The Sports Report: Steve Ballmer steals the show

Ballmer speaks at a news conference introducing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as the newest members of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Steve Ballmer speaks at a news conference introducing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as the newest members of the Los Angeles Clippers.
(Associated Press)

Howdy, my name is Houston Mitchell and after watching Wednesday’s Clippers’ news conference, I’m pretty sure team owner Steve Ballmer is related to Chris Farley. I believe this is early footage of Ballmer.


The Clippers held a news conference Wednesday to officially introduce Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as the newest members of the team. You’d think those two would have so much star power that they would overwhelm everyone else.


And then Steve Ballmer took the stage. He yelled, he screamed, he pleaded, he stalked the stage, he bellowed, he gave a Ric Flair-like “Wooooooooooo.” In short, he took the spotlight, wrapped it around himself and walked off with it. And it couldn’t have been better.

Just take a look at some of the headlines after the news conference:

TMZ: Steve Ballmer loses his …. mind at Kawhi, Paul George event

Deadspin: Steve Ballmer appears to be in heat while introducing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

Yahoo Sport UK: Steve Ballmer goes crazy as he introduces Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

Mashable: Steve Ballmer went wild while introducing Kawhi Leonard and Paul George

Yahoo Entertainment: Steve Ballmer steals show at Kawhi Leonard, Paul George event

Fox Sports: Steve Ballmer goes nuts at Kawhi Leonard, Paul George news conference

Weekly World News: Steve Ballmer flies to moon under his own power, opens gates to Heaven

OK, maybe not that last one.

But look, on a day designed to showcase Leonard and George, Ballmer got all the headlines. And Leonard and George seemed to love every minute of it.

Here’s some of what he said, and please imagine this being screamed at the top of your lungs:

“I have these notes but I just want to say I’m FIRED UP to be here today. IT’S PRETTY COOL , IT’S PRETTY…. COOL (starts loudly clapping) WOOOOO!!!! I’m just delighted and so proud right now… I’m PUMPED to say hello as Clippers to Paul and Kawhi. C’MON GET UP! GET UP! IF YOU’RE AS PSYCHED AS I AM, GET UP! WE GOT TWO GUYS WHO I AM SO EXCITED TO HAVE! YOU DON’T THINK WE’RE GOING TO WIN SOME BALL GAMES HERE?! THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS THE LARRY OB!!”

The Larry OB refers to the Larry O’Brien trophy awarded to the NBA champion.

Eventually Leonard and George got up and said some things, but yada, yada, yada. It was all about Steve Ballmer. Revel in the greatness by clicking here.


And if you are really interested in what Leonard and George said, you can click on the below stories:

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George introduced by Clippers in ‘landmark moment’

Bill Plaschke: New-age Clippers bring it home as they introduce Kawhi Leonard and Paul George


Some Rams fans have been a little worried about quarterback Jared Goff since the Philadelphia Eagles game Carson Wentz a massive contract extension earlier this year.

Would he be mad that the Rams hasn’t done the same for him? Would it be a distraction?

Then Goff showed up to training camp at Newport Beach and did what a leader does: He addressed the issue and put it aside:


“Time will take care of it,” he said. “Just go out and play.”

Goff said he would spend training camp doing what he has always done: Working on distributing passes and spreading them around.

“Keep all those receivers happy and have fun,” he said. “You just continue to get more comfortable and confident and feel good about everything. As time goes on, it just continues to build.

“Right now, I feel good with where I’m at, and I feel good with where our team is at.”


“The Chargers, meanwhile, open camp without two key players. As our Jeff Miller puts it,

“The Chargers will open training camp officially Thursday without running back Melvin Gordon and left tackle Russell Okung, two key offensive pieces.

“Gordon did not report Wednesday, following through on his threat to hold out because he is dissatisfied with his contract situation.


“Okung was put on the nonfootball injury list after suffering what general manager Tom Telesco called “a pretty serious medical issue” in early June. The veteran lineman was involved in the team’s offseason program before being held out of minicamp.

