He was initially viewed as little more than the NBA’s richest mascot, a lovable, lumbering, fist-pumping fan who led cheers from the baseline and signed the checks from afar.
But this season, his inherited team dissolving, his comfortable world changing, something has stirred in Steve Ballmer.
The owner of the Clippers has become the force of the Clippers.
With his team requiring remodeling, he has torn down the walls. Challenged to take risks, he has swung for the fences. Given an opportunity to make a statement that was not a wild-eyed scream, he has spoken with sensitivity and smarts.
Four years after he swooped in out of nowhere to buy the laughable franchise...