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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 22, 2011 at 7:59 AM

Video: Steve Ballmer playing basketball, and analysis of his skills

Check out this Seattle Times video of Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer playing basketball with kids at a charity event.

I first heard about this video from a tweet by Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur, who wrote, “Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may be worth $14 billion, but can he shoot a basket?”

Here is the July 15 video of the H206 Charity Basketball Classic, benefiting the A PLUS Youth Program. Be sure to keep reading after the video for analysis of Ballmer’s b-ball skills.

I asked Seattle Times sports reporter Danny O’Neil his evaluation of Ballmer’s work on the court. O’Neil now covers the Seahawks, but he covered the Seattle Sonics for several years.

“Ballmer’s not a black hole on offense. He’s quick to get rid of the ball and keep things moving,” O’Neil said. “He needs to commit to a shot, truly square up and follow through. You can see in the video he shrank away from the hoop.”

“Was that because he was playing against kids for charity in a collared shirt and Dockers?” I asked.

“Sure. He’s Steve Ballmer though. Doesn’t he play to win?” he said.

“On defense, he’s very plugged in to where the ball is. You can see this is the part of the game where he excels. The first thing he does in the video is try to deny the post,” O’Neil said. “He’s to be complimented for his etiquette. No one wants to see one of the world’s most powerful men clean up on grade schoolers.”

At times, it sounded like commentary from an analyst who covers Microsoft’s business strategy. If you want to read up on Microsoft’s latest score card as a business, check out Friday’s Seattle Times story on Microsoft’s earnings report.

Ballmer is known for his passion for pick-up basketball, and his kids play basketball at Lakeside School. Many fans in the region are looking to Ballmer to bring an NBA franchise back to Seattle since the Sonics left. For the last word he had on the possibility of the NBA coming back, check out our Seattle Times story on a speech Ballmer gave to the Rotary Club in June.

Video: Nicole Brodeur / Seattle Times

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