SEATTLE - Steve Ballmer is casting new doubts on the NBA in Seattle and says he isn't interested in becoming an NHL owner.
It was part of a broad discussion about sports and technology during a morning fireside chat at Geekwire's "Sports Tech Summit" at Safeco Field.
The former Microsoft CEO talked at length, for close to 45 minutes, about technology and its impact on his Los Angeles Clippers franchise. He said the club made a hard pitch to NBA free agent, and one-time Sonic Kevin Durant, to come to Los Angeles. Ballmer said he sold "analytics," including the statistic that Clipper forward Blake Griffin passed the ball more than Durant's former teammate Russell Westbrook.
It led to a natural question from moderator Todd Bishop about the NBA's future in Seattle.
"It's not likely to happen in the next year or next couple years," said Ballmer, who added there had been "no talk of expansion."
He was then asked about potentially becoming an NHL owner in Seattle, and explained how he'd only been to one hockey game in 40 years, and it was "not my sport."
The summit, the first of it's kind in Seattle, also brought together sports and tech heavyweights. MLS owners from Los Angeles, Seattle, and Vancouver noted how they are using technology to better the soccer experience. New LAFC Owner Harry Nguyen also said his franchise, which starts in 2018, already has 7,000 ticket deposits.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber also raised eyebrows when he said he'd love to have heart rates and other biometrics appear on screen during MLS games in an attempt to build more viewership. He also noted the idea was controversial and the players union was not interested.