Rather than trusting The Process, Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is making it clear that he very much doubts it.
Speaking with fans and season ticket holders at an event this week, Ballmer said that the Clippers would not be tanking for a high draft pick this season and got in a shot at the Philadelphia 76ers while he was at it.
“That ain’t us. Nuh-uh, no way,” said Ballmer of bottoming out, per Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times. “People can do it their way. We’re going to be good our way. We’re not going to show up and suck for a year, two years.
“I think we got higher expectations on us than the long, hard five, six years of absolute crap like the 76ers put in,” he continued. “How could we look you guys in the eye if we did that to you?”
To be fair, the Sixers only actively tanked for four years as part of The Process, the brainchild of former general manager Sam Hinkie. The gambit also helped them put together an elite young core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, and others, a group that won 52 games last season. But the cost of that was a combined 253 losses over those four seasons and a totally unwatchable product on their floor for their fans for all that time.
The Clippers, meanwhile, are now facing a talent vacuum that could see the losses pile up for them in a similar fashion over the next few years. However, Ballmer has always been one to try to keep his team as relevant as possible, so a Hinkie-esque total free fall seems quite unlikely for them.