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Entire Clippers Roster Gathers To Watch Team Owner Shout “Toilets!”

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer looking very interested during an October 2022 tour of the future Clippers arena, which it turns out will have a lot of toilets in it.
Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images|

“I’m going to put so many toilets in this fuckin’ place, man.”

It is not quite true that anyone could buy a NBA team, build a supremely talented and oddly lopsided roster, and then show up every night to watch them play while making the sort of movements generally associated with Muppets dancing. You would have to be very rich just to buy the team, for instance, and the NBA owners who aren't Steve Ballmer—a cohort that includes every NBA owner, with the exception of Steve Ballmer—have all fallen short of doing what he's done with the Clippers in just about every other way.

Some of this is to Ballmer's credit, as he really does seem to care about the team and really has committed the money to build a roster that is tantalizing and vexing in about equal measure. Some of it, though, merely reflects the fact that there aren't very many people on earth who can spend even a few minutes being unsettlingly intense in the way that Ballmer is at seemingly every waking moment. There are NBA owners who care a lot about their teams and those who care less, and they naturally perform that caring in different ways, but Ballmer is the only one of those who would require the whole roster to join him at the construction site of the team's new arena and ask them to sit there wearing construction gear while he unleashes some high-intensity beat poetry re: how sick/tight the bathroom situation is going to be at that arena when it opens.

If you are familiar with Ballmer's general approach, you know that the exclamation points at the end of his short! declarative! sentences! is implied. I consider myself a student of his work, going back to the Developers days, and have treasured images of him pistoning out zesty high-fives and employing some wildly avant-garde gestural language during Clippers games. I mention this not to brag about my sophisticated taste, or not only for that reason, but because even that proved no preparation for hearing the man triumphantly bark out the word "toilets!" with more or less the same tone and intensity that Tom Thibodeau uses when yelling out a play during the last two minutes of a game. The man appears to be more or less this excited about everything, but he is quite clearly extra fired up about the industry-leading toilet situation he's cooking up at that new arena.

That's right, sir. Toilets.

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