court but also making a real difference in the community.

That is the challenge I set not only for myself but the entire Clippers organization.

Please join me for our Fan Festival, on Monday, August 18th at the STAPLES Center at 12:30 p.m. to celebrate what promises to be a bright future!

Sincerely,
Steve A. Ballmer

At Microsoft, Ballmer was the guy who brought the energy. He has real star power and charisma. He is the kind of guy who can push and motivate the Clippers organization driving it forward, the opposite of the way Donald Sterling sucked energy from it. Ballmer may or may not turn out to be a great NBA owner, but I guarantee he will be an improvement over the last one.

In terms of the market, the Clippers are never going to be replace Lakers in Los Angeles, that brand is an indelible part of the city. But there is market share to be seized — with casual fans, with newcomers to the area, with fans who just want to be entertained and see elite basketball. The Clippers are contenders and will be the better team on the court going deeper in the playoffs for at least a few years. Ballmer doesn’t need to reach the hard-core Lakers fans — Los Angeles is a huge city. There is room to make inroads. Ballmer is just the guy who can lead that.

  1. blogsk3tball - Aug 13, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Jim Buss’ bartender better step his game up

  2. officialgame - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    What exactly did he do at MS that was so great except make himself a billionaire with stock options? The company lacked innovation for years.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Great question.

      He caused a decade plus long stagnation of the stock price. He was consistently late to the market on technological innovations like music, mobile and tablets; had zero branding strategy; and he left the company’s internet services in tragic shape. Google went from a moderately large search engine to one of the most powerful companies in the world by destroying Ballmer’s Microsoft in many areas.

      Satya Nadella is the best thing to happen to Microsoft in years.

      • therealhtj - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        But he screamed and cried at corporate events! He sweats a whole lot too!

        What’s that you say? Never mistake activity for achievement? Got it.

      • asimonetti88 - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        I’ll give Ballmer credit in that he took the enterprise market and completely conquered it, but considering that Microsoft already dominated that market when he took over to begin with, it isn’t as much of an accomplishment as it sounds like. Especially considering Windows XP, a 13 year old operating system that is no longer supported by Microsoft, still has 26% of the market, while their newest OS, Windows 8, has only about 5-7%.

  3. loungefly74 - Aug 13, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Ballmer has a museaum dedicated to Jimi Hendrix = already the coolest owner in the league.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 13, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      Paul Allen is the one who founded the Experience Music Project (the museum you’re referring to). Allen has owned the Portland Trail Blazers since 1988.

      • loungefly74 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:38 AM

        LOL. you’re right! my bad.

      • loungefly74 - Aug 13, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        i’ll fix it: Paul Allen = coolest owner in the league

  4. johnheisman - Aug 13, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    I think he should also change the name. Last season’s problems are not the sole reason. The Clippers under Sterling was the worst run franchise in pro sports and there is no history in my opinion that needs or should be preserved. Time to move on.

    I would go with the Los Angeles Blue Screens of Death.

  5. dablakdrphil - Aug 13, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    “Ballmer may or may not turn out to be a great NBA owner, but I guarantee he will be an improvement over the last one”

    Duh! The man put in a $2 Billion bid…if he’s throwing out money like that to own a team I hope he doesn’t try to be cheap when it comes to acquiring great players to get over the hump or pay the luxury tax to contend for a championship. I personally don’t think that will happen though

  6. campcouch - Aug 14, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Wait until the business aspect comes into play. Sports franchises are not cash cows, it’s the peripherals that make money to run the teams…TV deals, merchandising, advertising. As we can see, the billions are already in the hands of owners before purchase, the teams become another item to be added to the portfolio and made into a hobby. The luxury tax does hurt billionaires, they do enjoy their money hence having billions and not wanting to part with it. We see around the league owners avoiding that bill. Why? Because that comes out of their pockets, not the team’s operating fund. I don’t know, he’s the owner, I’m sure he’ll give some enthusiastic pep rallies and make the experience great for fans, but no one goes to a game to see what t-shirt the boss is handing out. In the end he’s still a businessman, one in California and that boils down to dollars.

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