Steve Ballmer is not an ordinary NBA owner. He is a billionaire who cheers on his team with more enthusiasm than most fans. It is a type of genuine energy that really resonates with Paul George.
Paul George spoke of his appreciation for Steve Ballmer on the Knuckleheads podcast with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles.
Steve Ballmer has been more than evident on the type of culture he wants to build for the Los Angeles Clippers. He wants the organization to be a premier organization, full of ego. Given the history of how cheap Clipper was, he wants this iteration to be exactly the opposite.
“It’s about the culture he wants to build here,” said George. “He tells us several times that” whatever we need, or whatever isn’t in the locker room that you all want, come to me. In the end, I want this to be the destination for all the players they want to come to. I want to build a story here.‘He understood the owner who was here before him and wants to separate from him. Honestly, it was a blessing. “
Playing for Steve Ballmer is literally the opposite of playing for Donald Sterling. One owner was racist, inexpensive, and scolded his players while on the pitch. Steve Ballmer is willing to spend, encourages inclusive thinking and congratulates his players after the games.
“After the games, he’ll send us a message” good job, you guys have endured, you’ve fought hard “whatever the case for that particular game,” said George. “It’s always a part of us. After the games, wait in the corridors. When we finish our games it’s a real hit, we feel like it’s a part of us.”
The encouragement and energy that Ballmer brings can galvanize players in a way that few owners can. It’s the same kind of way Patrick Beverley can galvanize his teammates. The players want to win for him, they don’t want to disappoint Ballmer and they want to reward his energy. This type of bonding goes beyond the normal player-owner relationship.
“He is not the owner, he is part of this team. It is a real joy to go out and want to play for him. You are doing well for him. Bring him a championship.”