#nba

Brian Windhorst looking into the notion that LeBron James may have a photographic memory:

"When we were growing up we used to play this fighting game on the Sega Genesis called Shaq Fu," says Brandon Weems, James’ lifelong friend. "LeBron was the only one who had memorized all the moves and so he’d win every time. We all thought he definitely was cheating."

I’m not sure which is more surprising: that LeBron memorized all the moves in Shaq Fu, or that LeBron was playing Shaq Fu at all.

Ira Boudway on Steve Ballmer’s attempt to by the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion:

Ballmer, as the numbers show, is offering more than any previous NBA buyer—and more than any buyer would pay for an asset with this caliber of financial performance. Over the last five years, according to Bank of America, NBA teams have sold for an average of 3.4 times their annual revenue. Ballmer’s bid comes in at 12.1 times an estimated annual revenue of $164.9 million for the year ended in June. In other words: Donald Sterling’s hypothetical $5 billion buyer doesn’t exist, and there’s probably nobody other than Ballmer willing to go as high as $2 billion.

Poor Steve Ballmer. Not literally, of course. But he just can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to his pursuit of an NBA team.

LeBron James:

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

As someone from Cleveland, I find this to be a pretty perfect letter. As bad as LeBron’s “Decision” was four years ago, that’s as good as this is.

Arash Markazi:

Even worse than being named after a sailing ship that has been out of commission since the 19th century is the Clippers’ logo. It’s a knockoff of the Lakers’ logo, which was introduced when Sterling took over the team in 1982 with an eye toward relocating the team to Los Angeles.

It’s the sports version of opening up McDowell’s across the street from McDonald’s.

It basically looks like Sterling showed the Lakers logo, which had been around since 1960, to someone and asked for it to be copied as best as it possibly could without getting him sued for copyright infringement.

Agreed on both the name change, and the ridiculous logo. But what should Steve Ballmer rename them to?

Don’t make a ‘Clippy’ joke. Don’t make a ‘Clippy’ joke. Don’t make a ‘Clippy’ joke. Don’t make a ‘Clippy’ joke. Don’t make a ‘Clippy’ joke. Don’t make a ‘Clippy’ joke. Don’t make a ‘Clippy’ joke. Don’t make a ‘Clippy’ joke. Don’t make a ‘Clippy’ joke. Don’t make a ‘Clippy’ joke.

A few crazy things about the sale (aside from the fact that it’s happening):

1. It’s $2 billion when the most valuable franchise in the NBA, the Knicks, were valued at $1.4 billion just a few months ago.

2. The Dodgers were sold in 2012 for $2.15 billion — the most expensive sports franchise deal ever — but that included all the land in Los Angeles on which the stadium (and parking lot) sits. More importantly, it included the massive television deals for the team.

3. The Milwaukee Bucks were just sold for $550 million earlier this year.

4. Donald Sterling bought the Clippers for $12.5 million in 1981.

5. Ballmer will own 100% of the team and become the most wealthy owner in sports, with his net worth of just over $20 billion. 

6. The person who he passes on that list? Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen (who owns both the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers).

7. Ballmer outbid a group including Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Laurene Jobs (the widow of Steve Jobs), and newest Apple employee Jimmy Iovine. 

I don’t think that’s an important topic, actually. It’s certainly not important to me. Microsoft is still like a child to me. So the fact that people are loving it, that’s all that really matters.

Steve Ballmer, when asked by Shira Ovide if he cares that he’s not getting any credit for Microsoft’s latest announcements, many of which he set in motion before he left. It’s a good answer by Ballmer, the exact way to handle such a question.

His answer about potentially buying the Los Angeles Clippers (and apparently not moving them to Seattle) is interesting too.

The bad news is that we’ll no longer have a view of the Bay Bridge from the proposed arena. The good news, from John Coté:

The Warriors will own the site outright, rather than leasing it from the Port of San Francisco, and the team says the arena will be entirely privately financed - a rare instance of a modern sports venue that would use no taxpayer funds or public land.

In other words, this is definitely going to happen now. The Warriors are coming to San Francisco.