Bill Plaschke: Clippers owner Steve Ballmer puts jeering Lakers fans on notice: He's coming for you

Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Basketball

LOS ANGELES — Lakers fans, Steve Ballmer is coming for you.

Lakers fans, Steve Ballmer has a team that finished last season better than your team, and he's building an arena that will be nicer than your arena and he's constructed a roster that will last longer than your roster.

Lakers fans, Steve Ballmer knows this is exactly why you jeered his Clippers so loudly last spring, turning the town against them even as they crept to within two wins of the NBA Finals.

He gets your hate. He accepts your boos. And he's coming for you.

"Why did so many in the town cheer against us?" the Clippers irrepressible owner asked in an interview with The Los Angeles Times on the eve of training camp. "At some points it gets like this ... for a long time the Clippers were nothing, so nobody had to pay attention, and for people who had been Lakers fans forever, there's no threat."

He paused and smiled.


"We'll, we've gotten pretty good," he said. "We're actually serious, you can see we're serious, we're not the old screwed-up franchise in town, we're getting our act together and I think because we're getting our act together, it gets people like, 'C'mon, you can't get your act together, it's just my team, my team is the only one that matters!' "

He kept smiling.

"No, we're coming," he said. "We're coming."

So all those Lakers fans who booed you in sports bars, and all those radio hosts who ripped your success on "Los Angeles" sports talk radio stations, and all those Lakers honks who wanted you to lose even though you wore the name of their city on your shirts and their favorite team was already eliminated ... all those people were actually scared of you?


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