They were four words that conveyed the sentiment of a franchise yearning for a new beginning.
The message was presumably intended for
The transfer of ownership from Shelly and Donald Sterling to Ballmer will allow the Clippers to extricate themselves from the most fractious period in franchise history, nearly four months of lawsuits and backbiting triggered by the
"Finally, it's done," Clippers guard
Ballmer will introduce himself to some of those followers at a fan festival scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Monday inside
Among those already celebrating Ballmer's arrival was super fan Darrell Bailey, a.k.a. Clipper Darrell.
"BREAKING NEWS!!!" Bailey tweeted after the NBA confirmed Ballmer's ownership Tuesday morning. "IT'S OFFICIAL!!! and NOW IT'S PARTY TIME!!!"
There was relief mixed with the euphoria among players.
"Honestly, I'm just glad everything is over," Jordan said in a telephone interview. "Now we can focus on playing basketball. I think everybody else is happy too. We didn't want all that negative attention this season. We just want to focus on basketball and focus on [our] job, and that's it.
"The West is tough enough as it is. We expect a lot out of ourselves. We don't want all that negative stuff."
Fans expressed a similar sentiment.
Victor Arana, a 34-year-old paralegal and a Clippers fan for the last decade, said he was happy the team was sold. "I think Donald Sterling was all around a bad guy for many reasons other than the alleged racism," Arana said in an interview across the street from Staples Center. "There were many instances of him being a slumlord and this can only be a good thing for the Clippers."
The Clippers still must contend with the specter of Shelly Sterling, who will retain courtside seats, parking spaces and titles of "Clippers' Number 1 Fan" and "Owner Emeritus" under terms of the sale agreement. Her presence could keep some away from Staples Center.
"Clips sale but Shelly Sterling stays," Jalen Rose, a former NBA player and current ABC/ESPN analyst, tweeted. "I can't………..#keepgettindemchecks"
The Clippers' website unveiled a new design with a smiling Ballmer in a red sweater standing above Coach
Rivers helped guide the franchise through the tumultuous end of the Sterling era, serving as team spokesman and girding team employees besieged by angry fans.
Those employees had reason to celebrate Tuesday.
"Today is a great day for the Clipper organization and fans everywhere," Griffin said in a statement. "I look forward to having Mr. Ballmer as an owner and continuing our pursuit of a championship."