Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer Was Going Positively Bonkers During LA’s Game 1 Win Over The Mavs

Steve Ballmer

With Kawhi Leonard out of the lineup due to a knee injury, the Los Angeles Clippers needed all the team spirit they could muster for Sunday’s playoff opener against the Dallas Mavericks. Team owner Steve Ballmer did not disappoint in the slightest.

Ballmer has no governor at all in his limbic system. It is full-send all the time. I guess that’s an asset for ambition, and a catalyst for becoming the CEO of Microsoft, a gazillionaire and owner of a major sports franchise. Still, at 68 years old, I’m probably being a little more chill than Ballmer so as not to pull a muscle or something. Can safely say he isn’t concerned about any of that.

Look at these gyrating limbs, restless energy, and unbridled passion Ballmer brings as a Clippers spectator.

The man’s cosmic energy is the force of a thousand suns. I’m actually stunned that he hasn’t gone full Tony Stark and created himself an Iron Man suit. I don’t know how else you contain or harness such potent energy. Ballmer is going off the freaking rails and beyond in the first quarter. He’s getting hyped for a foul and three free throws for James Harden in the second. The mania is simply incredible. Basketball is such a sport of runs, and your fortunes can turn in a matter of minutes. Ballmer is acting like damn near every standalone play is the last minute of Game 7 in the NBA Finals.

I would think taking ownership of a team means you look at their history. Doesn’t Ballmer understand that the Clippers have not, in fact, ever made it to the NBA Finals? Not even a Conference Finals? Save your energy, big fella! We need you around for the long haul of a deep playoff run, not passed out, multiple blood vessels ruptured, and rushed to the emergency room.

Hey, can’t argue with the results so far. The Clippers rose to the occasion, fed off their home crowd, and topped the Mavs with ease 109-97. Harden led the way with 28 points and eight assists.

If you put Kawhi, Harden, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook on the same team, say, five years ago, they’d be the favorites to win it all. Not so much anymore, yet there’s something to be said for all their collective experience. The latter three have never sniffed an NBA title, so there’s a real sense of urgency from this group. It also helps that Tyronn Lue is a capital-E Elite coach.

Cartoonish and over-the-top as Ballmer is, if I were a lifelong Clippers loyalist carrying so much pain and sadness and saw this out of them in Game 1 sans Kawhi, I’d be as hyped as he was. We’ll see what the rest of the playoffs have in store. Couldn’t ask for a much better start.

Please enjoy a highlight reel of Ballmer’s most boisterous basketball moments — robust even though it’s from three years ago — along with my favorite clip of his from his Microsoft days.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock