Clippers owner Steve Ballmer reportedly is making some noise about getting his own joint: of course. You think Steve Ballmer threw down the mad jack for the Clippers to shack up with the Lakers and Kings? Hell no.
He wants his own joint. With his own suites, and all the crazy, high tech gadgets necessary to get people out of their living rooms and into his new crib.
ESPN reported that at GeekWire’s Sports Tech Summit two weeks ago, Ballmer talked about how the team doesn’t control much of the fan experience, like food and beverage, and his desire for upgraded broadband capacity and an “augmented reality experience.”
To fully appreciate how crazy it is that we’re even talking about the Clippers having high-speed internet and an “augmented reality experience,” you’ve got to appreciate where the Clippers came from.
Check it – back when Shaun Livingston suffered his sickening knee injury, the team practiced at a public health club and as he told Grantland, “We finish practice and we got 60-year-old naked guys in the hot tub.”
That had to be a long time ago, right? Like, the 70’s, right? Nope. 2007. Less than 10 years ago, guys like Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, Sam Cassell and Shaun Livingston would finish up practice, grab a towel and have a soak next to some 60 year old dudes who just played racquetball or walked on a treadmill with hand-weights. And now we’re talking about augmented reality?
Of course looking for a new place isn’t something you do in augmented reality, it’s something you do in actual reality.
And this won’t be a quick search. The Clippers lease at Staples run through 2024, but you better believe that Ballmer isn’t just sitting around. He told the LA Times last year that “we’re third guy in; we have third choice in dates. If you are a good businessman, you don’t come to the end of your lease and say, ‘I have no options, landlord, please take me to the woodshed and beat me.’ We’ll have options.”
And best of all, is one of the options is to build a new arena on the Westside. I get it. Who doesn’t want to be on the Westside? It’s cool. It’s hip. It’s close to the beach, shopping and awesome restaurants.
Hell, we all want to be on the Westside. But doesn’t it cost like $200 grand a square foot to build there? And he wants to build a 20,000 seat house there?? And where are they going to drop that thing? Wilshire? Beverly Glen. Bundy. Brentwood. Mar Vista?
Hell…I’ll admit… the Bel Air Clippers sound pretty good to me. I’d even slum it with the Brentwood Clippers. Problem is, who’s going to be able to afford to go to that joint besides Steve Ballmer and a few of his ultra-rich buddies.
Then again, don’t you ever bet against a dude who hits the stage like this: