Steve Ballmer reveals what NBA team he tried to buy before Clippers
Steve Ballmer has become well-known for his antics as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. However, if he had his way, he would have owned a different NBA franchise.
Ballmer sat down for an interview with Serge Ibaka for Ibaka’s “How Hungry Are You?” series, and the talk turned to other franchises Ballmer could have purchased. Ibaka noted that Ballmer is from Detroit, and the Clippers owner admitted (at about 8:00) that he had tried to buy the Pistons as early as 2006.
“I went and made a call on Bill Davidson, who at the time was the owner of the Pistons,” Ballmer said. “And I said ‘If ever…’ And he said ‘No, I don’t want to sell the team.’ Okay. He was in his eighties. I said ‘If anything ever changes, you call me. Your family, anybody. Call me.’ He died, and nobody ever called me. The team got sold.”
Ballmer said he was “lucky” things had worked out as they had, because Los Angeles was better for him in terms of travel time and the weather.
The rest is history. Ballmer purchased the Clippers in 2014, and has been a blast at games and spent lavishly to turn the team around. The Pistons, on the other hand, have just one winning season since Davidson died in 2009. One wonders how much different things could have been if Ballmer had landed that franchise instead.
Photo: Aug 18, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer at press conference at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports