Ballmer’s remarks during an interview with the Los Angeles Times will no doubt get noticed by not only the Lakers fan base, but the team’s front office as well.
“I have been surprised by animus from Lakers fans, and my message has sort of been, why, you don’t have enough confidence in your guys?” Ballmer said. “There are 29 other teams you have to beat to win a championship, but you must be pretty worried about us. The Lakers are a great organization, a great franchise, but Laker fans, you must be a little worried about us.”
It’s unclear why Ballmer believes that Lakers fans would be worried about the Clippers, given the fact that the Lakers’ rivals have been disappointments during the past two postseasons.
In each of those cases, the Clippers have been considered to be championship contenders. However, they were unable to reach the NBA Finals in both postseasons.
Contrasting that failure, the Lakers managed to win the 2020 NBA title, though they saw their dreams of back-to-back championships end last season because of key injuries.
Both teams will again be strong contenders to capture the Western Conference title this season, but the Clippers have to get past the burden of having failed to meet expectations in previous seasons.
Ballmer’s comments put even more pressure on his team as training camps begin to open and will no doubt be recalled all season long.