IT Life
News
9/2/2014
09:03 AM
Rob Preston
Rob Preston
Slideshows
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

10 Secret Reasons Ballmer Bought LA Clippers

Sure, running an NBA team can be fun and exciting, but here are the real reasons former Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer paid $2 billion of his own money for the franchise.
Previous
1 of 11
Next

Steve Ballmer cut his official ties with Microsoft on Aug. 19, giving up his seat on the company's board of directors to focus on other commitments, mainly his ownership of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers.

In an open letter to Satya Nadella, who succeeded Ballmer as Microsoft CEO in February, Ballmer said he's backing away from the company amid the rigors of the upcoming NBA season and his civic and teaching duties. Ballmer noted that he's still Microsoft's largest shareholder "other than index funds," emphasizing that he remains committed to the company he served for 34 years.

"Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing," he wrote. "The company will move to higher heights. I will be proud, and I will benefit through my share ownership."

A day before he stepped down from Microsoft, a gesticulating, screaming Ballmer (is there any other kind?) led a "fan festival" at the Staples Center that included players, coaches, local politicians, and thousands of Clippers faithful. "We're going to be bold," Ballmer, whose $2 billion acquisition of the basketball franchise was approved by the NBA on Aug. 12, told the frenzied crowd. "Bold doesn't mean everything changes. Bold means you're willing to take risks… If you're not being bold, you're being timid."

Ballmer, however, wasn't so public about what attracted him to the Clippers in the first place. And so we reveal, in descending order, the top 10 secret reasons for his bold acquisition. Click through for a few surprises.

Rob Preston currently serves as VP and editor in chief of InformationWeek, where he oversees the editorial content and direction of its various website, digital magazine, Webcast, live and virtual event, and other products. Rob has 25 years of experience in high-tech ... View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 11
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Todder
50%
50%
Todder,
User Rank: Moderator
9/9/2014 | 1:13:17 PM
Good one Rob
You should take a stab at BleacherReport ... caught me off guard here. You're pretty funny.
majenkins
50%
50%
majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
9/4/2014 | 9:03:25 AM
Re: Ballmer's Clippers destine for 'Show time?'
Balmer and his Clippies will never unseat the LAKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
9/3/2014 | 6:38:26 PM
Good enough for Letterman
Well done, Rob! This was hilarious, and could have made it onto Letterman IMHO. You had me laughing out loud by No. 5.
Li Tan
IW Pick
100%
0%
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
9/3/2014 | 3:15:52 AM
Re: The LA Clippys
This is interesting question. Clippy is pretty handy but it would be nice to watch how long it will last as a mascot. I would prefer to have this mascot there even though I don't use it so often. To me somehow it's a symbol of MS Office.:-)
Shane M. O'Neill
50%
50%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
9/2/2014 | 4:08:50 PM
The LA Clippys
Maybe this is all a ruse to bring back disgraced MS Office virtual assistant, Clippy. The Clippers become the Clippys. How long would Clippy last as a mascot before getting beaten to a pulp by fans?
Charlie Babcock
50%
50%
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
9/2/2014 | 1:55:28 PM
Ballmer's Clippers destine for 'Show time?'
Blake Griffin may not like this list, and No. 8 isn't bad, but I like No. 1. Who'd you rather seek to unseat: Google or the Lakers? In the Laker's current state, the Clippers may have a shot at becoming the darlings of LA. The Clippers and the Warriors may become the hottest in-state rivalry. (Ah, after baseball season). 
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Must Reads Oct. 21, 2014
InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of digital strategy. Learn why you should learn to embrace DevOps, how to avoid roadblocks for digital projects, what the five steps to API management are, and more.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.