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Tale of the tape

Tale Of The Tape: Los Angeles Clippers Vs. Microsoft

So, Mr. Ballmer, it says on your resume that you helped build Microsoft into the world’s biggest software company, valued at close to $350 billion. And you’ve amassed a personal treasure chest worth about $21 billion for your troubles. Mom must be very proud of you.

But listen here, Daddy Warbucks, running a software company doesn’t qualify you to own an NBA basketball team. (I’ve used Windows and watched the Clippers on TV, so I should know.) Being fabulously rich, however, makes you imminently qualified. Welcome aboard. Lunch is at 12:00; the men’s bathroom is over there.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 29: The Los Angeles Clippers logo is shown in the locker room before their game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Microsoft logo is seen before the start of a media event in San Francisco, California on Thursday, March 27, 2014. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, unveiled a version of Office designed for the iPad today. Microsoft is tapping into its software past as it maps its future in the rapidly changing world of Internet technology.
(Photo Credit: Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) (Photo Credit: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Clippers

Microsoft

$2 billion. Value $350 billion.
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul… and some guy from Duke (ugh, IKR). They probably have other players on the roster. The team did make the playoffs again this season, which is something. Though, to be fair, the Wizards made the playoffs this season too. Doc Rivers is a solid coach. Key Staff Much of the old guard -- Bill Gates and those guys -- has retired into advisory roles. Can you blame them? Counting all that money is a full-time job in itself. Now they have an engineer running the place. My computer still works, so I'm guessing everything is okay up in Redmond. But one little virus could change all that.
The Clippers have played well in recent years with an influx of good young talent. They managed a 57-25 record this season, third best in the NBA. Playing in the second largest media market means the team gets a lot of local and national exposure. But people in LA love their Lakers almost as much as they love plastic surgery. The Clippers are still the other team. Product I think we can reasonably assume that computers are more than a passing fad. I don't have any concrete statistics handy, so let's just call it a hunch. Computers need software to run, and Microsoft makes Windows and Office, the dominant operating system and office system respectively. And let's not forget the Xbox, the single biggest time-waster on college campuses nationwide.
Things are looking up for the Clippers. All the right pieces are in place for a championship run in the very near future. The Spurs aging into Social Security should help. The team enjoyed some positive national attention for its reaction to the Donald Sterling comments. And the pending purchase just quadrupled its value and that of every NBA franchise. Outlook Sorry, I meant Outlook in the general sense, not in the email-sending, inbox-swelling, computer-crashing sense. Everybody seems to want a piece of Microsoft, but that's nothing new. Google has office computer software. Sony has a video-gaming system. And I need $50 to go drinking tonight (come on, you can spare it, you're worth $350 billion). Microsoft is holding its ground... for now.

We'll just call it a tie

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 29: The Los Angeles Clippers logo is shown in the locker room before their game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. The Microsoft logo is seen before the start of a media event in San Francisco, California on Thursday, March 27, 2014. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, unveiled a version of Office designed for the iPad today. Microsoft is tapping into its software past as it maps its future in the rapidly changing world of Internet technology.

It's a crazy world out there. Until recently, who would've guessed that a racist rant was actually a smart business move? Maybe this new business logic can be applied at Microsoft. Look at that, Steve, the Clippers purchase hasn't even happened and it's already paying dividends. You're really good at this business thing.

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