"You must be pretty worried about us": Clippers Owner Steve Ballmer Shades Lakers Fans

 When the Los Angeles Clippers wooed Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to LA's "other team" two years ago, owner Steve Ballmer figured he was getting guaranteed championships. Instead, the only thing ever guaranteed to the Clippers is a mountain of hate and ridicule from Lakers fans. And now he's calling them out. 

“There are 29 other teams you have to beat to win a championship, but you must be pretty worried about us," said Ballmer. "The Lakers are a great organization, a great franchise, but Laker fans, you must be a little worried about us.” 

The Clippers' rambunctious owner spoke with Bill Plaschke of the LA Times, and had some hate of his own for the Lakers fans that wouldn't give his team any respect when they were just two games away from the Finals this past summer. 

“Why did so many in the town cheer against us?" asked Ballmer. “I have been surprised by animus from Lakers fans, and my message has sort of been, why, you don’t have enough confidence in your guys?”

Ballmer and the Clippers are finally getting out from under the Lakers' shadow, he figures, both figuratively and literally: a new $2 billion dollar arena is now under construction in Inglewood, and is set to open in 2024. The "Intuit Dome", as Plaschke says, will be "a franchise changer". And Ballmer knows it. 

“This is just another step in building our own identity. We’ve got to get out of the shadows,” Ballmer said. “We’re building our own home-court advantage. That building says we’re different. We‘ve finally got our own schtick.”

But until then, Ballmer's "schtick" will continue to be shading Lakers fans, as the two teams race each other to become LA's next NBA champion. 

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports