Steve Balmer

USA Today

The Real LA Star

Pretty Cool... Pretty Damn Cool!

July 25, 2019 - 9:14 am

The Los Angeles Clippers introduced Kawhi Leonard and Paul George yesterday and it was one hell of a scene. The media was there. Clipper fans were there. Clipper Darrell was there. Future Hall of Famer Doc Rivers was there. Lee Jenkins and Sam Cassell were sitting beside each other in the crowd.

What I’m saying is: there was a ton of star power in the building. And there should be. It was an awesome moment for the Clippers and for Clipper fans.

That is the kind of moment you dream of. So let me ask you this, Clipper fans, can you actually believe this?

You’ve got Kawhi Leonard and Paul George sitting up on a stage together. And then you’ve got them holding Clippers jerseys. I mean, is this REAL LIFE? And not only holding jerseys, but Doc Rivers re-arranged the two of them so that the jerseys lined up for 213, for the zip code. It is all coming together.

There was plenty of juice there for Clipper fans and plenty of salt for Laker fans. Like Paul George saying “it seems like this was destiny that we were supposed to play together."

Like Kawhi pointing out that he knows the Lakers get more attention, but "As far as the last few years, the Clippers have been better.” He’s right, Laker fans. Don’t even bother with that one.

Or George saying that while he was a Kobe fan growing up, he really was a Clippers fan. 

Like Kawhi saying he too was a Clipper fan growing up.

And like George saying "We're going to make it happen. LA our way."

I could keep going with some of the quotes from the press conference – about Kawhi thanking the Raptors, about Paul George talking about coming home, but you can get that at any other press conference.

Let’s step back for a moment and look at what you don’t get at any other press conference.

Steve Ballmer. Steven Anthony Ballmer.

There’s the real star. As great as Kawhi Leonard is, as great as Paul George is, and they are the two best two-way players in the game, two future Hall of Famers, the real star of yesterday was the former high school basketball team manager.

My guy brings it. And he brings it hard. He is locked in 100, 200, 600 percent. Boom!

And that’s on a normal day. So what was he going to do yesterday? What does 700 or 800 percent look like? It looks like starting off a presser like this.


There’s your new alarm sound. Download that, select it in your phone, and have that go off when you need to get up. You will be ready to bring it ever day - 100, 200, 600 percent boom

And if that doesn’t work as an alarm, Ballmer had another one for you.


And I love the toughness – of Kawhi, of PG, and of Steve B. What a showman.

Remember when he took over the Clippers? He did so in one of the ugliest situations ever and he brought so much energy, so much life to the team. And that hasn’t dulled with time. If anything, he’s gotten more hyped and more amped.

I’ve seen a bunch of headlines about how Steve Ballmer “lost his mind” at the press conference yesterday.


He didn’t lose his mind, he brought the heat. He brought the passion. He brought the thunder.

He’s acting like a guy who loves a team and his team is having the best day, no the best month, no the best summer ever.

You want him up there just nodding and smiling? Speaking in platitudes and clichés? HELL NO.  

I want him screaming. I want him tearing up his notes and yelling from the heart. I want him telling everyone to get on their feet. Because they should be on their feet.

The Clippers have never had a moment like this. This is so much better than Lob City. Better players. Better guys. Better team. Better situation. Better energy. Better chemistry.  I say that, because it couldn’t’ be any worse than it was back in the day with Blake griffin, CP3 et al. This is different. And by different I mean better.  

Even Doc Rivers would tell you that. "I never felt like I could get that group [the Lob City group] to understand that this was their time, the urgency of it. When we beat Golden State [in the 2013-14 playoffs], that following year, Golden State decided this was their time. I don't think we decided that. We just showed up and wanted to try to win. But that's not enough."

Translation: that crew was about the wrong stuff.  Themselves. That crew was just too cool to actually do the work. That crew wasn’t smart enough to realize the opportunity they had in front of them. And that’s why we busted that crew up and shipped their asses out of here. Because that crew didn’t get it. But this one will.

They just added two MVP candidates who feel the absolute perfect fit for this team and their culture. Two guys who are going to get after it on both ends of the court. A guy who just won a title and a guy who really badly wants a title. And they’re both from the area and want to make a history and win a world championship for a franchise that has sniffed one; while punking big brother down the hall at the same time. Because it says here, right now, the Clippers are the best team in la. Not the Lakers. Better team, better organization, better culture, better owner. Better plan. Better execution. Essentially better everything.  Because everything has flipped. Now, the Clippers are the organization the Lakers want to be. Or in the very least, should.  

Or in this words of this billionaire slash legend