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Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers logo
Information
Conference Western Western Conference
Division Pacific Division
Founded 1970
History Buffalo Braves
1970–1978
San Diego Clippers
1978–1984
Los Angeles Clippers
1984–present
Arena Staples Center
City Los Angeles, California
Team Colors Red, Blue, Black, Gray, White
                        
Media Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket
KFWB
KWKW
Owner(s) Steve Ballmer
General Manager Gary Sacks
Head Coach Doc Rivers
D-League affiliate None
Championships
NBA NBA Championship logo 0
Conference Conference Championship logo 0
Division 2 (2013, 2014)
Other
Retired numbers None
Official Website clippers.com
Uniforms
Los Angeles Clippers Home Uniform Los Angeles Clippers Road Uniform Los Angeles Clippers Alternate Uniform
Home court
Los Angeles Clippers home court design 2015-16

The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers are a member of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The club's home games are played at the Staples Center, which they share with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Sparks.

The franchise was founded in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves, one of three expansion teams to join the NBA that year. The Braves moved from Buffalo, New York to San Diego, California in 1978 and became known as the San Diego Clippers. In 1984, the Clippers moved to Los Angeles. Through much of its history, the franchise failed to see significant regular season or playoff success. The Clippers were frequently seen as an example of a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the historically successful Lakers, with whom they have shared a market since 1984 and an arena since 1999.

The Clippers' fortunes turned in the early 2010s with the acquisition of core players Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Paul. In 2013, the franchise won its first division title, as the team made the playoffs for the ninth time in franchise history and the third time in the previous eight seasons. They also added to their budding rivalry with the Lakers, as they finished with a better record than the Lakers for the fifth time and won the season series for the second time since moving to Los Angeles in 1984, this time in a sweep. They repeated as division champions in 2014.

Home arenas

Franchise history

The Clippers began in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves. They were one of three franchises that joined the NBA in the 1970–71 season; the others were the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Buffalo years (1970-78)

Buffalo braves

Buffalo Braves logo.

The Braves, in their eight seasons in Buffalo, played their home games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, sharing the arena with another new franchise, the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, who also debuted in 1970. The team's first head coach was Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes, the franchise's first star players were Bob Kauffman and Don May, who were acquired in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft. However,in the NBA Draft of 1970, Buffalo passed on hometown hero Calvin Murphy,a 5 foot 9 point guard from Niagara University. Murphy would eventually be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. As typical of first-year expansion teams, the Braves finished with a dismal record, going 22-60, seven games ahead of expansion-mate Cleveland, which finished its season at 15-67. Kauffman, who averaged 4.3 points per game the previous year with the Chicago Bulls, led Buffalo in scoring with 20.4 points per game and earned a spot on the 1971 NBA Eastern Conference All-Star team.

The Braves repeated their 22-60 record in the following 1971-72 season, but did make good acquisitions that would make the club better. Buffalo drafted center Elmore Smith from Kentucky State University, and local favorite Randy Smith, from Buffalo State College. Schayes was replaced one game into the season with John McCarthy as the team's head coach. The team did not do much better in the 1972-73 season, as they went 21-61 under new head coach, Dr. Jack Ramsay. The Braves' big move that season was drafting forward/center Bob McAdoo, from North Carolina. The team finally made its first playoff appearance in 1973-74, where they faced the Boston Celtics in the first round and lost in six games.

In 1974-75, Bob McAdoo was awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, averaging 34.5 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.12 blocks per game, while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 80.5 percent from the free-throw line. The Braves made a trip to the playoffs in the 1974–75 season and again during the 1975-76 season, which would be one of their last in Buffalo.

During the last four seasons, the Braves played a total of 16 games in Toronto, Ontario at Maple Leaf Gardens in the hopes of expanding their fan base from Western New York to also include the Greater Toronto Area.[1]

By the summer of 1976, the team's founding owner Paul Snyder was doing all he could to sell the team. The June 15, 1976 issue of Buffalo's Courier-Express blasted the headline "Braves Go to Florida, Leaving 'Hockey Town'." Snyder had a handshake deal to sell the team to Mr. and Mrs. Irving Cowan, who would move the Braves to Hollywood, Florida, yet the City of Buffalo filed a $10 million damage suit to block the move. The sale eventually fell through and the Braves and the city signed a new 15 year Memorial Auditorium lease in July with a provision that the lease could be voided if the team did not sell 5,000 season tickets in any season. Later that summer Snyder finally sold 50 percent of the franchise to businessman John Y. Brown, Jr., who had previously owned the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association. Brown later acquired the remaining half from Snyder sometime in the 1976-77 season. Brown, in turn, sold a percentage of the team to another businessman, Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. who later went on to own a portion of the Boston Celtics in the 1980s. However, a provision in the transaction stipulated that if Brown sold the contract of any Braves player, then the money would go to Snyder and the purchase price would be reduced. This subsequently occurred when the Braves sent McAdoo to the New York Knicks for players and cash midway through the 1976–77 season.

