Steve Ballmer Set to Banish Apple Devices at Clippers

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft veteran and iPad hater, with Clippers coach Doc Rivers in August.

Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Former Microsoft CEO and new Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer proved he's still extremely loyal to his old company Thursday, when he revealed in an interview that the NBA team will "probably" have to get rid of its iPads.

"Most of the Clippers are on Windows, some of the players and coaches are not," Ballmer told Reuters. He added that Clippers coach Doc Rivers "kind of knows that's a project":

"It's one of the first things he said to me: 'We are probably going to get rid of these iPads, aren't we?' And I said, 'Yeah, we probably are.' But I promised we would do it during the off season."

Exactly how far the Apple sentiment extends, we don't yet know — but it's not likely that Clippers stars such as Chris Paul or Blake Griffin would have to turn in their iPhones any time soon.

If the Clippers coaching staff uses iPads on the sidelines to look at replays and strategize, however, those could well be an endangered species, set to be replaced by Microsoft Surface tablets, which Ballmer introduced towards the end of his tenure at Microsoft.

Ballmer is such a loyalist, according to Reuters, that he's banned his family from using iPhones.

The NBA isn't the only sports battleground in the war between iPad and Surface tablets. Microsoft struck a multiyear deal with the NFL this season, one that provided all teams with Surfaces at an estimated cost of $400 million.

But that didn't stop football announcers from calling the devices iPads every time they pop up on camera, as the LA Times pointed out.

Should that kind of commentary mistake happen during a Clippers game in the new Surface era, don't be surprised to see Ballmer turn his ire on ESPN.