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Steve Ballmer, the recently-retired former chief executive of Microsoft is spending $2 billion on buying the Los Angeles Clippers NBA franchise – a record for a professional basketball team. The purchase follows an unsuccessful tilt at the Sacramento Kings last year and cements a life-long passion for Ballmer, who regularly played hoops with colleagues at a public gym near Microsoft’s Seattle campus until recent years. Yet, business and sport have often been uneasy investment bedfellows.

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