Clippers fan festival welcomes new owner Steve Ballmer

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Steve Ballmer has introduced himself to Los Angeles Clippers fans at a rally celebrating his new ownership of the NBA team.

The former Microsoft CEO made his way through the crowd inside Staples Center, exchanging high-fives and clapping furiously as he took the stage Monday.

Ballmer paid a record $2 billion for the team in a sale that was confirmed by a judge last week. The name of disgraced owner Donald Sterling, who controlled the team for 33 years, was never uttered during the rally.

Ballmer assured the crowd that he has no plans to move the team to Seattle, where he lives.

He shouted until he was nearly hoarse, prowled the stage and gestured to make his points in the enthusiastic style he was known for at Microsoft.

Fans turned out well in advance for the event.

"We are here at the Staples Center representing the Clippers. Whoa! Number One Clippers! They’ve been through so much and I’ve come out here to support them," Sharron Owens of South L.A. told KPCC's Benjamin Brayfield.

"It’s Clipper nation, all day, every day," said L.A. resident Ricky Joseph.

Joseph said he's been a fan since the Clippers were based in San Diego and that he's always been an underdog. "We always had a team, but not that quite super stardom team," he said, adding that he hoped the Clippers would take their first title.

You can watch the press conference again here: 

This story has been updated.

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