Because of the team's poor play in its final two years (30–52 in 1976–77 and 27–55 in 1977-78), along with rumors of the franchise relocating because of low season ticket sales, John Y. Brown met with the then-owner of the Celtics, Irv Levin and negotiated a deal in which the owners would swap franchises, in which Brown would take control of the Celtics and Levin would get the Braves. Levin was a California businessman, and wanted to own an NBA team in his native state. The deal was brokered by David Stern, the general counsel for the NBA who later became the league's commissioner in 1984. Following what would be the final season in western New York, the NBA owners voted 21-1 to let the Braves relocate. They moved to San Diego, California after the 1977-78 season, and became the San Diego Clippers.

The San Diego years (1978-84)

SanDiegoClippers

San Diego Clippers logo.

In the team's first season in San Diego, the Clippers posted a winning record, going 43-39, under new head coach Gene Shue. However, that record was not good enough to advance them to the post-season, finishing two games out of the final playoff spot. As it turned out, it would be the Clippers' last winning season for 13 years. It was also in that first season in Southern California that long-time announcer Ralph Lawler began his association with the club. Randy Smith had another solid season, averaging 20.5 points per game, finishing second behind World B. Free, who was acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers. Free finished second overall in NBA scoring average, with 28.8 per game, while George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs had a 29.6 average.

The 1979-80 season was not much better, as the Clippers began to struggle, but not before they brought in San Diego native, center Bill Walton, who was two years removed from an NBA championship with the Trail Blazers. Walton was not much of an impact unfortunately, due to missing 68 games because of foot injuries, which he also suffered in his final years in Portland. San Diego managed to finish with a record of 37-45, despite the fact that many of their key players missed games due to injuries. Free continued his great scoring, again finishing second in league scoring, with 30.2 PPG. Paul Silas replaced Shue the following season, and the Clippers finished with a 36-46 record, once again missing the postseason. Walton missed the entire season once again due to chronic foot injuries. Free was traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Phil Smith.

The 1981-82 season brought more changes to the Clipper franchise as Irv Levin sold the team to Los Angeles-area real estate developer and attorney Donald Sterling for $20 million. The Clippers' poor play in their final years in San Diego resulted in poor attendance with the team averaging only 4,500 fans per game. Sterling subsequently lobbied the NBA to relocate the team to his native Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles years (1984-present)

Template:Copyedit

1984-2001

File:LAClippers5.png

In 1984, the Clippers moved to Los Angeles, California, playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The Clippers, under head coach Jim Lynam finished with a disappointing 31-51 record.

File:Ken Norman jersey.jpg

The Clippers were mired for the next seven seasons, including a 12-70 record in the 1986-87 season, at the time the second-worst single-season record in NBA history. Marques Johnson and guard Norm Nixon were both injured. That season also brought in Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor as the team's vice president and general manager of basketball operations. In the 1989-90 season, Baylor made a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers that brought Ron Harper in exchange for forward Danny Ferry and swingman Reggie Williams. That move, along with the 1987 NBA Draft of Ken Norman from the University of Illinois, the 1988 draftings of University of Kansas forward Danny Manning and Charles Smith from the University of Pittsburgh (Smith was acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for the draft rights of guard Hersey Hawkins), and the 1990 NBA Draft of Loy Vaught from the University of Michigan, formed a nucleus that made the franchise a playoff contender.

Midway through the 1991-92 season, the Clippers made yet another coaching change. Larry Brown, who was fired by the Spurs weeks before, was hired as the team's head coach in late January 1992. He replaced Mike Schuler, who had led the team to a 22-25 record before his firing. Brown finished the season with a 23-12 mark, for an overall record of 45-37. It was the franchise's first winning season in 13 years. The team also achieved a first that season-for the first time since moving to Los Angeles, the Clippers finished with a better record than the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 16 years (since they were Buffalo), but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Utah Jazz, 3–2. Due to the late April 1992 Los Angeles riots, Game 4 of the series was moved to the Anaheim Convention Center, and the Clippers won that game. The Clippers returned to the playoffs again in the 1992-93 season with a 41–41 regular season record, but lost again in five games in the first round, this time to the Houston Rockets.

Brown left the Clippers to join the Indiana Pacers as their head coach, and Bob Weiss was brought in to replace him. That 1993-94 season proved to be one of the worst seasons in Los Angeles NBA history, with both the Clippers and Lakers going a combined 60-104 in the regular season. After one year on the job, Weiss was fired, and veteran head coach Bill Fitch was brought in to guide a roster of young and inexperienced players. The Clippers continued to make frequent roster and coaching changes throughout the next several years and made a playoff appearance in 1997, under Fitch. That team made the playoffs with a losing record (36–46) and were swept in the first round by the eventual Western Conference Champion Utah Jazz, 3 games to none.

From 1994 to 1999, the Clippers played selected home games in the Honda Center (known at the time as the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim), sharing the venue with the Anaheim Ducks (then the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim) (hockey) and the Splash (soccer). It was speculated that the Clippers might move to play in Anaheim full time.

