Steve Ballmer admits he was ‘nervous’ at Monday’s fan festival


Steve Ballmer/Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News

One would never know that new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer gets nervous, what with the powerful yet zany way he goes about addressing large groups of people.

When Ballmer made his way through the fans seated inside Staples Center at Monday’s fan festival, Ballmer was his typical wild and crazy self, high-fiving fans with gusto. He got to the dais and started screaming, with fans loving every second of it. But he was jittery, or so he says.

“I was pretty nervous, I’ll admit,” Ballmer said. “I was pretty nervous before I went out. I asked (coach) Doc (Rivers), ‘What do you do?’ I thought maybe he had been to a fan rally before. I know what to do with folks in the tech industry, blah blah. Tech industry, you don’t get a lot of guys really excited about the tech. Turns out sports fans and tech guys might be different, but they still get fired up about the things they’re fired up about.”

Ballmer, 58 is the former CEO of Microsoft.


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Doc Rivers has no issue with Shelly Sterling the fan being courtside


News Clippers owner Steve Ballmer passionately addresses fans at the Clippers fan festival on Monday at Staples Center. (Photo by David Crane, Staff Photographer)


Don’t be surprised if what was negotiated in the Steve Ballmer purchase of the Clippers isn’t met with open arms by Clippers fans in attendance at Staples Center this season. The $2 billion Ballmer spent is what it is. If that’s what he wanted to pay, we have no problem with that. But Shelly Sterling, who did broker the deal with Ballmer, also gets all this, according to the Associated Press:

- 10 tickets in Sections 101 or 111 for all Clippers games in Los Angeles.

- 2 courtside tickets for all Clippers games in Los Angeles.

- 6 parking spots in Lot C for each game

- 12 VIP passes including access to Lexus Club, Arena Club, or Chairman’s Lounge and media room or equivalent, for each Staples Game.

- 3 championship rings following any Clippers title

- Titles of “Owner Emeritus” and “Clipper’s Number 1 Fan” for the rest of her life.

Doc Rivers, coach and president of basketball operations, was asked at Monday’s post-fan festival news conference at Staples Center what he thinks of Shelly Sterling sitting courtside at home games.
“Shelly, I look at her now as, number one, what I’ve heard, this deal doesn’t get done; I think we all understand that,” he said. “You can say what you want about Shelley, but without her, this deal does not get done. I think we have to understand that. The second part is she wants to be a fan. She’s no longer the owner. But she wants to be a fan. I’m fine with that. What’s wrong with being a fan?”

Ballmer was able to agree to those perks partly because there was no one to tell him he couldn’t.

“I did this deal by myself and I’m happy I did,” he said. “I think it required a little bit of flexibility and maneuvering. Kind of a little easier to dance and move a little bit when you’re by yourself as opposed to with others.”

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Five attractive matchups to eye for upcoming season


Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers figure to be involved in many terrific games this upcoming season. Here are five in particular to look for:

Oct. 30 – vs. Oklahoma City at Staples Center – The Thunder eliminated the Clippers in six games in last season’s Western Conference semifinals. A Game 5 comeback by OKC on its home court – partly because the atypical less-than-stellar play down the stretch by Chris Paul – makes this early matchup a gem.

Oct. 31 – at Lakers at Staples Center – Just because the Lakers aren’t looked upon as a championship contender doesn’t mean this game isn’t a big deal. As the Clippers continue to progress, so does the rivalry. Don’t think the Clippers don’t remember being upset by the Lakers in the 2013-14 opener.

Nov. 10 – vs. San Antonio at Staples Center – Going against the defending NBA champions is always going to be a marquee event. With the Spurs having played for the title the past two years – they lost to Miami the previous season – this game could tell the Clippers a lot about themselves.

Dec. 25 – vs. Golden State at Staples Center – With the Clippers having eliminated the Warriors in a hotly contested first-round, seven-game playoff series this past season, this has become a bit of a California rivalry. It should make for a terrific Christmas Day show for fans and players alike.

Jan. 16 – vs. Cleveland at Staples Center – With LeBron James back in Cleveland, the Cavaliers have been tabbed by several outlets as favorites to win their first NBA title. If Cleveland gets Kevin Love as expected, that would make this game even more tantalizing.

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Eight-game exhibition schedule announced with one in Las Vegas


Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


The Clippers on Friday announced their eight-game exhibition schedule. It goes like this:

Oct. 7 vs. Golden State at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 12 vs. Portland at Moda Center, 6 p.m.; Oct. 13 vs. Utah at Energy Solutions Arena, 6 p.m.; Oct. 17 vs. Utah at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 18 vs. Denver at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 21 vs. Golden State at Oracle Arena, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 22 vs. Phoenix at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.;  Oct. 24 vs. Portland at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.



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Report: Blake Griffin was advised to let small fracture in back heal


Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

Remember last week when we reported that Blake Griffin removed himself from Team USA’s national team that was to compete in the FIBA World Cup? At the time, Griffin said he wanted to focus on the upcoming season with the Clippers.

Well, – citing sources – on Monday reported that Griffin was actually advised by doctors to avoid international competition during the summer so he can give a small fracture in his back more time to heal ahead of the 2014-15 NBA campaign.


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Blake Griffin pulls himself off Team USA to concentrate on upcoming season


Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

Power forward Blake Griffin on Thursday announced he is pulling himself off Team USA and will not play with the national team this summer. He was one of 19 players selected to the roster; the USA World Cup team will be chosen from that roster.

“I appreciate the invitation to play for Team USA this summer,” Griffin said. “It is a special opportunity any time you have a chance to represent your country, and I was honored to be included. However, right now I want to focus and dedicate 100 percent of my energy on improving and preparing for the upcoming season with the Clippers.”



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Report: Clippers re-sign Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis for 2014-15 season


Glen Davis

Glen Davis/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers


The Clippers have re-signed veteran post Glen “Big Baby” Davis to a one-year contract for the veterans’ minimum of $1.2 million, according to league sources.

Davis, who is 6-foot-9 and about 290 pounds, came to the Clippers this past season from the Orlando Magic. He played the first four years of his career for the Boston Celtics under current Clippers coach Doc Rivers.

Davis, 28, played in 23 regular-season games for the Clippers in 2013-14. He averaged 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds. He has career scoring and rebounding averages of 8.7 and 4.7, respectively.

The Los Angeles Times was first to report this deal.

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Keith Benson scores 18 for Clippers, who fall to 1-3 in summer league play


Keith Benson/Photo courtesy of Oakland University


The Clippers are now 1-3 in summer league play after being defeated by the Miami Heat 96-87 on Wednesday at Cox Pavilion on the campus of University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Keith Benson – a 6-foot-10 power forward out of Oakland University – led the Clippers with 18 points off the bench.

DeAndre Liggins, a 6-6 shooting guard/small forward out of Kentucky, scored 14 points. Shawn Jones – a 6-7 power forward from Middle Tennessee St. – led Los Angeles with eight rebounds. Benson had six rebounds.

Miami (1-4) got a team-high 18 points from Justin Hamilton, a 7-foot post out of LSU. Tyler Honeycutt – a 6-8 forward who played at UCLA – led both teams with 15 rebounds.

The Clippers next play Friday at 3 p.m. against the Toronto Raptors at Cox Pavilion.


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Clippers make it official, sign Jordan Farmar and Spencer Hawes


Spencer Hawes

Jordan Farmar

Spencer Hawes (top) and Jordan Farmar/photos courtesy of Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers


The Clippers on Wednesday night announced they have officially signed free agents Jordan Farmar and Spencer Hawes.

Terms were not disclosed. However, Hawes – a 7-foot post – is reportedly looking at a four-year contract while point guard Farmar – most recently of the Lakers – has a two-year contract.

The team will hold a news conference Thursday at its headquarters in Playa Del Rey.

Hawes was with Philadelphia and Cleveland in 2013-14. He has career scoring and rebounding averages of 9.7 and 6.4, respectively.

Farmar has averaged 7.9 points and 3.0 assists during his seven-year career.

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Report: Danny Granger comes to terms on two-year deal with the Heat


Danny Granger

Danny Granger/photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

Small forward Danny Granger, who played 12 regular-season games for the Clippers after coming over from Indiana this past season, has agreed to a two-year deal with the Miami Heat.

Granger, who has a career scoring average of 17.4 but has battled injuries the past couple of years, is expected to get $4.2 million over two years, with the second year being a player option.

Yahoo Sports was first to report the accord.

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