Steve Ballmer reportedly eyes L.A. Clippers

by: Graham Johnson Updated:


Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is reportedly trying to buy the Los Angeles Clippers.

ESPN reports Ballmer met Sunday with Shelly Sterling, the estranged wife of team owner Donald Sterling.

The NBA is pressuring Sterling to sell the team after recordings surfaced of him making racist comments.

Ballmer has deep pockets and has been a partner with investor Chris Hansen to bring an NBA team to Seattle.

Steven Pyeatt of the group Save our Sonics says if Ballmer buys his own team, it could hurt Hansen's effort.

"Anytime you take one of the richest men in the world out of a business association like that you're not going to be as enticing to the league as you would be with him," Pyeatt said.

But he added there could be an advantage of having Ballmer join Paul Allen of the Portland Trail Blazers as an NBA owner.

"I don't think it can hurt us at all by having Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer, who live in Seattle, being on the NBA Board of Governors when the time comes to make a decision to come to Seattle," Pyeatt said.

Hansen has other investors and the environmental review for his proposed arena in SODO is moving ahead.

But losing Ballmer clearly would be a blow, and another loss in momentum toward bringing professional basketball back to Seattle.

Last week, Ballmer indicated to the Wall Street Journal he would not move the Clippers to Seattle.           

He said if there was a basketball opportunity outside of Seattle, "so be it."

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