However, in 1999, the Clippers and Lakers both started to play in the Staples Center. It was in that first season at Staples Center that the Clippers drafted highly-touted, but oft-troubled, star forward Lamar Odom from the University of Rhode Island. The Clippers finished with a dismal 15–67 record. The team hired former All-Star (and Los Angeles native) Dennis Johnson, as an assistant coach. The team also hired Hall of Famer and former Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as an assistant coach, to help tutor second-year center Michael Olowokandi. Johnson remained an assistant coach until the middle of the 2002-03 season, when he took over as head coach. Abdul-Jabbar lasted only one season on the job.

The 2000-01 season brought more changes. Reserve forward Derek Strong was sent to the Orlando Magic in exchange for second-year forward Corey Maggette and the draft rights to guard Keyon Dooling from the University of Missouri. The Clippers' two draft picks that year were childhood friends from Illinois: high schooler Darius Miles from East St. Louis (3rd overall pick) and Quentin Richardson, a guard/forward from DePaul University (18th overall pick). The team became popular among fans with their high-flying style of basketball and the Clippers did improve a bit with a 31-51 record, leading the NBA in bench-scoring with 37 points per game.

Elton Brand era

To improve upon the previous season, the Clippers acquired high-scoring and rebounding power forward Elton Brand from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the draft rights to Los Angeles-area native and high schooler Tyson Chandler. At this point of his career, Brand had career averages of 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in just two seasons. Brand's hard work and accomplishments earned him a spot on the 2002 NBA Western Conference All-Star team as an injury replacement for center Shaquille O'Neal of the Lakers. The Clippers contended for most of the season, but won only 3 out of their last 13 games and finished 39-43, 5 games out of the final playoff position.

The 2002 offseason brought more changes, as Miles was traded to the Cavaliers in exchange for point guard Andre Miller, who led the NBA in assists in 2001-02 with 11 per game. Suddenly, with a good point guard in Miller, the playmaker Lamar Odom at small forward, one of the league's best power forwards, Elton Brand, the emerging center Michael Olowokandi, and a very good supporting cast off the bench, the Clippers could actually make a serious run for the playoffs. However, with poor team chemistry and injuries (the Clippers lost 293 man-games to injury), the Clippers finished with a very disappointing 27-55 record. Head coach Alvin Gentry was replaced by Dennis Johnson midway through the 2002-03 season.

In the 2003-04 season, the Clippers lost many of their core players to free agency (Miller, Odom, Olowokandi, and forward Eric Piatkowski--one of the longest-tenured players in Clippers historyTemplate:Fact, while opting to retain Brand and Maggette with long-term contracts. They, along with Richardson, made up one of the NBA best high-scoring trios, with a combined 58 points per game. With new head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr., the Clippers finished at 28-54, a lot due to inexperience and injuries.

The 2004-05 season saw the Clippers, although also missing the playoffs, finish with a better record than the Lakers for the first time since 1993 and have great hope for the future, with young rising stars such as Brand, Corey Maggette and Shaun Livingston. Bobby Simmons won the 2004-05 NBA Most Improved Player award after averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. As a result of that, Simmons cashed in on his newfound fame, and signed a 5-year, $47 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks in July 2005, playing closer to his hometown of Chicago.

To counter Simmons' defection to Milwaukee, the Clippers announced days later that they would sign guard Cuttino Mobley to a contract similar in years (5) but less in money ($42 million) to what Simmons received from the Bucks. Mobley was the first significant free agent signing from outside the organization since Bill Walton in late 1970s. Mobley officially signed his contract on August 3, 2005.

More deals were made, most notably on August 12, 2005, where the Clippers traded guards Marko Jaric (in a sign and trade transaction) and Lionel Chalmers to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for guard Sam Cassell and a lottery-protected 1st round pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. In relation to the lottery-protected pick, in order for the Clippers to acquire the pick, the Timberwolves would have to make the playoffs, or else Minnesota retains its draft pick.

During the summer of 2005, the Clippers announced that they would build a state-of-the-art practice facility (the first NBA practice facility within the four corners of the City of Los Angeles) in the Playa Vista development. Several current players on the Clippers' lineup live in the planned community. According to the Clippers' website, the new facility will open its doors for community programs in the off-season and will be surrounded by other community parks and recreation.[2]

2005-06 season

The 2005-06 season was a turning point for the team's overall image; a hot start marked by several wins over top teams caught the attention of many fans. Before the 2005-06 season, the Clippers drafted young Yaroslav Korolev. Elton Brand was chosen as a reserve power forward for the All-Star Game and articles have been run in many sports magazines giving recognition to the much improved team. Just before the NBA trading deadline, the Clippers traded power forward Chris Wilcox to the Seattle SuperSonics for forward Vladimir Radmanović. The Clippers had been lacking consistent outside shooting which is what they were looking for in the trade.

While the Clippers had a few stretches of poor play this season, resulting in some frustrating losses, they nonetheless were able to maintain a solid record, including posting several winning streaks. The Clippers achieved their first winning record in 14 seasons and clinched their first playoff spot since 1997.

