The Wall Street Journal has published a fascinating look at the post-Microsoft life of former CEO Steve Ballmer, who spent 34 years at the company before stepping down in February and later buying the LA Clippers basketball team. Ballmer reportedly watched 100 episodes of The Good Wife in two weeks at home in an "atypical glum mood" before deciding what to do with his new-found free time.
"Steve is my favorite. I would have considered a lower bid to get him as the owner."
But once he'd settled on buying the Clippers following the fallout from racist remarks made by previous owner Donald Sterling, Ballmer was by no means confident he'd get his team. "Oprah? How do I compete with her?" he reportedly asked his advisers after finding out that the TV personality was also interested. Donald Sterling's estranged wife Shelly wasn't sure either, asking a girlfriend "Who is Steve Ballmer?" but finding herself won over by the Microsoft man's passion and pledge to keep the Clippers in LA. "Steve is my favorite. I would have considered a lower bid to get him as the owner," she told her lawyer.
Before Ballmer's exuberant, amazing introduction as the Clippers' owner (set to Eminem's "Lose Yourself"), he was nervous for his first meeting with the players over dinner, and asked team coach Doc Rivers to tell him how he did later. Rivers received texts from most of the players, according to the Journal, with one saying "Thanks for tonight. Been here a long time. Never had such a meaningful dinner with the owner before."