Steve Ballmer Rumors
Peter Vecsey: Rivers is guaranteed to go, it says here. A revamped roster in mid-February dictates a demand for a new voice with new ideas with a new image. Owner Steve Ballmer, who inherited Rivers when he purchased the Clippers and gave him lots of leeway, has had plenty of time to figure out Doc is a stone phony. He took away one title (president) from him prior to this season. The time has come to relieve him of his coaching duties, pay him the $10M owed for next season, and offer Villanova’s Jay Wright a blank check. GM Lawrence Franks’ second choice, I’m told, is Jeff Van Gundy.
At a press conference held on Monday at the Jim Gilliam Recreation Center in South Los Angeles, Steve and Connie Ballmer, along with the Clippers, announced a multimillion-dollar donation to the L.A. Parks Foundation. The money will go toward renovating nearly 350 basketball courts in city parks by the year 2021.
Bumble, a social network company best known for a dating app where women make the first move, will place its logo on the uniform of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. Bumble will pay about $20 million over three years, according to a person familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified because the terms are private. It’s part of a broader agreement between the company and Steve Ballmer’s NBA franchise.
The Clippers are a vanity project under Steve Ballmer as they were under Donald Sterling. They don’t belong to a fan base as much as an owner. You know what fans expect. What owners want, or are capable of, varies. Only Donald would have brought the Clippers here from San Diego to show he wouldn’t fail on the same level if they were closer to home. With less competitive, more hospitable sites like Seattle yearning for teams, only Ballmer may keep them here to show they’re worth that $2 billion he paid.
Happily, Ballmer has no need of a return from the Clippers. Forbes projects operating income has averaged $16 million under him. Divided by the $2 billion purchase price, that’s less than 1%. Wait, this just in! “I didn’t pay much for the Clippers,” Ballmer informed Bloomberg News, the financial news wire, last week. “Houston [just sold for] $2.1 billion. We’re $2 billion—and we’re in L.A. and they’re not!” Well, they’re in L.A. at the moment but Ballmer keeps talking about moving into a new arena in Inglewood, which is where the Lakers came from, rather than are going to.
LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer on Saturday said that trading Blake Griffin was “a very difficult decision,” but that considerations about the future, as well as injury and chemistry concerns, necessitated the blockbuster deal with the Detroit Pistons. “[Griffin] is obviously a superstar player,” said Ballmer. “But if you look at what happened injury-wise, if you look at the kind of chemistry we were getting on our team, the thing you can see at the high level with the numbers when I started — one guy got all the assists, one guy got all the points and one guy got all the rebounds. It’s not all quite that way, but I think in the modern NBA, we were seeing it more and more — there’s a greater distribution of responsibility.”
“We have to add some pieces obviously, but I think we’re building for what I think is the modern NBA, and that trend has only accelerated since we signed Blake last summer.” Ballmer said that as the Clippers owner, he doesn’t believe in the practice commonly regarded as “tanking,” whereby teams strip their rosters of high-level talent and endure losing seasons with a focus on accumulating high draft picks.