By finishing sixth in the Western Conference, with a record of 47-35 (their best finish since the team left Buffalo), the Clippers benefitted from the current NBA playoff format of regular season records taking precedence over winning the division, and secured home court advantage over the Denver Nuggets instead of travelling to Denver for four games as a #6 seed would usually be expected to do. On April 12, 2006 the Clippers were #5 seed and would have played against the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs, but the Clippers lost 5 of their next 7 games and the Memphis Grizzlies clinched the #5 position instead.

On April 22, 2006, the Clippers won their first NBA playoff game in 13 years. Two days later, they won their second playoff game, going 2-0 against an opponent for the first time in franchise history. Although they won the first 2 games, they lost Game 3, but they won Game 4. On Monday, May 1, 2006 they won Game 5 in Los Angeles and their first playoff series since they moved from Buffalo.

The team faced the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semi-finals. After losing in game one (130-123 in Phoenix), the Clippers beat the Suns in an impressive 122–97 victory in Game 2. The series shifted to Staples Center for game 3, and the Suns beat the Clippers, 94–91, as Suns forward Shawn Marion scored 32 points and grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds. In game four, Elton Brand posted 30 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists as the Clippers evened the series on May 14, 2006 with a 114–107 victory over the Suns. In game five, Suns guard/forward Raja Bell made a key 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in the first overtime to send the game into a second overtime. Phoenix beat Los Angeles in this double-overtime "thriller" game, 125–118.

The double-overtime loss for the Clippers, to say the least, was devastating, but they bounced back with a convincing, series-saving 118-106 Game 6 win over the Suns. Second-year defensive specialist Quinton Ross had a timely offensive game, scoring a then career-high 18 points. Elton Brand had another excellent contribution, with 30 points (his scoring average in this particular series), 12 rebounds, three assists, and five blocks. Corey Maggette came off the bench to score 25 points, with 7–8 shooting from the field, and 9–9 from the free throw line. Chris Kaman and Sam Cassell each scored 15 points apiece. Marion once again led Phoenix in scoring, with 34 points, with reserve guard Leandro Barbosa scoring 25 points off the bench for the Suns. The Clippers lost the seventh game to Phoenix 127–107.

General Manager (and Basketball Hall of Fame member) Elgin Baylor won the NBA Executive of the Year award for his leading the Clippers to the playoffs.

2006–07 season

The 2006 off-season started as the team drafted center Paul Davis from Michigan State University in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft, as the 34th overall pick. The pick was acquired by the Clippers by way of a 2004 trade with the Charlotte Bobcats for center/forward Melvin Ely. The team also drafted guard Guillermo Diaz from the University of Miami as the 52nd overall pick. While Davis signed with the team in July, Diaz was not signed, and decided to play overseas. However, the team still holds his draft rights. The Clippers did not have a pick in the 2006 draft's first round.

Meanwhile in free agency, on July 13, 2006, the Clippers scored a major coup, by signing forward Tim Thomas away from divisional rival Phoenix, in a four-year, $24 million deal. That was to counter the defection of forward Vladimir Radmanović to the crosshall Lakers in a somewhat similar deal to what Thomas got from the Clippers, except Radmanovic signed for an extra year, but both players would make the same amount of money annually, which would be $6 million.

Also on July 13, guard Sam Cassell (widely credited as the biggest reason for the Clippers' recent success) signed a two-year, $13 million deal. Cassell stated in interviews that once he retires, which would be likely after this contract runs out, he would like to join the Clippers' coaching staff under Mike Dunleavy, Sr. Also, on August 1, the team signed veteran forward/center Aaron Williams (previously with the then-New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets) to an undisclosed deal. Williams played for Dunleavy with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1994-95 season.

To further their television commitment to their local fans, on August 11, the Clippers and KTLA-TV announced a three-year contract extension, which would increase KTLA's annual 25-game commitment to 30 games a year, plus selected playoff games not airing exclusively on ABC or TNT. Just like during the last two seasons, KTLA will air all of its Staples Center-based Clippers telecasts in high definition. Until recently, they were the only local team to currently air its over-the-air broadcasts in HDTV; KCAL-TV aired its first HDTV Lakers broadcast on February 2, 2007, versus the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Fifteen of the 30 annual KTLA telecasts air on KSWB-TV in San Diego, KTLA's sister station; although KTLA is already available on cable in the San Diego market.

The increased demand for Clippers games has also led to the scheduling of twelve true nationally-televised Clippers games on TNT and ESPN. The team will also have eight additional games on NBA TV; NBA TV normally uses the home team telecast's video feed and announcers, while using its own on-screen score and graphics, therefore, their presentations are not considered true, self-produced national broadcasts, such as the case with ESPN, TNT, and ABC. This brings the total of nationally-televised games to 20, the most ever in franchise history.

On September 7, the Clippers announced a radio broadcast deal with KSPN-AM, the local ESPN Radio-operated outlet.

The team, though, did not fully perform to expectations, in comparison to the previous season. A lot of this has been attributed to lack of a team chemistry and injuries to several key players, including Cassell, Thomas, Livingston, and Kaman. Players such as Luke Jackson, Alvin Williams, and Doug Christie were signed to 10-day contracts to help solidify the team's bench. Jackson and Alvin Williams only lasted through portions of the January schedule and each had limited playing time, while Christie signed with the team on January 31. Christie was not retained, and was suspended on the final day of his second 10-day contract with the team, due to Christie's desire to not return to the team, because of the team's lack of on-court direction. Christie was released from the team on February 21.

