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Steve Ballmer Picked As NBA's Best Owner By League Insiders

(via Los Angeles Daily News)

(via Los Angeles Daily News)

The Los Angeles Clippers became the laughing stock of the league following their collapse in the NBA playoffs earlier this year. No doubt, the franchise still has a long way to go if they want to be respected by the community.

Still, experts are giving team owner, Steve Ballmer, credit for his role in building a contender and re-shaping the Clippers legacy. On The Athletic, league insiders picked Ballmer as the best owner in basketball ahead of Joe Lacob, Mark Cuban, and Micky Arison, with Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé coming in as the worst.

Since 2014, Ballmer has built up an image as a free-spending, enthusiastic owner who walks the appropriate line between empowering his employees and his own involvement. As the league’s richest owner, no cost seems too big — he spent $400 million this spring to buy The Forum so he could end a legal battle with Madison Square Garden and build the Clippers a new arena nearby — and the Clippers are seen as smart, savvy organization.

The decisions he's made, no doubt, make him one of the best in his field but, for many, his enthusiasm and willingness to spend on top personnel really help him stand out among his peers.

“He’s given the Clippers every resource they need,” a scout said. “He lets his people do their jobs.”

“I would say Ballmer is No. 1,” said another scout. “His enthusiasm, his willingness to spend money, what he’s done with the Clippers, forging into L.A., creating their own identity, and building their own building now, that’s bad news.”

Valued at $72.9 billion, it's fair to say Ballmer isn't cheap with the Clipper because he doesn't have to be. He's the richest owner in the league, by far, so he's got more than enough money to invest in making the Clippers a dream franchise.

Nevertheless, it's really his attitude that makes him so likable. He shows support for his club but also allows his staff to do their jobs with freedom. It's clear the Clippers have a lot to be confident about with him at the helm.

The question is, can the current regime of players live up to heightened expectations? We'll find out soon enough...