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.”