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A Joke No More, the Clippers Aim to Be Something That Other L.A. Team Is Not

Thursday - 08/11/2018 22:09
No superstar free agent has ever chosen the Clippers. But few stars ever had that chance. For decades, the Clippers didn't even ask. But that was then—another time, another owner, another reality. Everything has changed.

LOS ANGELES — Steve Ballmer is yelling at me.

No, that isn't quite right. Steve Ballmer is yelling toward me. Though, really, he isn't so much yelling as he is boisterously beseeching, imploring, urging, persuading. His volume rises in proportion to his enthusiasm. And his enthusiasm is boundless.

Perhaps you've seen it before: Ballmer wildly hyping up fans of the Los Angeles Clippers, the team he's owned since 2014. Boogying to Fergie at a home game. Skipping and whooping and chanting like a motivational speaker in his former gig as CEO of Microsoft: "Developers! Developers! Developers!

The man is excitable, especially when discussing his greatest passions. Right now that passion is the Clippers. And he's just been asked an important question—perhaps the most critical question—about his team's fortunes.

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