In one of most of the devastating injuries this season, guard Shaun Livingston severely dislocated his left knee in which he tore every ligament in his knee.[3] This occurred with 8:10 left in the first quarter of a home game versus the Charlotte Bobcats on February 26, 2007 at Staples Center, as Livingston was driving to the basket, where he missed the lay-up, and came down awkwardly on his left knee. The extent of the injury was so severe, local news outlets such as KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV and KNBC-TV elected not to air the clip of Livingston's injury on their sports reports. According to the team's lead physican, Dr. Tony Daly, Livingston's prognosis for him to return to basketball activity from the point in time of his injury is eight months (which would put it at around the first week of the upcoming season) to a full calendar year.[4] The Clippers, which were expected by many to make the playoffs again after their surprise appearance the season before, finished the season 40–42, 2 games behind the 8th-seeded Warriors. On May 22, the Clippers received the fourteenth draft pick from the NBA lottery. The draft was on June 28 in New York. The Clippers selected Al Thornton a combo forward from Florida State University. The Clippers used their second-round pick to draft a point guard Jared Jordan with their 45th pick.

2007–08 season

The 2007-08 season started off on a negative note, with Elton Brand on the disabled list because of a ruptured left Achilles tendon, and Shaun Livingston still out with the injury he sustained from the previous year. Brand missed most of the 2007-08 year, and the Clippers struggled to stay competitive in the Western Conference. Chris Kaman was one of the lone bright spots for the Clippers, and took advantage of a depleted roster by averaging 15.7 points and 12.7 rebounds per game throughout the season, but was limited to playing 56 games due to various injuries. The Clippers ended the season with a record of 23–59, 12th in the Western Conference and last in the Pacific Division.

2008–09 season

The Clippers saw the departure of several players, including Elton Brand and Corey Maggette, and acquisitions of ten players either by draft, free agency or trades.

On July 1, 2008, Baron Davis, a Los Angeles native and formerly of the Golden State Warriors, verbally agreed to and signed (on July 10) a five-year contract with the Clippers, worth an estimated $65 million.[5]

After a disappointing 2007–08 season, the Clippers obtained the 7th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and selected Eric Gordon out of Indiana University.[6] The team also selected DeAndre Jordan from Texas A&M University in the second round (35th overall pick). Another second-round pick, Mike Taylor from the NBA D-League's Idaho Stampede and Iowa State University (55th overall pick), was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a future second-round pick. Gordon officially signed with the team on July 7, while Jordan and Taylor both signed on July 15.

Also on July 15, the Clippers acquired forward–center Marcus Camby from the Denver Nuggets in return for a $10 million trade exception and the choice to exchange second round picks with the Clippers in 2010.[7] On July 23, the Clippers also acquired guard Jason Hart from the Utah Jazz in exchange for guard Brevin Knight[8]. On July 28, the Clippers signed guard Ricky Davis to a one-year deal, with a player option for a second year [9]. The Clippers continued their active offseason with signing reserve forward–center (and one-time Clipper) Brian Skinner on July 31, and traded for reserve forward Steve Novak on August 6 for future second-round pick considerations, in a deal similar to the Camby trade.

On August 7, the team signed guard Jason Williams from the Miami Heat to a one-year deal[10].

Recently, the Los Angeles Clippers re-signed forward Paul Davis. The Clippers signed three Davis' (Baron, Ricky, and Paul) in their "rebuilding offseason" in which they obtained key players such as Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Ricky Davis, and Jason Williams. However, just prior to the start of training camp, Williams announced his retirement on September 26.

On October 7, according to reports from various sources including the Los Angeles Times[11][12], Orange County Register[13], and the team's own web site (Clippers.com), Elgin Baylor ended his 22-year reign as vice president and general manager of basketball operations. It was one of the longest such tenures in professional sports history. The Clippers have indicated that Baylor had retired from his post[14], and as a result, head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr. will also assume the role as general manager, while director of player personnel Neil Oshley is promoted to assistant general manager.

In many of those same reports, including a related article in the October 8 edition of the Times[15], it was also indicated that Baylor had either been fired, resigned, or retired, depending on the source. According to similar reports, Baylor had been offered a different position in the organization, with the same salary, but with little to none decision-making power; Baylor refused. In fact, when pressed about his stauts with the franchise, Baylor had been advised by his attorneys not to say anything, indicating that the team and Baylor are in negotiations to work out a settlement agreement based on his departure. According to the above-mentioned article, Baylor had been working without a formal contract since the early 1990s.

On November 21, the Clippers and New York Knicks made a trade, in which Los Angeles sends forward Tim Thomas and guard Cuttino Mobley to New York, in exchange for forward Zach Randolph and reserve guard Mardy Collins[16]. With the trade of Mobley, only one member of their 2005-06 playoff team remains on the roster--starting center Chris Kaman. On December 11, Mobley announced his retirement due to the heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Mobley has yet to play a game for the New York Knicks after the trade.

