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Steve Perrin to Steve Ballmer: Handle available, inquire within

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Who is the real Clipper Steve? My first interaction with new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer turned out to be a memorable one.

Jeff Gross

Perhaps you heard it live during the press conference with Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and the team's new owner Steve Ballmer. Perhaps you saw a mention of it in the comments section here at Clips Nation.

In a room of light-hearted, articulate and enthusiastic people, the biggest laugh line belonged to yours truly.

In the above video, if you jump ahead to the 3:20 mark, you hear the following exchange:

Steve Perrin: Steve Perrin, Clips Nation dot com. And just a quick aside, the twitter handle "ClipperSteve" is available at the right price.

Steve Ballmer: HA! I wondered who had that, thank you very much. It wasn't in [indistinguishable], I knew that.

Steve Perrin: Call me.

So, let's be clear. It's not in fact my role to bring the funny to pressers. Still, I view myself as a clever sort, and I enjoy opportunities to demonstrate just how devastatingly funny I am.

I've joked about the idea of extorting North America's richest pro team owner for the right to a twitter handle that would suit him quite well before that press conference. I had long ago resolved to drop the line on Ballmer the first chance I got -- and that chance came yesterday.

Not to mention, while it's not necessarily my goal to make the people at a press conference laugh, I probably did make an impression on the new owner. Donald Sterling never knew who I was, despite meeting me on many occasions (don't get me started on that): Steve Ballmer is likely to know who I am at this point, and there are certain advantages inherent in that.

I have to say, I was pretty pleased with how it all came off. I had contemplated the delivery, and, let's face it: "Nailed it."

But easily the best moment for me personally came later. As Doc was addressing my actual question, concerning the need to spend smart as opposed to simply spending, he looked me in the eye and said "It's more than just talent: you know that; you've been around this game." Talk about goose bumps!