Steve Ballmer is widely recognized as one of the best owners in the NBA. Besides having a genuine love and passion for his team, Ballmer isn't afraid to spend some of his own money to give back to his organization.
Appearing on "How Hungry Are You?" with Serge Ibaka, Ballmer answered a range of questions regarding his life, his fortune, and his experience as an owner of one of basketball's most lucrative teams.
During the episode, Ballmer also revealed that he originally wanted to buy the Detroit Pistons (his hometown team) before eventually striking a deal to become the owner of the Clippers.
"Maybe 2006. The Super Bowl was in Detroit. Seattle, where I live, the Seattle Seahawks were playing. And so I went and made a call to Bill Davidson, who at the time was owner of the Pistons. He said 'no I don't want to sell the team.' He was in his 80s. I said 'anything ever changes, you call me. Your family, anything. Call me.' He died, nobody ever called me. The team got sold. I mean, it's my luck cause I'm with the L.A. Clippers. Much better for me at this stage. I love L.A., I don't have to fly 4 hours from Seattle to Detroit, to the cold... so very lucky for me."
The Pistons were sold in 2011 to billionaire Tom Gores, who bought the team for $325 million. While the value of the franchise is estimated to be over $1 billion today, the Pistons are mostly irrelevant in the NBA and have had a losing record overall since Gores took over.
As an enthusiastic and involved owner, the Pistons probably would have been better off in Ballmer's hands.
Instead, the former Microsoft CEO is building a new stadium for the Clippers, which will open sometime in 2024.