On January 6, the Los Angeles Clippers waived Fred Jones & Paul Davis to open a roster spot for Center from Senegal Cheikh Samb[17]


2009–2011

In May 2009, the Clippers won the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and selected Blake Griffin. To clear a spot in the lineup for him, they traded Zach Randolph to Memphis for Quentin Richardson. Richardson was then traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith, and Mark Madsen.[18]

Griffin immediately impressed in training camp and preseason. On October 23, he broke his kneecap during the Clippers' final exhibition game against the New Orleans Hornets, following a dunk. Initially, the Clippers' stated that he only had a sore left knee, which would make him questionable for the season opener the following night, before they revealed the break. The injury sidelined Griffin for the entire season.[19]

On February 4, 2010, head coach Mike Dunleavy resigned, and Kim Hughes was named interim coach.[20] Dunleavy retained his front-office title and duties for just over a month, but on March 10 he was fired as General Manager, being replaced by Neil Olshey. Dunleavy received the news of his dismissal from the internet, as well as friends and reporters calling his cell phone.[21] The Los Angeles Times reported that Dunleavy had filed for arbitration and that the Clippers had cut off his salary, even though his guaranteed contract did not end until after the 2010–2011 season.[22] Although the Clippers saw minor improvement, finishing with ten more wins at 29–53, Hughes was fired as head coach at the end of the season.

In July, former Chicago Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro was hired as the next head coach.[23] In August, the team introduced new uniform designs at a photo shoot, at the team's practice facility. Griffin and DeAndre Jordan modeled the new uniforms, which were re-designed for the first time since the 2000–01 season.[24] The Clippers' primary and secondary logos, which are modifications of the previous ones, were introduced to the public weeks earlier, on the night of the 2010 NBA draft.

With Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, an improved DeAndre Jordan, a re-energized Baron Davis, and the debut of No. 1 pick Blake Griffin, the Clippers had high hopes for the season. However, they started slowly, losing ten of the first eleven games with Davis and Kaman out with injuries. However, the Clippers showed strength when three of their first four wins came from the top teams in the Western Conference. Griffin got off to a strong start, drawing increased media attention in Clippers games and boosting ratings of local broadcasts of Clippers games.[25] Griffin was chosen as a Western Conference Reserve in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, a rare honor for a rookie, the first chosen by the coaches for the game since Tim Duncan in 1997. He also won the NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. As the trade deadline approached, the Clippers sent Baron Davis along with their 2011 first round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon. The first pick they gave turned out to be first overall, Kyrie Irving.

2011–present: Lob City

Template:Multiple image In December 2011, the Clippers signed Caron Butler to a $24 million deal and claimed veteran point guard Chauncey Billups three days later. On December 14, 2011, they traded Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota's 2012 first-round pick acquired in 2005 for New Orleans Hornets' four-time all-star Chris Paul. Paul had previously almost been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, but NBA commissioner David Stern had vetoed the trade. Paul and Griffin were selected as starters for the Western Conference team in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, the first time in franchise history the team had two All-Star starters in the same year.

The team gained the nickname "Lob City" due to a comment made by Griffin during the Clippers Media Day when the announcement of Chris Paul's trade reached the team. Griffin, after being told the news by close friend DeAndre Jordan, declared, "Yeah! It's going to be lob city!"[26]

In February 2012, the Clippers signed Kenyon Martin. An eleven-year NBA veteran and former NBA All-Star (2004), Martin joined the Clippers after signing with the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association the previous summer. On February 6, 2012, during a game against the Orlando Magic, Billups tore his Achilles tendon and missed the remainder of the season. In March 2012, Nick Young joined the Clippers as part of a three-team trade with the Washington Wizards and the Denver Nuggets. He became the eighth player to debut in the 2011–2012 season.

After a stretch that saw the Clippers lose 12 of 19 games after Billups's season-ending injury, with rumors of Vinny Del Negro's career as head coach of the Clippers possibly coming to an abrupt end, Los Angeles went on a tear.[27] The Clippers won 12 of their next 14 games, including road wins over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks and the Western-Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder, clinching their fifth playoff berth since their 1976 conference semi-finals loss to the Boston Celtics (the last time they made the playoffs as the Buffalo Braves) before a dominating home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 16, 2012. It was their third win in four regular-season games against the Thunder. Chris Paul's push for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award was at its peak. The 2011–2012 NBA season was the first time the Clippers were in the playoffs since 2005–2006.

In their first playoff game, the Clippers rallied from a 27-point deficit against the Grizzlies to win 99–98 in one of the biggest rallies in playoff history. They led the series 3–1, then lost two straight, before coming back to win Game 7 in Memphis 82–72 and prevail to the second round. The Clippers relied on their bench during that game, and they came through, scoring all but two of their points in the fourth quarter. In the second round of the playoffs, the team was swept by the San Antonio Spurs.[28]

On June 4, 2012, GM Neil Olshey reached an agreement to become General Manager of the Portland Trail Blazers.[29] Olshey was replaced as Clippers GM by Gary Sacks. On draft night of 2012, the team re-acquired forward Lamar Odom from the Dallas Mavericks as part of a four-team deal that also sent Mo Williams and Furkan Aldemir, their 2012 draftee, to the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets respectively.