“He’s doing better now,” Telesco said. “He’s getting great care.”

“The Chargers do not have a timetable for Okung’s return, Telesco saying he could miss all of training camp, which runs through Aug. 16 in Costa Mesa.

“I’m kind of planning on him not being ready for camp,” Telesco said. “But maybe we get lucky. I’m not so sure.”

“Okung is expected to offer more details on his situation when he meets with reporters following the Chargers’ practice Thursday.

“Gordon is due to make $5.6 million in the final season of the five-year contract he signed as a rookie. He is seeking a deal in line with the top running backs in the league, a contract that would more than double his salary.”

Sports poll


Six new members of the Baseball Hall of Fame were inducted over the weekend. Which of the following Dodgers do you think deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame? You can vote for as many as you like: Steve Garvey, Orel Hershiser, Gil Hodges, Don Newcombe, Fernando Valenzuela, Maury Wills. Vote in our poll at or email me your choices at Results will be revealed next week.

Your favorite sports moment

What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Click here to tell me what it is and why, and I’ll start running them in future newsletters. And yes, if your favorite moment is about the Angels or Ducks or a team just outside of L.A., I’ll count that too. And the moment doesn’t have to have happened in L.A., just needs to involve an area team.

Today’s moment comes from Randy Monte of Lancaster:

“My most memorable LA sports moment happened in 1982 while I was living 6,000 miles away and serving with the United States Air Force in the Republic of Korea. The fact that I was so far away is what made it so memorable.

“I grew up in the coastal town of Santa Maria, CA, and had been a Lakers fan since I was ten years old. Chick Hearn’s broadcasts had always been “the sound of basketball in LA” for me.

“While in Korea, the only sports broadcasts we received were over Armed Forces Radio and Television. I think that network loved the Lakers (probably because of Chick Hearn) and when they broadcast a game in the regular season or playoffs, it was always the Lakers’ broadcast. Being so far away from home where it can sometimes be a real struggle just to make it through a day, listening to a Lakers game gave me a lot of comfort and enjoyment. The Lakers won the championship that season and I felt like I was right there all through the playoffs.

“The following basketball season I was stationed at Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert. I would often drive to the Forum on Friday nights for Lakers games. At the end of one game I stayed in my seat to listen to the wrap-up show on the radio. I saw a man wearing Laker credentials and asked if it were possible for me to meet Chick Hearn. He told me it would be OK, but wait until the wrap-up show was over. The first thing I told Chick was that a year ago I had been in Korea and the best days I had were when I got to listen to his broadcasts. Chick’s eyes lit up and he shook my hand and asked me sit down for a minute to chat! I’ll never forget that moment. I’ll never forget Chick Hearn. And I’ll never part with the autographed picture he sent me at a later date.”


Odds and ends

UCLA running back Joshua Kelley is all smiles thinking ahead to his senior season…. USC football coach Clay Helton is fired up to deal with the heat…. Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets a warning from MLS disciplinary committee…. Kings’ Matt Millar gets to work with his idols while coaching future star goalies…. The Pac-12’s football championship game is headed for Las Vegas…. U.S. is predicted to lead the medal count again at 2020 Tokyo Olympics…. Pac-12 media day: Utah picked by media to win the conference…. Angels hold off the Dodgers to complete the season sweep.

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Our Dodgers newsletter, written by me. Subscribe here.

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Today’s local major sports schedule

Baltimore at Angels, 7 p.m., FSW, AM 830

Born on this date

1914: Football player/actor Woody Strode

1935: Former Dodger Larry Sherry

1941: NBA player Nate Thurmond

1954: NFL player Walter Payton

1962: Baseball player Doug Drabek

1964: NHL player Tony Granato

1971: Baseball player Billy Wagner

1971: UCLA/NBA player Tracy Murray

1985: Race car driver Nelson Piquet Jr.

Died on this date

1997: Golfer Ben Hogan

And finally

The NFL’s greatest players, No. 5: Walter Payton. Watch it here.


That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email us here. If you want to subscribe, click here.