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Clippers Owner Hopes to Turn a Racist's Team Into 'America's Team'

Clippers Owner Hopes to Turn a Racist's Team Into 'America's Team'

The new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers has a new plan. He wants to turn his team into “America’s Team.”

Billionaire Steve Ballmer, who Forbes last week tagged as the richest man in sports, plans to forever erase the Donald Sterling legacy from the memory of fans.

One of Ballmer’s new campaigns is his commitment to give back to the community, something he feels is vital to help erase the recent reputation the former owner cast upon the team.

“The burden on us to do that is perhaps even higher just because of whence we came,” Ballmer explained to USA Today

In an address to the team, the owner explained how he intends to guide the team into the future.

“(It will) probably (be) about the way I would work with the engineering organizations at Microsoft,” he said in discussing his level of involvement in the basketball side of this business. “I don’t write software; I never have for a living. Do I ask a lot of questions? Yes. Do I get smarter and smart about what questions to ask? Yes. Do I bring an external point of view? Yes. Do I try to micromanage? No. And can’t.

“I feel the same way on the basketball side. If I didn’t have great faith and confidence in Doc, (it wouldn’t work). But really, me saying, ‘Should we play Player A instead of (Player) B?’ No, I can’t do stuff like that. That’s what Doc is in the job for, and he’s really good.”

“We’re going to work at it,” Ballmer thundered. “Nobody’s going to outwork us. Nobody’s going to care more. Nobody’s going to do more to make that successful than the L.A. Clippers. That I’ll commit to.”

Ballmer noted that other teams became “America’s Team” by having high-profile players and big wins.

“Yeah, I think we have an opportunity (to be America’s team),” Ballmer said excitedly. “But we’ve really got to light ’em up. We’ve got incredible superstar guys at the helm in Blake (Griffin) and Chris (Paul) and DJ (DeAndre Jordan). We’re playing in a great market. We have this unfortunate situation (with Sterling), and yet all that’s done for the forward-looking thing is put the Clippers on everybody’s road map.

“Everybody wants this story to end with the guys who had to live through this succeeding!”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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