File:Los Angeles Clippers logo.svg

On July 11, 2012, the Clippers sent Reggie Evans to the Brooklyn Nets for the right to swap second-round draft picks with the Nets in the 2016 NBA daft.[30] On the same day, the Clippers signed free agent Jamal Crawford, formerly of the Portland Trail Blazers. Two days later, the Clippers re-signed Billups to a one-year deal.

On July 17, 2012, the Clippers agreed to a deal with Grant Hill and then Ryan Hollins two days later. On July 27, 2012, the Clippers signed ex-Heat center Ronny Turiaf. To cap off their off-season moves, they traded away draft rights for Hawks' shooting guard Willie Green. On September 14, 2012, the Clippers signed Matt Barnes to a one-year deal. On November 29, 2012, public address (PA) announcer David Courtney died in a hospital in Los Angeles for reasons not yet revealed. He was replaced by former Clippers and current Los Angeles Dodgers PA announcer Eric Smith.

On December 15, 2012, with a 111–85 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Clippers recorded their record ninth consecutive win, breaking their previous franchise record (in Los Angeles) of eight wins set in the 1991–92 season.[31] On December 21, 2012, with a 97–85 win over the Sacramento Kings, they notched their twelfth consecutive victory, breaking their previous 11-game streak as the Buffalo Braves in the 1974–75 season.[32] On December 30, 2012, the Clippers recorded their 17th straight win against the Utah Jazz, beating them 107–96. The win also made the Clippers the third team in NBA history to record an undefeated month ending the month of December 16–0. Their streak ended when they lost to the Denver Nuggets on January 2, 2013. They ended the streak with a franchise record of 17 wins.

On January 9, 2013, with a 99–93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, the Clippers recorded another franchise record with their 13th straight home victory [33] On January 12, 2013, the Clippers 13 game home win streak came to an end with a 104–101 loss to the Orlando Magic.[34]

A 126–101 victory over the Phoenix Suns saw the Clippers reach the 50-win mark for the first time in franchise history, breaking their previous mark of 49 from 1975–76 when they were in Buffalo.[35] On April 7, 2013, with a 109–95 victory over the Lakers, they swept the LA season series and clinched the first division title in franchise history.[36] They would finish the season with a 56–26 record. The Clippers entered the 2013 NBA Playoffs as the 4th seed to once again face the 5th seeded Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers would go up 2–0 early in the series after a buzzer beater by Chris Paul in game 2. After being up 2–0 in the series, the Clippers would lose 4 games in a row to be eliminated the first round.

File:Doc Rivers.JPG

On May 21, 2013, the team declined to renew Vinny Del Negro's contract as head coach. On June 24, 2013, the NBA approved a trade of Doc Rivers, from the Boston Celtics to the Los Angeles Clippers for an unprotected 2015 NBA first round draft pick.[37]

A day later, on June 25, 2013, Glenn "Doc" Rivers, a former Clippers player best known for his nine-year tenure as the head coach of the Boston Celtics, was announced as Del Negro's replacement. As compensation for Boston allowing Rivers to leave his contract with the Celtics and join the Clippers, Los Angeles traded two future first-round draft picks, in addition to an anti-trade clause preventing the Clippers and Celtics from engaging in further transactions amongst each other, including the exchanging of players, for the duration of the 2013–14 season.[38][39][40]

On July 3, 2013, the Clippers traded Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler to the Phoenix Suns for Jared Dudley and J.J Redick (from the Bucks). The Clippers and Suns also sent two second-round draft picks to the Milwaukee Bucks. On July 7, 2013, the team resigned Matt Barnes, Chris Paul and Ryan Hollins. Paul's deal was for 5 years, worth around $105.3 million. The team also signed Darren Collison to fill the back-up point guard role, replacing the departed Eric Bledsoe and free agent Chauncey Billups, who signed with the Detroit Pistons. On August 28, 2013, the Clippers signed free agent power forward Antawn Jamison to a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum, appeared only twenty-two games and eventually traded to Atlanta Hawks on February 20, 2014 in exchange for the draft rights to Cenk Akyol. On December 19, 2013, the Clippers signed free agent small forward Stephen Jackson appeared only nine games with the team, and eventually waived on January 7, 2014.

On January 16, 2014, the Clippers signed free agent small forward Hedo Türkoğlu for the remainder of 2013–2014 season. On February 24, 2014, the Clippers signed free agent power forward Glen Davis. On February 28, 2014, the Clippers signed free agent small forward Danny Granger. On March 6, 2014, the Clippers defeated their crosstown rival the Los Angeles Lakers by forty-eight (48) points 142–94, the most lopsided victory ever for the Clippers' franchise and the most one-sided loss in Lakers history. On April 15, 2014, the Clippers broke the franchise record of wins with 57. In the playoffs, they defeated the Warriors in seven games before falling to the Thunder in six games in the second round. Griffin averaged only 10.4 points in the second-round series.

