Unique. Eccentric. Energetic. These all describe the enigma that is Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft. Just this week, Ballmer signed a deal to buy the Los Angeles Clippers from the Sterling family trust for $2 billion. What’s a tech guy doing buying a sports team? Why is Steve Ballmer the guy who just laid out a huge sum of money to complete perhaps the most controversial sale in recent memory?
First off, he’s a big guy (he’s 6’5” and looks like he weighs around 240-260 pounds). He’s a former wrestler under the name of “Blue Screen of Death”, so he knows how to put on an acting job and ham it up for the cameras. Ballmer has always been a guy that gets hyped at every opportunity. Want to see why he gets so much attention? Watch one of his press conferences and see how excitable he is. The man’s a never-ending ball of energy.
That exuberance doesn’t stop there. He’s also an intense sports fan. A Seattle native, Ballmer tried unsuccessfully to buy the Sacramento Kings, the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Minnesota Timberwolves and bring them to his hometown and recreate the Seattle Supersonics, who moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. He tried three times, though unsuccessfully, to bring a basketball team back to his hometown.
Now, he’s bought the Clippers, but he said that he wouldn’t move the team. A move away from L.A. will decrease its value. There are lost of legal questions and twists and turns before the sale is finalized. One thing is certain: Ballmer will not go away easily. It’s blatantly obvious that he’s a bona fide sports nut. Honestly, if you’re putting down $2 billion to buy a sports franchise, or anything for that matter, you’d better be passionate about your investment.
So, it looks like the Clippers will see some changes on the sideline next year, a new cheerleader, to be exact. His name? Steve Ballmer.