Steve Ballmer Rumors
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher tonight that the NBA not only has a more racially diverse – and younger – fan base than the NFL, but encourages its players to “express themselves.” “I’ll speak for the NBA,” Ballmer said tonight. “We believe our players should express themselves. We are pleased to see our players express themselves. I encourage our players, use your platform. Speak.”
Legislation that would streamline the state environmental review process for the proposed Los Angeles Clippers arena in Inglewood is on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk after winning unanimous approval from the state Senate and passing on a 6-3 vote in the Assembly. Both votes occurred Friday as the state Legislature sprinted to complete its work as the 2017-2018 session came to a close.
Clippers management, which is eager to build a new arena for its team and move from its current hub at Staples Center, hailed the Legislative approvals even though it remains unclear whether the governor will sign the bill into law. “We are now one step closer to bringing the world’s best basketball arena to a community that deserves the best,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said in a statement late Friday. “… with the passage of this bill, we are proudly setting a new standard for environmental responsibility. AB 987 puts into writing the promise we’ve made to Inglewood from the start: to be exceptional neighbors who care passionately about the Inglewood community and its citizens.”
Steve Ballmer: California’s legislature signs off on a new home for the Clips! Thanks to @sydneykamlager and @SteveBradford for their leadership on the world’s best and most energy-efficient basketball arena — an arena worthy of both Inglewood and all of LA. Go Clips!
The project proposal calls for a privately funded complex that would include an 18,000-seat arena, practice facilities, a sports medicine clinic, team offices and retail space under the title Inglewood Basketball and Entertainment Center. Plans for the complex are continuing under a 36-month exclusive negotiating agreement the team’s owners paid for with a $1.5 million nonrefundable deposit. The team’s lease at Staples Center expires in 2024.
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.