The fall of Donald Sterling

On April 25, 2014, entertainment news website TMZ released a taped conversation in which team owner Donald Sterling – who had a history of accusations of racist behavior against African Americans and Latinos dating back to the 1990s – reprimanded V. Stiviano (born Maria Vanessa Perez and of African American and Mexican heritage, who had reportedly been dating Sterling while he was estranged from wife Rochelle Stein) after posting an Instagram photo featuring her, former Los Angeles Lakers point guard Magic Johnson and another woman. Sterling stated that it bothered him that she had "broadcast that [she is] associating with black people," and that he did not want Stiviano to bring them to the team's games.[41] The remarks in the tape caused public backlash (including condemnations from many current and former NBA players such as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant); several sponsors also severed ties with the team (among them, Kia Motors (for whom Blake Griffin serves as its television spokesperson), State Farm Insurance and Virgin America).[42] Threats of boycotts against the Clippers were also considered, with the team itself briefly contemplating one of the April 27 playoff game against the Golden State Warriors (the fourth game in the team's first round playoff series) – players opted to protest Sterling's remarks by wearing their shirts inside-out, obscuring team logos.[43][44]

On April 29, 2014, the NBA issued Sterling a lifetime ban from the organization after a league investigation into the recording confirmed that he was the one conversing with Stiviano. The league also issued a $2.5 million fine against Sterling (the highest allowable by the NBA) and barred him from attending games or practices involving any NBA team; being present in any Clippers office or facility; and from participating in any team business, player personnel decisions or league activity. NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated in a press conference regarding the decision that he will try to force Sterling to sell the Clippers, which would require the consent of three-quarters of the league's 29 other team owners.[45] Silver later announced that that NBA would appoint a CEO to run the team.[46] Before the ban was handed down, Sterling said in a phone conversation with Fox News contributor Jim Gray that he had no plans to sell the team.[47]

On May 9, 2014, the NBA named former Citigroup chairman and former Time Warner chairman and CEO Richard Parsons the interim CEO of the team.[48]

2014-present: Steve Ballmer Era

San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers 2015-04-28 01

The Clippers hosting the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of the 2015 NBA Playoffs First Round series.

On May 27, 2014, Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, agreed to purchase the team for $2 billion.[49][50] To buy the team, Ballmer reportedly beat out other candidates including Oprah Winfrey, Floyd Mayweather, Magic Johnson, and a group of crowdfunders.[51][52] Although Ballmer lives in the Seattle area and had been part of an ownership group that had unsuccessfully attempted to move the Sacramento Kings to that city, he has indicated that he has no intention of moving the Clippers.[53] On August 12, 2014, Ballmer officially took control of the team following an order by a California court that confirmed the sale from Shelly Sterling to Ballmer. As part of the deal Shelly Sterling gets the titles of "Owner Emeritus" and "Clippers' Number 1 Fan," as well as ten tickets in sections 101 or 111 for all Clippers games, two courtside tickets for all games in Los Angeles, six parking spots in Lot C for each game, 12 VIP passes that include access to the Lexus Club, Arena Club, or Chairman's Lounge and Media room or equivalent, for each Staples games, three championship rings following any Clippers title, and will run a yet to be named charitable foundation.[54][55][56][57]

The Clippers first regular season under Ballmer's ownership ended with a 56-26 record and the #3 Western Conference seed going into the 2015 NBA Playoffs. They met with the defending the NBA Champions San Antonio Spurs. The series went a full 7 games, and with 1 second left, Chris Paul hit the clutch game-winning shot to advance Los Angeles into the Western Conference Semi-Finals.[58] In the next series, they matched up against the #2 seeded Houston Rockets. The Clippers would build a 3-1 series lead that included 25 and 33-point wins in games 3 and 4, respectively. However, Houston would rally and win the final 3 games to prevent Los Angeles from making their first ever appearance in the Conference Finals, including a 40-15 run in the 4th quarter in game 6 to force a game 7 after being down by 13 points in the 3rd quarter.

On June 15, 2015, the Clippers acquired Lance Stephenson from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Matt Barnes and Spencer Hawes.[59] In the 2015 NBA Draft, the Clippers acquired Branden Dawson from the New Orleans Pelicans for $600,000.[60] After a decisive last moratorium day, DeAndre Jordan resigned with the Clippers to a 4-year, $87.7 million deal with a player option for the fourth year on July 9, 2015, after previously agreeing to a 4-year, $80 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks.[61] Additionally, the Clippers signed small forward Wesley Johnson from the Los Angeles Lakers on the same day.[62]

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  50. Template:Use mdy dates This template is used to cite press release sources in Wikipedia articles. For general information about citations in Wikipedia articles, see Wikipedia:Citing sources.

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  54. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Ballmer_completes_purchase
  55. "Steve Ballmer new Clippers owner". ESPN Los Angeles. August 12, 2014. http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/11343259/steve-ballmer-officially-new-owner-los-angeles-clippers. Retrieved May 7, 2015. 
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