Watch Steve Ballmer go nuts as the Clippers and fans give the new owner a very warm welcome


(Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Los Angeles Clippers fans aren’t just happy to be rid of Donald Sterling — they’re downright ecstatic, at least judging from this very warm welcome they and the team doled out to new owner Steve Ballmer today.


(Via Gfycat.com)

Really, that entrance, which was accompanied by Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” rivals any WWE star’s.

Boom baby, indeed. Lines to get into the Staples Center today reportedly stretched around the stadium! But there were no sightings of the “Clippers’ No. 1 Fan,” the actual title Shelly Sterling bestowed on herself (along with courtside seats and other VIP perks) as part of the sales negotiations, earlier this month.

Even if Shelly Sterling had shown up, though, she probably wouldn’t have dampened the mood. Ballmer was on another level altogether in regards to the intensity of his excitement.

Ballmer doesn’t turn down for much, however. For instance, here he is getting really, really amped over developers at Microsoft a few years back.

Here he is again getting super duper crazily pumped up.

Truly, when Ballmer gets loud, there’s nothing that can bring him down.

That might be especially true when it comes to basketball. Ballmer has long dreamed of owning an NBA franchise, according to the Seattle Times, but the closest he’s come before now was having a heavy hand in the development of his sons’ private school team. He got so passionate about making it good that he erred on the side of a-little-bit-shady at times. The Seattle Times writes:

Ballmer and his allies at [the Lakeside School] attracted basketball talent to the wealthy school and aided them with a series of questionable tactics that included a new basketball-focused nonprofit, cash for a coach, an unusual admissions process and weak enforcement of academic standards. One star player stayed at a $6 million mansion as he shuffled through three years of an academic schedule that almost ensured he wouldn’t get a Lakeside diploma. … The tactics may have violated Washington state’s prep-sports rules, according to a Seattle Times investigation. But it all paid off: In just five years, Lakeside went from winless in its district to district champs for the first time in a quarter century.

It’s safe to say, though, the people celebrating at the Staples Center today had none of that on their minds. Instead, they were soaking up the moment of being elated about the future of their team, rather than worried.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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Marissa Payne · August 18

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