The Los Angeles Clippers are a professional basketball team in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association. The club was founded in 1970 in Buffalo, New York and was called the Buffalo Braves. In 1978, the team moved to San Diego and changed its name to the San Diego Clippers. In 1984, the club moved to Los Angeles, where they are based today, playing home games at the Staples Center arena.
After moving to California, the club could not achieve success for a long time, both in the regular season and in playoff games. It wasn’t until the 2010s, with the arrival of the likes of Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, that the Clippers began to consistently make the playoffs, and in 2013 won the division title for the first time.
1970-1978: Franchise creation, Buffalo Braves
The team was originally based in Western New York in the city of Buffalo and was called the Buffalo Braves. The Braves’ home games were played at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, where the NHL’s Buffalo Sabers also played. In 1972, after two unsuccessful seasons, coach Jack Ramsey, who had previously been head coach of Philadelphia, took over the team. Also signed was star forward Bob McAdoo, who led the NBA in scoring for 3 seasons and became MVP in the 1974-1975 season. During 3 seasons under the leadership of Ramsey, the Buffalo Braves reached the NBA playoffs. However, soon after, due to the inability to play home games at the Auditorium, Braves owner Paul Snyder sold the club to John Brown Jr., the owner of the Kentucky Colonels ABA club, who sold out all the team’s stars. However, in 1978, as a result of a deal with Boston Celtics owner Irv Levin, John Brown transferred the rights to the franchise. The new owner decided to move the Braves to San Diego.
1978-1984: Move to California
After moving in 1978, the club decided that the Braves were not the most attractive name for the team and therefore changed it to the Clippers. In the first season, the team finished 43-39 under Jin Shu and advanced to the playoffs, where they lost in the Conference Finals. The club’s top scorer was World B Free’s attacking guard, who averaged 28.9 points per game.
The following season, due to injuries to top players, San Diego finished with a 35-47 win-loss margin. World B Free became the highest scoring player in the NBA, gaining more than 30 points per game. The Clippers didn’t make it to the playoffs.
After a change of coach in the 1980-1981 season, the club also failed to reach the elimination games, ending the season with a record of 36-46, after which Free was traded to the Warriors for Phil Smith. In the 1981-1982 season, the club changed ownership: Irv Levin sold the franchise to Los Angeles entrepreneur Donald Sterling for $12.5 million. thousands of people. The new owner asked the NBA to move the team to Los Angeles.
1984-1989: Move to Los Angeles
In 1984, the Clippers moved to Los Angeles and played at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. In the first season at the new arena, the club finished the regular season with a record of 31-51, and the team was managed by Jim Linem.
In the early years, the Los Angeles Clippers, despite the abundance of talented veterans in the team, suffered setbacks. Most of the star players have been injured. Derek Smith only played 11 games with a knee injury in 1985-1986, Norm Nixon also with a knee injury, and Marques Johnson with a spinal injury nearly missed the following season, which the Clippers ended in last place in the regular season with the second worst season in NBA history.
That same season, Elgin Baylor joined the team as general manager and vice president of basketball operations. In the 1987-1988 season, Nixon suffered an Achilles tendon injury, and in the 1988-1989 season, first draft pick Danny Manning injured his cruciate ligaments.
2012-2014: Arrival of Doc Rivers and The Big Three
According to the results of the 2012/13 season, the Clippers made the playoffs. In the first round, they met with the rivals of the last season, the Memphis Grizzlies. Despite good play by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, they lost 2-4.
On June 25, 2013, the Clippers named Doc Rivers as head coach, who moved to the position as a result of a trade with the Boston Celtics. Doc Rivers signed a contract for a period of three years, replacing Vinnie Del Negro in this post. On July 8, the Clippers signed Alvin Gentry as an associate coach to assist Doc Rivers.