Ballmer brings cheer, com­pet­i­tive­ness to Clip­pers

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For decades, for­mer Mi­crosoft CEO Steve Ballmer was the tech­nol­ogy gi­ant’s big­gest cheer­leader. His boom­ing voice and en­er­getic high­fives are fa­mous around Seat­tle. Now that he’s agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clip­pers for $2 bil­lion, Ballmer is ex­pected to bring that boos­t­er­ism to the hard­wood down south.

Ballmer’s days of sports fan­dom go back to child­hood. An avid pick-up bas­ket­ball player who lacked the ath­leti­cism to ex­cel at it, he chan­neled his pas­sion into be­ing team man­ager at the Coun­try Day high school in his home­town of Detroit.

There, he sup­ported play­ers and was a per­fec­tion­ist with stats. He made sure tow­els and balls were in or­der, and that wa­ter bot­tles were ready when the play­ers stepped off the court. “And, of course, he cheered,” then coach John Hansen told au­thor Fredric Alan Maxwell for his 2002 book “Bad Boy Ballmer.”

He didn’t have a hoop in his back­yard, but neigh­bor­hood kids knew from his bel­lows when he wanted a game.

“He’d be so loud, call­ing out to see if any­one wanted to play,” child­hood friend Rob Ma­son told the au­thor. In the game, he was no less de­ter­mined. “You could see how Steve ended up where he did. He just kept driv­ing to­ward the bas­ket. He was hugely com­pet­i­tive.”

That kind of back­ground makes Ballmer, 58, the “per­fect owner” for the Clip­pers, says au­thor Maxwell.

Ballmer is a huge bas­ket­ball fan, but is or­ga­nized and an­a­lyt­i­cal enough to man­age a large or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“He knows how to hire talent. He won’t get in the way of that,” said Maxwell.

AP Photo/Ted S. War­ren, File

FILE - In this July 23, 2011 file photo, Mi­crosoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer cheers dur­ing a char­ity bas­ket­ball game in Seat­tle. For decades, Steve Ballmer has been Mi­crosoft’s big­gest cheer­leader with his big, boom­ing voice and en­er­getic high-fives, which are fa­mous around Seat­tle. Now that he’s agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clip­pers for $2 bil­lion, the for­mer CEO of the tech­nol­ogy gi­ant is ex­pected to bring that boos­t­er­ism to the hard­wood down south.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.