He has a limited basketball pedigree, including team statistician at Harvard and lifelong hoops fan. He is not one to micromanage. His permanent residence, despite owning the Clippers, is in Seattle.
Sometimes, Ballmer said on the Vertical Podcast with
But when it comes to the pressure to win a championship, Ballmer feels it just like the Clippers' players and coaches do.
"It's just one of those things that there's just not much I can do," Ballmer, who's entering his third season since buying the team, said on Redick's weekly podcast. "You know, I think of the world as knobs and dials. You can turn knobs and hopefully the dials do good things. I have tiny little knobs that don't move the needle too much, but with the little knobs I have, I feel pressure."
Redick’s conversation with Ballmer was wide-ranging. The veteran shooting guard asked the team owner about his attempt to bring an NBA franchise back to Seattle, his time as
The Clippers’ nucleus of
"I feel the pressure because I know as an owner I was born on third base," Ballmer, 60, said. "Most people [who] buy a team, you don't buy a team that has a legitimate shot to win it all. And everybody tells me, 'If you think this shot is going to come to you every year for 30 years …'"
Ballmer then jumped into a story about
Now Ballmer sees Allen as a portrait of reality. Allen purchased the Trail Blazers in 1988 and the Seahawks in 1996. He has one championship between the two teams, the Seahawks' Super Bowl win in 2014.
The path for these Clippers to win it all seems tougher than ever, with
The Clippers will play their first of six preseason games against the Warriors in Oakland on Tuesday night. When the ball tips, the clock will once again start ticking on their title window.
"You know how I talked about dials and knobs? What's the probability if you turn that knob that the dial is going to get better?" Ballmer said of hypothetically breaking up the Clippers' core. "This year, the next year, whatever, I think that's probably a low probability."