Despite an ongoing legal battle with Madison Square Garden and New York Knicks owner James Dolan, Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer says their new proposed arena in Inglewood, California is on track, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.
While NBA commissioner Adam Silver supports Ballmer’s plan to build a new arena for the Clippers, Dolan has created hurdles as he and MSG have attempted to block the construction of Ballmer’s arena.
“We’re on a path where we think we can build the arena, whatever happens in the litigation,” Ballmer said when asked for an update on the arena, which is proposed to be built for 2024, when the team’s lease with Staples Center ends. “We’re moving along. … The other side is just trying to slow us down a little bit. But it’s another thing where we’re grinders. We’re long-term players and we’re grinders.
“You want to hit us in the nose? OK! We’ll keep moving. You can’t knock us down! I’m not sure they understand what they’ve gotten themselves into, from my perspective in the sense that we’ll just keep going. They did really participate in blocking that Jets [proposed] stadium in New York. They did. It was supposed to be there some place on the west side of town. We’re going to keep patient. We have plenty of time. Keep patient, keep going.”
Ballmer also pointed out how the partnership with the NBA, and essentially with fellow NBA owners, is odd, saying litigation has made it an awkward situation with another NBA team owner.
“My partner in the NBA! It’s a weird form of partnership,” Ballmer said, referring to Dolan.
Silver commented on the lawsuit during the NBA Finals back in May.
“I have talked to Jim Dolan and Steve Ballmer about that lawsuit,” Silver said at the time. “Obviously, it’s not something you like to see between partners in the NBA. I don’t think there’s a role for the league at the moment, but it’s something that we’re paying a lot of attention to.”
It’s so weird that it’s in the same town,” Ballmer said. “The fact that we play in the same building, we get the worst nights. It’s Monday Night Football, who’s going to play? The Clippers. That’s true by lease. Our lease says we get the least favorable nights after the [NHL’s] Kings and the Lakers.
Ballmer also chimed in regarding the reception that Lakers fans gave Leonard, when they booed him as he was shown on the big screen at a Los Angeles Rams game recently.
“I’m not saying it’s bad, but it certainly was an adjustment for me,” Ballmer said about not having the support of all Los Angeles fans despite having two teams in the city. “I had to get my mind around … like what do you mean you’re not cheering for our team? I wasn’t there, but I read that Kawhi was at a Rams game and he’s getting booed?
“What the hell are you talking about? That’s our freaking guy! That guy is awesome! What are you doing?” Ballmer said as he raised his voice in excitement and pounded the table, defending his star player. “What’s wrong with you? Anyway, that’s my reaction.”
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