Steve Ballmer on haters of new Clippers logo: ‘Change is always hard’

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer shouts to Clippers fans while giving away team gear at Sprinkles Cupcakes in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday.

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer shouts to Clippers fans while giving away team gear at Sprinkles Cupcakes in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday.

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer knows the reviews on the team’s new logo haven’t all been positive, but he said that’s to be expected.

“Change is always hard on some people. ... But the truth is people get through change,” Ballmer said Thursday morning. “If you love the Clippers, you’ll love the new Clipper logo.”

Ballmer passed out T-shirts with the new logo and cupcakes at a Sprinkles location in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday to promote the team’s new look, which was released earlier that day.


He said that when he bought the team in August for $2 billion, one of his top priorities was to create a new logo.

“The number one feedback I got from fans was change, change, you gotta tell people it’s time for change,” Ballmer said. “Change the name, change the logo. Change, change, change.”

Ballmer said if it were up to him, he would have changed the team’s logo before the 2014-15 season began, but because of league rules, he had to wait. Ballmer, however, decided against changing the team’s name.

“I decided I didn’t want to change the name because I thought the name Clippers had come to represent a team that battled, people that battled through adversity,” Ballmer said.

Ballmer spent the morning high-fiving fans and taking selfies. He even threw a Clippers’ T-shirt on a guy who was wearing a Lakers jersey.

Ballmer described the team’s new logo with his famous enthusiasm.

“You get the sea of Clippers wrapping around and embracing L.A., probably really important for me as a Seattle guy to make sure people know we love L.A. and we’re here for the long run,” he said. “You get the nautical theme, the ocean, harkening back the Clippers and where we came from. You have silver around every one of the letters, the silver lining in the Clipper cloud as we look to tomorrow and the bright future that we hold. And we put black in as another color because I think most people think black is a hip, modern color.”


The Clippers distributed T-shirts with the new logo to fans at over 32 locations around Southern California on Thursday.

“It’s a chance to get out and connect a little bit during the off-season and tell people we care about them and we’re hard at work,” Ballmer said.

The Clippers were eliminated from the second round of the 2015 playoffs by the Houston Rockets in Game 7. The Clippers knocked off the defending champion San Antonio Spurs in the first round, then took a 3-1 lead over the Rockets.

It looked as though the Clippers were going to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in their 45-year franchise history. But they lost three games in a row to allow the Rockets to become just the ninth team in NBA history to recover from such a deficit and advance to the next round.

Ballmer acknowledged he was disappointed by the way the Clippers’ season ended, but he said his disappointment paled in comparison to how the players took it.

“The guys who felt that the most are our players,” Ballmer said. “I feel it, the fans feel it, but the amount of blood, sweat and tears that our players put into the season — I just felt bad. I felt bad for our guys. It did not end the way we wanted it to end, the way we all thought it should end. I think that gives motivation for the next year.”