Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agrees to buy the NBA's L.A. Clippers for a cool $2 billion

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agrees to buy the NBA's L.A. Clippers for a cool $2 billion
The L.A. Clippers will soon have a new owner, if everything goes according to plan. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has signed an agreement with the Sterling Family Trust to purchase the team for $2 billion. The bid goes right to the NBA and does not require the approval of the team's current owner, Donald Sterling. On secretly recorded tapes, Sterling made racist comments that not only insulted his own team, but reverberated all the way to Miami where LeBron James reacted. ESPN is reporting that Donald Sterling was declared mentally incapacitated by experts, allowing his wife Shelly to sell the team without requiring her husband's approval.

Once Stering's comments went public, the NBA moved quickly, with commissioner Adam Silver forcing Sterling to sell the Clippers. Ballmer's $2 billion bid topped a $1.6 billion offer from music mogul David Geffen. Geffen's group has pulled out of the auction. Ballmer is said by Forbes to be worth $20.3 billion after a long stint as CEO of Microsoft from 2000 to 2014. The $2 billion price for the Clippers swamps the previous record purchase for an NBA team, which was the $550 million paid for the Milwaukee Bucks just this year.

The former tech executive is not expected to move the team from L.A., where it plays second fiddle to the Lakers. Still, the Clippers have the better team right now. In the midst of the uproar over Sterling's comments, the Clippers were eliminated in six games during the conference semi-finals by the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Lakers failed to even make the playoffs this year.

After news of the winning bid started to leak, sports celebrities like Magic Johnson and Pat Carroll tweeted their excitement and pleasure at having Ballmer own the team.

source: ESPN




Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

He'll destroy the Clippers much like he did Microsoft.

6. Penny

Posts: 1871; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

"...much like he did Microsoft." You do realize that he started with Microsoft when they had less than 40 employees and $12 million in annual revenue and helped Bill Gates take it to where it is now, right?


Posts: 456; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

and you do realize the moment uncle Willy retired MS has just about become irrelevant. They let Apple run wild with iPods, iPhones and iPads all through out the decade of 2000 and came waaaaay to late to the game with mobile and tablet tech and you know what, most of us simply moved on. For effs sake, if it weren't for Google we all would of bitten the forbidden fruit by now no thanks to MS just about sucking for 15 years! He was in my view, the worst major CEO replacement of all time, he took the most successful company in the world at that time and let Apple and Google become way more successful than them, on his watch for goodness sakes!!! /end rant

10. Penny

Posts: 1871; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

I agree, he may not have been the best CEO in the world, but revenues still continued to increase under his reign as CEO. Also, considering where they were when he started, he's clearly done more good than harm for the company overall. You don't keep an employee around for 30 years if they're destroying the company, friend or not.

12. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

You must not know the business world to well then. There are plenty of people who are around for decades, and are useless. Knowing when to keep your head down and being friends with the boss is how they do it. And not just a friend, but one of the people who helped Bill start MS. Ballmer was a salesman, Gates had the idea, tech savvy, and passion that put it where it was in it's heyday. I wouldn't judge his tenure at Microsoft from when he started there, but from when Bill handed over the reigns. The reason he has managed not to sink it are 2 things, Xbox and Office. The computer and mobile division have gone downhill from when Bill was there, and don't get me started on the pos we know as the Zune, their answer to the iPod.

13. Penny

Posts: 1871; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

I know a little bit about the business world. Yes, employees on the free-ride train do exist, but they don't get appointed to CEO by the outgoing CEO unless they have at least some degree of proven competence. I also know that I'm an executive that has fired a C-level employee and friend when they were doing more harm than good to the company. As a friend, yes, they did get more time to try to turn things around than someone else might have, but certainly not decades. Also, the "he failed except for where he succeeded" type of argumentation is not very convincing. They increased revenues. Bottom line.

15. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Yes, we know, Bill. Your disguise is not very good.

20. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Bottom line, they've lost/losing what you see to be their 2 biggest money makers to competition. If Xbox starts going to hell and anyone provides real competition to Office, then what? That profits rose may be the bottom line for the board, but if they don't have contingency plans for a scenario like that, or other areas to move to make money, then there will be a problem. The point was the man was not tech savvy. And when running a tech firm you should know a little something about that.

21. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

History has yet to determine him pushing the Windows 8 UI will be good or bad. So far the adaption rate is poor.

19. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Dude what a joke comment this is. The man is worth 20 Billion because he is a GREAT business man. What on this good Earth are you talking about?

2. TheWolfpacker

Posts: 44; Member since: Feb 25, 2014

"And your starting lineup for the Los Angeles Clippys..."

3. Derekjeter

Posts: 1572; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

Rich people problems..... Its only $700,000,000 over priced.

4. Penny

Posts: 1871; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Hmm, I wonder they'll offer us Windows Phone users some discounted gotta admit, that'd be a good marketing tool! (Although I'm sure that would violate some sort of price discrimination rule, but let's not worry about that.)

8. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Maybe Steve Ballmer should have bought Beats. He could have offered a free Beats subscription with Clippers tickets. And if Steve owned Beats, he could have all of his favorite music as curated playlists that everyone who used Beats could listen to. The promos in Beats could even be for... Clipper games and merchandise! Maybe it is not too late. Steve should call Tim up and see if Tim is willing to sell Beats, say, for $3.3 billion. Apple makes a nice 10% profit for one day of Beats ownership and a truly innovative synergy of Clippers basketball and Beats begins!

5. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

How on earth did he make that much money??? Did he bullyishly TAKE it from the nerd bill gates or something?

7. Penny

Posts: 1871; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

He started with Microsoft in 1980 and still has a 4% stake in the company. He was also their CEO for about 14 years.

11. The13thKing

Posts: 849; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

Hate the Clippers. Glad they are out.

14. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

Ballmer is like King Midas, except for everything he *touches* turns into shizt

16. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

LA Clippers worth 12mil when bought by Sterling, now it's worth 12 and Ballmer does this

17. LikeMyself

Posts: 631; Member since: Sep 23, 2013

If I could only have 0.00001% of his estimated wealth!

18. billgates

Posts: 555; Member since: May 29, 2014

Good for you Steve.. you have to be better than that pos racist that owned it before

22. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

"Developers,....!" I would love to see this guy on the court side yelling for the team to pick it up.

23. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

It would be amusing to rename the team. Lumias: Bright yellow or cyan jerseys with large circles around the numbers, star player gets #41. Center court looks like a camera lens. Developers: They replay his intro before every home game. Every timeout and intermission features a different featured app or developer. Office-rs: Team mascot would be Clippy, with special appearances by the other Office Assistants (Dot, Hoverbot, The Genius, Office Logo, Mother Nature, Scribble, Power Pup, and Will). Cortana would be the new announcer.

24. Penny

Posts: 1871; Member since: Feb 04, 2011

Hey, I like your jersey design idea. A flat, metro design jersey might actually look pretty nifty. I'd go with cyan and have the number and encompassing circle in either white, yellow, or red. For home games, jersey in white with number and circle in cyan or red.

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