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The Almighty Buck Businesses

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Buys the LA Clippers For $2 Billion 270

Posted by samzenpus
from the big-wallet dept.
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has purchased the LA Clippers for a whopping $2 billion, also setting a new record price for an NBA team. This deal is apparently tentative until Donald Sterling gives his blessing. Twenty-nine other NBA owners need to offer their approval as well, but that shouldn't be a problem as long as Ballmer reaffirms his commitment of keeping the Clippers in Los Angeles. Interestingly, Donald Sterling had purchased the team back in June of 1981 for $12.5 million." We talked about this earlier in the week when rumors of the purchase started circulating.
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Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Buys the LA Clippers For $2 Billion

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  • What a punishment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ClownPenis (1315157) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:16PM (#47125099)
    Poor racist bastard. We showed him!
    • by fizzer06 (1500649) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:17PM (#47125117)
      Most hated man in America buys team from the second most hated man.
    • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:29PM (#47125199)

      Will he rename the teams to the Los Angeles Clippys?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Dear NBA, if you can punish me like that, I'll take it.

    • by RJFerret (1279530)

      Who can I upset enough to buy my properties for a hundred and sixty times more than I paid?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anubis IV (1279820)

      From Wikipedia:

      Sterling acquired the Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million, and as of 2014, the team is valued at $575 million by Forbes magazine [...]

      So, this guy makes incredibly racist remarks, and he gets rewarded by a payout worth nearly 4x the value of his team?

      Ballmer should have lowballed the sleaze bag and refused to give him even the amount is was valued at. And that's the least he should've done. Never entering into business with him at all would have been preferable, but Ballmer was never known for having an awareness of how things might be perceived or a sense of what is tasteful.

      • Ballmer should have lowballed the sleaze bag and refused to give him even the amount is was valued at
         
        Since Ballmer was far from being the only party interested in purchasing Clippers, what purpose would that serve other than having his offer rejected?

      • by swb (14022) on Friday May 30, 2014 @07:37AM (#47127585)

        I can only guess that the NBA has talked to their attorneys and found out their ability to strip Sterling of his ownership was more complicated and expensive than they thought, compounded by the fact that I think its tied up with his wife and their divorce proceedings. At a minimum Sterling is very rich, very old and probably willing to make it very expensive for the NBA to force his hand. If it's uncertain you will prevail against an adversary capable and likely willing to throw $250 million at lawyers to defeat you, you give in. Even if they would have ultimately won, Sterling could have cost the league many millions and years to achieve their goal.

        The upshot being Sterling could demand whatever he wanted to sell the team. The NBA, wanting to be rid of Sterling, was probably more than willing to greenlight a sale to the right buyer -- someone of standing who also had no problem financing the buyout.

        There was talk of A-list black celebrities buying the team, but that kind of financing gets complicated -- I don't think any of them individually have the kind of cash to finance a buyout easily, requiring a complex partnership/investment ownership which I think most sports leagues don't favor. I'd also guess that even if a single buyer in this category could have financed this solo (Oprah's net is sub-$3 billion, but probably highly illiquid) they would then be facing a lot of negative PR for agreeing to any terms of Sterling's.

        I'd also guess that the NBA may have also agreed to some kind of long-term bump in TV money to offset Ballmer's price tag. This way Ballmer actually pays less for the team while not making it look like the NBA was being forced to buy Sterling out at his price, which would have been negative PR, making them look like they were capitulating to him.

    • Poor racist bastard. We showed him!

      It's likely the only reason the NBA is so angry about this, is because they wanted to kick him out anyway. They were just looking for an excuse. In other words, the NBA doesn't care if he is punished or not, as long as he loses the team.

  • Oh No! (Score:5, Funny)

    by oldhack (1037484) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:20PM (#47125133)
    Ballmer will be throwing chairs from the courtside now.
    • Ballmer will be throwing chairs from the courtside now.

      I think you beat about 50,000 Slashdot users to that thread of humor.

    • Re:Oh No! (Score:4, Informative)

      by mattack2 (1165421) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:26PM (#47125183)

      Bobby Knight beat him to it, long ago.

      (Wow.. I couldn't remember his name, and googling "chair throwing coach" found it immediately. We live in a wonderful time.)

  • by fey000 (1374173) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:24PM (#47125165)

    I like how one of the worst CEO's of all time still makes enough money to go on a $2 billion shopping spree.
    At my job, I only get a bonus when I perform above expectations...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:36PM (#47125247)
      I like how you ignore the fac that he was the 30th employee of and owned an 8% stake in one of the largest and most successful companies ever. Idiot.
      • by freeze128 (544774)
        He is the former CEO of a company that was formerly one of the most successful. Slashdot doesn't seem to have a sports category, so I guess that's why it's listed under "The Almighty Dollar". Even if it did, I wouldn't want to read it. This is the kind of story that is fine to be left to mainstream news outlets.
        • by evilviper (135110)

          This is the kind of story that is fine to be left to mainstream news outlets.

