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We haven’t checked in much with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer since he bought the Los Angeles Clippers of the NBA for $2 billion from the besieged Donald Sterling three years ago.
Lately, billionaire Ballmer says:
“I’m a new owner and I’ve heard this is the golden age of basketball economics. You should tell our finance people that. We’re sitting there looking at red ink, and it’s real red ink. I know, it shows up on my tax returns. So it is real red ink.”
Forbes, however, says it’s hard to lose money on an NBA team because the owners outsmarted the players’ union in getting player salaries capped at 51% of revenue. He’s probably not making a big return on his vast investment, but he’s worth $29.9 billion, so what does he care?
Steve earned his $30 billion. Here he is in 2007 showing his business acumen when asked about the other Steve’s new product, the iPhone:
Ballmer’s probably writing off Clippers’ “good will” on his tax return. So, to be technical, it’s more like the taxpayers’ loss.
Ballmer was always an embarrassing boss but can you imagine having him for your dad?
From the Seattle Times:
August 16, 2014 at 7:00 pm Updated April 2, 2015 at 7:51 pm
While playing for Lakeside, star basketball player Tramaine Isabell lived in a $6 million mansion owned by a Lakeside parent.
By Mike Baker
By the time Steve Ballmer’s oldest son reached his junior year at Lakeside School, the basketball program was in disarray.
The Lions finished the 2008 season with just two wins …
An elite private school with an endowment of $190 million, Lakeside was better known for its academics, chess team and being the place where Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen began their alliance as students in the late 1960s.
Ballmer, however, was a basketball zealot who had been angling to own an NBA franchise, a goal finalized just last week with his $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers. Before he had a pro team to call his own — and with all three of his kids involved with basketball at Lakeside — Ballmer focused his attention on the high-school team.
Ballmer and his allies at Lakeside attracted basketball talent to the wealthy school and aided them with a series of questionable tactics that included a new basketball-focused nonprofit, cash for a coach, an unusual admissions process and weak enforcement of academic standards. One star player stayed at a $6 million mansion as he shuffled through three years of an academic schedule that almost ensured he wouldn’t get a Lakeside diploma.
“They relaxed their academic integrity to accommodate athletes,” said Dana Papasedero, who coached baseball at Lakeside for two decades.
The tactics may have violated Washington state’s prep-sports rules, according to a Seattle Times investigation. But it all paid off: In just five years, Lakeside went from winless in its district to district champs for the first time in a quarter century.
The Lions kept winning all the way up until an overtime loss in the 2013 state title game — the best finish in school history.
Ballmer, who spent his high-school years at Detroit Country Day School, grew up playing basketball and wishing he had the skills to do it well. …
Ballmer became the ultimate fan at his kids’ games, bellowing supportive cheers and comments at a volume that verged on obnoxious.
Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be to have Steve Ballmer for your dad?
But in private, Ballmer expressed frustration with the team’s terrible performance …
“I’m going to open up a foundation, and we’re going to get black people in here,” Ballmer declared, according to Gordon’s testimony from March.