Franchises

Clippers have more stability than ever with Ballmer, new arena

Big investment in Inglewood arena puts an end to the lingering question that Ballmer could move the team to SeattleNBAE/Getty Images

Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer, entering his seventh season of ownership, has put the team on the "most stable ground in franchise history," and he is "not going anywhere," according to Bill Plaschke of the L.A. TIMES. With "money and commitment from the league’s richest owner," the Clippers as a "competitive entity aren’t going anywhere," either. The $2B Intuit Dome in Inglewood, scheduled to open in '24, is "not just a game changer, it’s a franchise changer." The arena investment "puts an end to the lingering question that Ballmer could move the team to Seattle." That is "not happening," and Ballmer claims that it "was never happening." Ballmer: "I never even thought about it. Not once.” Ballmer acknowledged that he "considered changing the team’s name to coincide with the move to Inglewood," all in hopes of "rebranding and separating themselves from 37 years of Los Angeles failure." But with the recent success and growing fan base, even the "historically cursed, 'Clippers' are here for good." Ballmer said, “I thought about it, you’ve got to think about it. When I first got the team, I thought about it in the sense, ‘Is the brand tarnished?’ ... But the brand is better known because it is tarnished. ‘But is it tarnished?’” He added, “But we’re through all that, our Clipper loyalists won’t want us to change the name of this thing, there’s no push for that. I’m hopeful we’re going to win a championship with that name in the next few years. Why walk away from that?” (L.A. TIMES, 9/23).

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