From Bad to Ballmer?
~ Amy Lignor
He’s got the moves like Jagger! Come on. You know it. Every video of this ex-Microsoft CEO shows him screaming, ranting, raving, cheering, and dancing across stages to lift people from their seats and get them truly excited. What could be more perfect for the Los Angeles Clippers, a team that certainly needs to climb out from under the ridiculously bad press to enjoy some good, old-fashioned fun?
Steve Ballmer recently put all his cards on the table to be the next owner of the weary team. Well…not cards, exactly, but definitely a record setting $2 billion-dollar offer (usurping Oprah, of all people). That’s perhaps enough money for even Donald Sterling to get happy over. It could certainly help him pay off any future lawsuits if they were ever to occur.
Believe it or not, Ballmer won’t mind the $2 billion out-of-pocket expense, considering he will still have approximately $18 billion left over in his accounts to save for a rainy day.
You see, although $20 billion may sound like a lot, when it comes to the word ‘Microsoft’ it makes absolute sense. Ballmer took over the mega-company back in 2000 when his buddy from Harvard, Bill Gates, decided HIS multi-billions were also enough for him to live on and left the building.
Course…Gates seemed to know what was coming (as usual when speaking about the non-graduate, super-smart man). Ballmer actually walked in and took over the wealthiest and most valuable team in the entire world, only to watch Microsoft sink – erasing more than 50% of its market value in ten years. But both company and CEO survived: Microsoft will never end in the U.S. of A., and Ballmer remained strong, with Jagger-like moves. He ignored the critics and also sat back and watched Windows 7 become the fastest-selling operating system ever created.
Saying this guy is animated is like saying Sterling is just misunderstood. Ballmer works it on and off the camera, showing a spirit for life that rivals anything even Disney could create. He loves the Clippers, and even has been seen attending more than a few of their games since leaving Microsoft behind. And now, done with professing his love for the iconic company, it looks like Ballmer is about to get people to stand up and realize that now: “He loves this team!”
Is it true Ballmer actually ripped his vocal cords once, requiring surgery to repair them because of his screaming exuberance? Yup. So perhaps the Clippers might want to invest in a crew of team doctors to save their owner any further harm in the future.
His statement to the press: “I love basketball. And I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that the Clippers continue to win, and win big, in Los Angeles.”
But will Ballmer actually be the new owner. We shall see. His purchase still would have to be approved by 75% of the NBA’s 30 owners, and it is a fact that only a year ago these same owners halted a sale (Sacramento Kings), to a group that included Ballmer. It will be interesting to see Ballmer get his wish this time around. (And don’t worry about Oprah, her Starbucks deal will soften the blow if she doesn’t become part owner of an NBA team). And just think of the games. This guy has more fun and is even more interested than Jerry Jones back in Dallas. Now, THAT’s saying something!
Oh…and, yes, Sterling is not going into that good night quietly. He is suing the NBA and is not about to give up his team without a good, solid fight. (But the fans have spoken, Mr. Sterling: let Ballmer take the stage while you take a much-needed vacation.)