As of Saturday, five of the 20 have been handed out. The first three were for the Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen, Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp. Afterwards, Jansen and Puig posted on social media to thank Lakers president/controlling owner Jeanie Buss and young guard Josh Hart for dropping them off. On Saturday, the Rams thanked James and the Lakers for giving jerseys No. 4 and No. 5 to Jared Goff and Todd Gurley.
Ballmer also vowed that the Clippers won’t tank to get a better draft pick. “That ain’t us. Nuh-uh, no way,” he said. “People can do it their way. We’re going to be good our way. We’re not going to show up and suck for a year, two years. I think we got higher expectations on us than the long, hard five, six years of absolute crap like the 76ers put in. How could we look you guys in the eye if we did that to you?”
Steve Ballmer held an audience of about 2,500 in the palm of his never-still hands. He promised no miracles, more hot dogs and a tough-minded team backed by a front office that finally has salary-cap flexibility and is eager to dive into the anticipated 2019 free-agent bonanza. “You’ve got to take the payroll down to take it up. We’re going to recruit our asses off, whatever it takes to give you the best team that we can give you year in and year out,” he said.
“We’re moving to Inglewood come hell or high water,” he said of a proposed arena near the site of the stadium being constructed for the Rams and Chargers. “We gotta have a house. So we’re working on a plan to get our own house. We want to get our own house. It turns out the way this works in L.A., which is much beloved to me, that if you start now you might be done in six years.”
Lin — who is Tsai’s favorite player — was dealt to Atlanta last month, but Tsai, Spencer Dinwiddie and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson all played in Lin’s “Hoops for Hope” charity game in Shenzhen, China, last weekend. Hollis-Jefferson got hurt in the game, but the team’s acknowledgement of the injury failed to mention Lin or the philanthropic event.
The Nets’ Twitter account — making a wise career decision — never mentioned Tsai by name, but quickly apologized for offending the new boss’ favorite player. And for his part, Tsai retweeted the apology.