LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer gives impassioned speech

LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer gives impassioned speech

LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer gives impassioned speech – On Monday evening, it was a bit of a throwback scene in Seattle, with Steve Ballmer screaming at the top of his lungs and NBA hoops back on the court.


As he took the microphone at midcourt just before a preseason game between the Los Angeles Clippers, which Ballmer owns, and the Portland Trail Blazers, the former Microsoft CEO had Climate Pledge Arena roaring.


“I am overjoyed to be playing in my hometown of Seattle, Washington!” Ballmer yelled, pumping his fist and pacing around in his trademark animated manner. [LA Clippers owner Steve Ballmer gives impassioned speech]


The game was the first NBA action at the redeveloped arena, which housed the Seattle Supersonics until 2008, when they relocated to Oklahoma City.


The departure left a large void in the city, one that Ballmer nearly filled while running Microsoft, which is headquartered in nearby Redmond, Washington.


Ballmer was part of an ownership group that tried to keep the Sonics in Seattle in 2008 before buying the Clippers for $2 billion in 2014. He then joined an investment group that attempted to build a new arena south of downtown.


Ballmer has stated repeatedly since purchasing the Clippers that he will not relocate the team to Seattle. When it comes to NBA expansion, he says he’ll be able to make the case for Seattle to the rest of the league.


Ballmer thanked the Blazers, who had been owned by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen since 1988 until his death in 2018. Allen “got me interested in basketball,” he said.


Jody Allen, Paul Allen’s sister, is in charge of The Paul G. Allen Trust, which still owns the Portland Timbers. Jody Allen was courtside for the game on Monday.


“If this is a basketball city, damn it, let’s hear it!” Ballmer concluded his speech.


When GeekWire approached Ballmer on the court during pre-game warmups, he greeted us warmly but declined to comment for this story.


Even in a preseason game, Ballmer sat courtside with his wife, Connie, and displayed a full range of emotion, locked into the action until the final seconds.


The crowd included Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, who is a part-owner of the Seattle Kraken, the city’s NHL team that debuted last year. Amazon, based in Seattle, purchased the naming rights to the building in 2020 and renamed it Climate Pledge Arena.


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, and King County Executive Dow Constantine all attended the event.


Of course, Sonics legends such as Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, Lenny Wilkens, Sam Perkins, and Detlef Schrempf made an appearance. Former head coach George Karl was also present. During the game, they were all honoured on the court.


“I don’t think we have anything to prove to the NBA,” Schrempf told GeekWire ahead of Monday’s game. “They understand we have a great fanbase; we have an amazing facility; and we have enough wealth in this city that can support a team and pay for all the stuff that’s needed.


“It’s great for people to see this and keep our hopes alive,” Schrempf said of the game.

Subscribe Newsletter
Sign up for Davenport’s Daily Digest and get the best of Davenport, tailored for you. [mc4wp_form id="729"]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *