LOS ANGELES: A fist-pumping, high-fiving Steve Ballmer enthusiastically vowed to run a “hard core” NBA franchise that will win championships during a rally to introduce the new owner to Los Angeles Clipper fans.
Wearing a blue Clippers’ cap and clapping constantly, the former Microsoft chief executive shouted until he almost went hoarse on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) as he moved quickly through Fan Festival crowd before taking the stage at the rally celebrating his new ownership of the club.
“Do we have any Clipper fans here? I can’t hear you,” he screamed in a raucous style he was known for at Microsoft. “I couldn’t be more honored or excited or fired up to be here.”
The US tech tycoon Ballmer paid a record $2 billion for the Clippers in a sale that was confirmed by an American judge last week.
Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and players Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan joined Ballmer on the stage.
The name of disgraced owner Donald Sterling, who bought the team in 1981 for $12.5 million, wasn’t mentioned once during the rally.”
Some of the fans had been waiting outside Staples Center arena for four hours before the start of the rally.