Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer wants the world to know, again, he’s not moving his basketball team to Seattle, or anywhere else, he told Business Insider this week.
“LA Clippers! Stop this, ‘We should move them.’ I’m not moving them,” he laughed. “I love Seattle. Seattle is wonderful. But the Clippers are an LA team.”
The new calls to move to Seattle come after a lot of recent drama surrounding the Clippers.
There was the backhanded way coach Doc Rivers learned that his All-Star guard, Chris Paul, wanted to be traded, from Paul’s agent. There was the agreement to trade him to Houston in exchange for a deal that included Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, a first-round pick, and $661,000.
There were all the news stories blaming the trade on tension among Paul, Rivers, and Rivers’ son Austin, who also plays on the team – stories that Paul and Austin Rivers later disputed.
So here’s one drama we can perhaps lay to rest: Ballmer’s answer on moving the team is an unequivocal “no.”
Ballmer had heard it all before, but the idea of relocating gained new steam after Bill Simmons published an “11-Step Guide to Saving the Clippers” commenting on what the Clippers needed to do after losing one of the faces of the franchise in Paul.
Simmons made a pretty solid argument for Seattle being a better choice for the team, saying it “could be the Pacific Northwest’s version of how Silicon Valley embraced the Warriors.”
“Seattle not having an NBA team,” he said, “is dumber than James Dolan having an NBA team.”
In the post, Simmons wrote, addressing Ballmer: “You’re never toppling USC, UCLA, the Lakers, and the Dodgers. You could own Seattle … Building that Inglewood stadium is the equivalent of being in a failing relationship and saying, ‘I know what will save us ?- ?let’s have a kid!'”
No matter. It’s in Ballmer’s hands, and at least for now that means Los Angeles gets to keep two NBA teams, while Seattle continues to have none.