          Meh, it's an okay story for /. AS LONG AS we don't get 5,000 follow-up stories, several per week, about what mundane thing Balmer and the Clippers happen to be doing... Ala Steve Jobs/Apple, Elon Musk/Tesla/SpaceX, the latest mundane global warming paper, and many, many others.

    • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:41PM (#47125291) Homepage Journal

      He wasn't a CEO as much as he was a co-founder of one of the biggest Tech Goldmines ever.
      So yeah, for him spending 2 Billion on a sports team is like you and I going out and buying a new Porsche.

    • by bloodhawk (813939) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:57PM (#47125435)

      Worst CEO of all time? geez most CEO's would give their right arm to be half as successful as he has been since he became CEO. Profits, revenue and sales all increased under him year on year with very good growth across the board while not allowing costs to blow out. Yes he had plenty of failures but from a business standpoint he has actually been a massive success for them with his successes far outweighing the failures, could he have been more successful with a few smarter choices, SURE, but very few CEO's have outperformed him over the past decade or so.

      • by Rakarra (112805)

        Ballmer was a decent caretaker CEO. His biggest flaw was that he proceeded a visionary. He wasn't one himself, not even close.

        He didn't blow up the company.
        Compare that to the CEOs of Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, most Silicon Valley firms over the same time, and pretty much ANY executive at HP.

        • by bloodhawk (813939)

          No I think his biggest problem was that he inherited a company that had a shareprice that was at the time massively overinflated, It masked much of his success of the following decade as people would point at the shareprice and claim he was failing even though financially he was providing excellent growth. He did more than just be a caretaker, he significantly diversified the company while still maintaining a solid to excellent (though not shooting star) growth throughout his time at the helm. I will agree

    • by digsbo (1292334)
      You get a bonus for performing above expectations? What company???!!!
      • Every one I know.

        Of course, for us mundanes, the expectations are about as far out as they can be so that bonus is virtually impossible to get. In other words, if you want to see that carrot dangling, bring your telescope.

  • Nowadays, a complete collection of pristine antique automobiles and two Gulfstreams aren't enough to get Billionaire-level respect.

    How many pro teams you own, bro?

  • by linuxguy (98493) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:39PM (#47125267) Homepage

    One has to wonder if Donald Sterling would have received this much money for his team without a scandal? It appears to me that he greatly profited from the scandal.

    • by rhsanborn (773855)
      We just need a political angle and maybe we can get Glenn Beck to "ask some questions"...
    • by quantaman (517394) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @10:04PM (#47125823)

      One has to wonder if Donald Sterling would have received this much money for his team without a scandal? It appears to me that he greatly profited from the scandal.

      Without the scandal it wouldn't have been sold until after his death.

      Almost certainly the scandal would have depressed the price if it changed it at all, I don't see how it made the Clippers more valuable. The longer Sterling held onto the Clippers the more they became associated with racism and the more the brand was damaged. Sterling had to sell quick and that meant the pool of potential buyers were whomever could scrape the cash on short notice. I don't expect it made a big dent in the final price but it probably depressed it a bit.

  • Next Steps (Score:5, Funny)

    by bobstreo (1320787) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:39PM (#47125275)

    Outsource players to Indian H1B visa holders.

    Force cross licensing with beer and food vendors.

    Require ticket upgrades before you are admitted, no matter how much you paid.

    Seasons will only be good in odd years.

    Any televised games will require DirectX support.

  • at least we in the tech industry can be thankful that the NBA & LA community will now have to put up with Ballmer's antics

    what if it was the reverse?

    successful athletes, coaches, and celebrities bought up startups with their big spending...

    can you imagine a consortium of Oprah, Magic Johnson, and some Goldman/Sach's types buying facebook.com from Zuck & Co when it was still valued in the low millions before they got on their IPO track w/ Theil?

    • by quantaman (517394)

      at least we in the tech industry can be thankful that the NBA & LA community will now have to put up with Ballmer's antics

      what if it was the reverse?

      successful athletes, coaches, and celebrities bought up startups with their big spending...

      can you imagine a consortium of Oprah, Magic Johnson, and some Goldman/Sach's types buying facebook.com from Zuck & Co when it was still valued in the low millions before they got on their IPO track w/ Theil?

      It probably wouldn't work.

      Owning a sports franchise is basically a vanity project. Hire a GM to handle the drafts, trades, and contracts, other folks to handle the marketing, then you basically get to be a super fan who has a legit stake in the team. You don't need to evaluate whether your basketball team should open up a hockey team as well, or if you should only start four players to save on costs. You don't even really need to make money because you're a fan and doing it for fun.

      Owning a company is somet

  • by MiniMike (234881) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @08:46PM (#47125337)

    Their hang time should increase dramatically...

    • They will change the color of their uniforms to a navy blue color, the team logo and player names will be cryptic...

  • Just as incompetent as the old boss.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Just as incompetent as the old boss.

      I think I've seen this movie, didn't Whoopi Goldberg become coach?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I suppose Sterling has cut a loathsome figure, but how many players do the same? Do you think if a survey was made of social media and other outlets, that one could easily find instances of players making racist comments, using foul language, and paying for lurid PDA encounters with every flavor of the week? Just seems like if equal protection were to be applied, then lots of players would be paying fines, being banned, and losing rings and trophies.

    • It seems that the NBA just didn't like Donald Sterling. When people don't like you, they look for an excuse to kick you out of their club.
  • What happens when the Clippers play the Trailblazers?

  • Takes a hit. I may not agree with that the guy said, but i would still fight for his right to say it.

    ( yes, i know you are not guaranteed free speech in a private organization, but any org that doesn't honor those concepts as a core value should not be an organization that you give your money too )

    • He did get his free speech. No one stopped him from saying anything.

      Also, the rest of the NBA chose to exercise their free speech by disassociating from him under the terms of the franchise that he *voluntarily* agreed to. Why do you hate contracts?

      • by fnj (64210)

        Also, the rest of the NBA chose to exercise their free speech by disassociating from him under the terms of the franchise that he *voluntarily* agreed to. Why do you hate contracts?

        Really? You think he agreed to bullshit terms that limited his right to have thoughts and opinions and to reveal them in PRIVATE CONVERSATION never intended for publication? I suppose it's possible. The plague of PC-think is not to be underestimated.

  • by hduff (570443)

    Waiting for the inevitable reboot of the franchise.

  • by Snufu (1049644)

    Blue Screen-and-roll of Death

  • Linux basketball.

  • This is an *offer*. I had a feeling that Sterling was trying to negotiate in the press when he pointed out he's been offered as much as $2.5B (probably a lie). I don't think he's as dead set against the sale as he says. We'll see that when he gets the price he was asking for.

  • Looks like Steve Ballmer saw John Hodgman's arguments for buying the LA Clippers and took him seriously: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] Now Ballmer can have his very own herd of humans.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday May 29, 2014 @09:51PM (#47125767) Journal
    Steve Ballmer is going to push for change in the shape of the ball. It should not be a sphere, but more like a chair or something. Something easier to throw.
  • Watching the news tonight the anchor said he offered 1.8 million. I kept watching for her to realize she blew it. Nothing. I backed it up and rewatched it, she definately said million, not billion. News today really sucks :(
  • Yesterday Sterling said he would sell the team voluntarily. Today Sterling says he opposes the sale and will sue. Tomorrow he will be happy to sell to put the scandal behind him. The next day...

    Man, Alzheimer's sucks even for racist bastards..

  • > "Former Microsoft CEO..."

    Oh, please say it again!

    > "Former Microsoft CEO..."

    One more time!

    > "Former Microsoft CEO..."

    Man, I can't get enough of that.

  • "Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers! Ballers!"

    *collapses on court floor*

    "Ball... *gasp* ers. Bah. ha. hhhhhaa"
  • "Players, players, players..."; but he'll charge them $3000 to see the contract. Chair-throwing at every game of course. Best of all, slightly different and inferior version of plays used by the Lakers. Also, brown uniforms.

    OK. I'm done now. No, wait. Spy devices embedded in every ticket, which may or may not get you into the arena due to various glitches.

    OK. I'm done... I think.

  • $12.5M in 1981 would only be worth $32.6M today (http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=12500&year1=1981&year2=2014). While that's certainly nothing to scoff at, back in 1981, it seems that an NBA franchise was well within the range of many 1%ers, whereas today it seems that a franchise is really only in the domain of the 0.01%. What I can't figure out is, what happened to NBA (and sports franchises in general) over the last 33 years to have out-paced inflation by so much? Even if you think Ba

  • LOL, he must be jealous of Paul Allen owning the Blazers. Ballmer will never be as awesome as Allen of course, and Allen being on a recent Portlandia skit was side-splittingly funny...“I brought this idea to my financial advisors and they said no,” Allen said. “But I’m hoping you say yes.” Funny for one he doesn't need anyone's money as he's super loaded, two the actual uniform has their airport code (PDX) and a horrid line drawing with a small campfire on it...sometimes Port

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