New owner Steve Ballmer amps up crowd at Clippers event

The Clippers emerged from the Donald Sterling controversy with a new owner and a new start.

Steve Ballmer, known for his high energy and intensity, finally gave Clippers fans something to cheer about Monday, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports.

Sounding less like the billionaire owner of a sports franchise and more like a professional wrestler, new Clippers boss Steve Ballmer enthusiastically addressed fans at the Clippers Fan Festival at Staples Center.

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New Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer, center, fires up the crowd as he arrives at the Clippers Fan Festival
AP

"Do we have any Clippers fans here? I can't hear you!"

Ballmer, 58, who is according to Forbes worth nearly $22 billion, passionately displayed his excitement for his new investment. At the event, the owner gave out high fives and played Eminem as his entrance music. He even promised fans a championship trophy known as "The Larry."

"Something knocks us down, we're gonna get back up and we're gonna keep coming and coming and coming and coming and coming," Ballmer said. "Hardcore baby! Nothing gets in our way, boom! Keep coming hardcore!"

Though it is normally reserved for team stars such as Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said this rally was really for another "guy."

"Today is not about you and us," Rivers said. "Today is about this other guy, alright, that just happens to have two billion in his pocket."

Rivers helped navigate his team through the Donald Sterling controversy.

The eccentric billionaire and former head of Microsoft, Ballmer historically has a penchant for this type of expression, often screaming with excitement at Microsoft events.

For $2 billion, the Detroit native bought an NBA team that gets second billing to the Los Angeles Lakers not just in their own arena, but in their own city. But Ballmer is hopeful that in time, that statistic will change.

"Great people, making a point of view, committing to excellence, being bold -- those things I think work for winners and that's what we wanna be," Ballmer said.

Fans and players alike saw first-hand how passionate Ballmer can be, and after a $2 billion commitment and that introduction, to say the owner is excited for the season to kick off in a few months might be an understatement.

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