Steve Ballmer Rumors

They reached out to representatives of DeAndre Jordan, letting them know of their strong desire to re-sign one of the NBA’s top defensive centers and a cornerstone of their bid to become NBA title contenders. The Clippers will make a more formal pitch Thursday afternoon at the Beverly Hills offices of Jordan’s agents at Relativity Sports. A contingent of executives including team owner Steve Ballmer and Coach Doc Rivers is scheduled to attend the meeting and show a video highlighting Jordan’s seven seasons with the Clippers and the benefits of staying put.
Ballmer noted that in the two previous summers, Rivers made personnel decisions without the benefit of ownership input. Ballmer said his presence this summer could help lend perspective to prospective moves. He said he continues to support the idea of one man running the entire team, from roster to floor, because his neighbor Pete Carroll has experienced success in that role with the Seattle Seahawks. “I like being able to have direct conversations with Doc,” Ballmer said. “This is the first year we really have a chance to see what Doc has got as [an executive]. I consider this his real coming-out party as an executive.”
Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, has been a part of several brand launches that have elicited mixed feedback from consumers. He was well aware of the backlash that the new logo received on social media Wednesday and Thursday. “Many people really don’t like change in this world, they really don’t,” Ballmer said. “If we changed the user interface on a software product, people didn’t like it. Some people do but the people that are set and comfortable don’t like it. I know when newspapers change their formats, it takes getting used to and this will take some getting used to for people who really liked where we were. The overwhelming sentiment from the people who communicated with me initially was ‘change.’ I’m glad we did what we did and I don’t expect to do it every year.”
Some professional sports teams take two years working on rebranding, but Ballmer said he felt the need to introduce change before this season, ahead on the one-year anniversary of his purchase of the team. He also said he briefly considered changing the team name before ultimately deciding to keep it. “I think the name has actually developed value,” Ballmer said. “It’s a name that stands for a team overcoming difficulty. I kind of like that. Overcoming difficulty is not a bad thing. So I didn’t want to change the name. I was kind of hardcore about that in my thinking but I did want to signal a new day, a new age and a new generation. So we said let’s keep the colors, keep the name and change everything else.”
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“It was important because I know I bought a team in L.A. that will be in L.A. forever,” Ballmer said. “I know a lot of people say, ‘Hey, the guy doesn’t live here and what’s that all about?’ But the Clippers will always be in L.A. Hey, let’s face it, for most of our history we’ve been the number two team in L.A., but we embrace this place and we’re as fired about it and care as much about it as anybody else around. We’re here. We’ll always be here. I don’t even think about it. I’ve never thought about it. I was quite clear when we were bidding on Sacramento, the group that I was with, we were moving the team to Seattle. But when I bought a team in L.A. there was no question in my mind that was a team for L.A. I like L.A. It’s a place I like to come visit. It’s a wonderful place. While my family will stay living where we’re living, that doesn’t mean this isn’t a great place to get away for business and watch games and do all that. It’s a great place. The value of the team is highly dependent on it being here in L.A. If you move a team anywhere else, it’s not the same. Atlanta just sold for $850 million. That’s not what I paid for L.A.”
It’s been a difficult few weeks for Rivers. His coaching reputation has taken a hit and the pressure will be on him and the team to respond next season. Only reaching the playoffs is no longer acceptable. With an owner who invested $2 billion to purchase the team, expectations have risen. “I love this challenge. As strange as it sounds, I thought a couple of those bad years in Boston where we were trying to add players and we finally did it [helped me],” Rivers said. “I love those years because you’re building and then when you’ve finally got it, you’re built toward a championship and try to win another one, so this is a great stretch.
“My family didn’t talk to me for a while, because I was selling the team. They were all against me,” she says over a late-afternoon snack around the small table in their airy, beach-facing kitchen. The Sterling family had owned the Clippers for 30 years. It’s who they were. And in a little over a month, that life was finished. Shelly hasn’t given any interviews in the year since she sold the team to Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion on May 29, 2014. When people ask to take pictures with her, she politely declines. “That’s not my role,” she explains. “My role is to not be known.”
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But in looking at how she spent this past year, it does seem that she’s been looking for a way forward while preserving the parts of the past she never wanted to let go. “It was very difficult for me to lose the team,” she says. “It was like my family. I’ve seen them [the Clippers] grow for 33 years. The coach [Rivers] used to be our player. And now to see his son [Austin Rivers] play, it’s like part of your family. “I never wanted to sell it, and we never would’ve sold it. But I didn’t want to see it being dismantled. I mean, maybe they wouldn’t even play for the whole year. I didn’t know what the league was going to do. The only thing I knew is that I had to keep the team from being dismantled.”
When Boston came to town, Rivers, then the coach of the Celtics, said he turned to Ballmer and said, “Hey, you need to buy this team and keep it here.” “Only if you coach the team,” said Ballmer, Rivers recalled. “Well, that’s not going to happen,” Rivers said. “That was our introduction to each other.” Ballmer did not remember the meeting. He clapped gleefully as the story was relayed to him. “Doc doesn’t make things up,” he said. “That’s not his style.”
The Clippers are considering introducing a new logo, colors and uniform as early as this off-season. Photos of the potential new uniforms are being posted on the Internet. “I’ve seen it but I haven’t really looked at it, to be honest,” Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said before practice Friday. “I couldn’t even tell you how it looked. I don’t mind change. I think change is good, right?”