The Seattle Clippers


The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the $2 billion offer for the LA Clippers tabled by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (net work estimated at $15 billion) is the highest bid the Sterlings have received for the team after the NBA began its move to force them to sell up and move on.

Some are speculating that Ballmer might move the team to Seattle.  Some are flatly denying that he would.  Neither know for a fact.

Just FYI, here are a few facts:

1 – Steve Ballmer has $15bn, maybe more.

2 – Steve Ballmer was part of a group that offered to invest $150m in the KeyArena just north of downtown Seattle in an attempt to keep the Sonics in town back in 2008.

3 – Steve Ballmer was an investor in Chris Hansen’s proposal to build a new arena in the SoDo area of Seattle in an attempt to get a team back to Seattle, where it would be renamed the Sonics (all the teams records remain in Seattle and did not transfer to Oklahoma).

4 – Steve Ballmer was part of a group, along with Chris Hansen, who attempted to buy the Sacramento Kings with a view to relocating the team to Seattle.  This attempt also fell through.

5 – Ballmer has said that it would be “value destructive” to move the team to Seattle.

There is no logical reason for buying a successful team in Los Angeles and moving it to Seattle – LA is a bigger market…UNLESS you are the 51st richest person in the world and have a desire to bring a basketball team back to Seattle (one of the great basketball cities in the US) as part of your legacy.

Time will tell.


Andrew was something of a latecomer to the game of basketball, having given up rugby after leaving high school. Joining Edinburgh’s fabled Pentland Tigers, he quickly moved on to the East Lothian Peregrines in the Scottish national league before moving to Belfast where he played with Queens and then with Belfast Star. After a year in the superleague, he moved back to Scotland and played with the Scottish Rocks in the BBL. He “retired” (the McDermott rule for using the word “retire” instead of “stopped playing” does require you to have been paid to play, so technically he retired) and moved to Seattle where he began life as an academic, which currently sees him working at University College Dublin. He is a legitimate non-frontrunning Miami Heat fan, having taken up following the team in 2001.

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