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How Does Steve Ballmer’s Purchase Of The Los Angeles Clippers Affect Seattle’s Chances Of Landing An NBA Team?

Submitted by on May 30, 2014 – 1:02 pm8 Comments

In recent years, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has tried hard—very hard—to bring an NBA franchise back to the city of Seattle. He knows just how much Seattle wants an NBA team to play in the city. So he has worked tirelessly to try and make it happen. And he came pretty close to doing it. In fact, he was part of the group that came thisclose to buying the Sacramento Kings and moving them to Seattle. But it never worked out for him and, as a result, the city of Seattle has continued to be shut out of the NBA.

Unfortunately, it looks like Seattle isn’t going to get a team anytime soon, either. Because late last night, Ballmer agreed in principle to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers from Donald and Shelly Sterling for $2 billion. And in doing so, he gave up the dream of bringing an NBA team back to Seattle. He has already gone on the record and said that he does not want to take the Clippers and move them to Seattle. And so, for the time being, Seattle is going to have to live without a team. They’re also going to have to live without one of the biggest advocates on their side, too, because it sounds like Ballmer is going to move to L.A. in the near future and leave Seattle behind.

It’s unfortunate to see Seattle go so long without a team. When the Supersonics were located in Seattle, they were a big draw and it was clear that the city really appreciated them. But Ballmer made three separate attempts to buy NBA teams and move them to Seattle in recent years and none of them panned out. So we don’t really blame him for giving up on the idea and buying the Clippers. He wasn’t getting anywhere with the idea of moving a current team to Seattle. So he made the next best move and bought a team elsewhere.

That doesn’t mean that someone else out there shouldn’t pick up the baton and try to move a team to Seattle in the future. At some point, the NBA has to get a team back there, even if Ballmer isn’t involved. We hope to see it sometime soon. But without Ballmer in the picture, it probably just got a lot more difficult.

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