Admit it. You hoped that Steve Ballmer might buy the Los Angeles Clippers and turn them back into the Seattle SuperSonics. You knew it wasn’t going to happen, but optimism can cause the mind to come up with all sorts of scenarios. Ballmer recently had this to say:
The Clippers are not a candidate for relocation for a lot of reasons: L.A. needs two teams, the league wouldn’t let them move. I think probably most people would tell you I paid an L.A. beachfront price — not a Seattle beachfront price — for the team.
Well, Ballmer is right about one thing. He did pay a beachfront price. That is a nice way of saying that he overpaid…by a lot. He bought the team at over suggested retail price because he could. He is probably also right about the fact that the NBA wouldn’t let them move.
After all, Seattle has not exactly been a top priority for the NBA.
What he is wrong about is the idea that L.A. needs two teams. They don’t. Los Angeles has taken the Clippers for granted for a very long time. Seattle would appreciate them more.
But, I digress.
Ballmer also had this to say:
It is really unfortunate that the greatest city in America doesn’t have a professional basketball team, so I still hope that happens. As an owner of a team in Los Angeles, the No. 1 thing that would be part of my dream, would be for those SuperSonic hats to be back in action.
Yeah, you hope it happens. Do you, Mr. Ballmer? If you do, then make it happen. Put your (plentiful) money where your mouth is. Actually make it the “No.1 thing” on your to-do list.
Whether Ballmer is sincere or not remains to be seen. Some fans were obviously disappointed when Ballmer suddenly bought the Clips and abandoned the Sonics. Now we will find out if he is just telling Seattle people what they want to hear.
But, if you think about, maybe this will end up being a better way to get the SuperSonics back. Could Ballmer essentially become a guy on the inside? After all, Clay Bennett isn’t going to help get a team in the Emerald City.
It appears that the NBA is going to be skittish about relocations in the future, so that may not be the way for Seattle to get a basketball team again. That means expansion, so all Ballmer has to do is make a little suggestion that the league add two teams.
Simple, right? Go to it, Mr. Ballmer. Keep your promise. Make this your top priority.