Clippers owner Steve Ballmer drops bold Kawhi Leonard, Paul George warning to NBA
The Los Angeles Clippers are yet to win a championship with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George leading the way, but team owner Steve Ballmer is not losing confidence they can do it sooner rather than later.
During the groundbreaking ceremony for the Clippers’ Intuit Dome on Friday, Ballmer was asked if he thinks they can win the title before they move out of Staples Center and play in their new arena in Inglewood by 2024-25.
The former Microsoft CEO emphasized that it has always been their goal to win the title. With regard to their chances, he thinks the Clippers have a really legitimate shot to win it all in the next three years before the construction of their new home.
“I want to win a championship,” Ballmer told USA Today. “I think we’ll be able to compete for a championship.”
Steve Ballmer also acknowledged that things will be difficult in 2020-21 with Kawhi Leonard expected to be out for a big chunk of the campaign, but he warned the rest of the NBA and Leonard and Paul George are under contract until the 2024-25 season.
“We come in every year looking for a title!” Ballmer shared. “That’s what we do. We’re coming in this year looking for a title. Obviously not having arguably one of our two best players, that hurts. We’ll see when we get Kawhi back. But you think through a three-year stretch, we got all of these guys under contract for this year and next year. I think it gives us a lot of opportunity to compete.”
The Clippers made it all the way to the West Finals in 2020-21, even though Leonard had been ruled out midway through the second round. George carried the team with all his might, effectively erasing all the doubts about his playoff performance.
While the Clippers have not yet proven anything, there is certainly truth to what Ballmer said. They could very well become huge threats to the other powerhouses in the West and contend for a championship, especially if their stars stay healthy.