Steve Ballmer Rumors
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer took one step closer toward building a new arena for the team by investing $100 million in the city of Inglewood. Ballmer’s $100 million Community Benefits Plan was negotiated with city officials from Inglewood as part of their arena development agreement and is set to be revealed Tuesday at an Inglewood city council meeting.
The Clippers, citing public records, called it the largest commitment of funding for community programs made in connection to a sports or entertainment venue in California, with $80 million of it going toward affordable housing, assistance to renters and first-time homebuyers, and $12.75 million going toward school and youth programs.
Meanwhile, his wife – Shelly Sterling – seized control and sold the franchise to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Donald sued her, too. Those lawsuits went nowhere. The NBA has moved on without Donald. Shelly Sterling, via Ramona Shelburne of ESPN: He’s happy about selling the team now. Yes. He tells a lot of people. He says, “You know, I had to sell the team, but I feel like I fell off a tree and I landed on a pile of gold.”
And if he bought the Blazers, he would become the richest owner in the NBA, surpassing the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer by about $15 billion. Ellison’s net worth has been estimated at $64.5 billion, which would make him the sixth-richest person in the world. He financed the winning sailboat in the 2010 America’s Cup and actually crewed on that craft. He is also a licensed pilot who owns fighter jets.
Steve Ballmer was golfing with a longtime colleague and friend late last month when the conversation turned to what had happened a few days earlier. On a stage inside a standing-room-only recreation center in South Los Angeles, the Clippers owner burst out of his director’s chair, grabbed a microphone, and introduced superstar forwards Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with whoops and hollers that quickly went viral across social media. “It was kind of like our old sales meetings,” Jeff Raikes said Ballmer told him. “I knew what he was referring to.”
Before he left Microsoft in 2008 to become chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 20 of Raikes’ 27 years at the tech firm were spent working directly for Ballmer. His boss became famous for whipping himself, and employees, into a frenzy at company conferences. But if Ballmer’s outburst during the Clippers’ announcement was nothing new for Raikes, it was unexpected for plenty of other people. “I came off the stage,” Raikes recalled Ballmer saying, “and Kawhi said, ‘Man, I gotta get me some of that juice.’” That ebullience, what Leonard called Ballmer’s “juice,” is genuine, friends and colleagues say.
A franchise long derided for mismanagement has become a model for other NBA front offices. And a team dogged by the “Clippers curse” of losing is one of the betting favorites to win the 2020 NBA title. “Steve wants to win, plain and simple,” said Martin Taylor, Ballmer’s chief of staff at Microsoft from 2002 to 2006. “That hasn’t changed with how he’s approached things with the Clippers.”