Steve Ballmer can’t sit courtside for NBA action, but he applauds innovation and use of Microsoft Teams

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer roots for his L.A. Clippers in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Nov. 5, 2019, while recording an episode of the Numbers Geek podcast with GeekWire editor Todd Bishop, left. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Steve Ballmer isn’t able to jump out of a courtside seat and cheer on his Los Angeles Clippers in his usual enthusiastic fashion since the NBA returned to action last week. But the former Microsoft CEO and current team owner is still pretty excited about what’s he’s seen when it comes to games during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think it is incredibly well done,” Ballmer told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday about the league’s safety measures to keep team personnel healthy as well as innovations being used to engage fans who can’t be there in person.

Ballmer said he was tested four times for COVID-19 just last week, and when he has visited Orlando, Fla., where teams are kept in a “bubble,” he’s either behind glass or “many rows up” to watch a game. And he likes what he’s seen on TV and the “use of IT.”

“The broadcasts have show innovation, virtual fans through Microsoft Teams — that kind of got me a little excited, I have to say!” Ballmer said in a nod to his former company’s video conferencing technology which is being used to place more than 300 fans in digital seats down close to the action where Ballmer used to sit in real life.

Check out the CNBC clip:

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