Los Angeles Clippers
The team now known as the LA Clippers has been down on its luck ever since they were first formed back in 1970 in Buffalo. Sometimes referred to as “Clipper Triangle,” the team has a marked history of career-ending injuries, trade deal flops, and draft busts.
The Beginning Years
In 1970, the Buffalo Braves became one of the newest NBA teams added in the league’s expansion. Yet, despite the leadership of skilled head coach Jack Ramsey and player Bob McAdoo, the team couldn’t surpass 22 wins in the first 3 seasons. Fortunately, McAdoo, a future league MVP, helped the Buffalo Braves qualify for playoff appearances every season between 1974 and 1976.
The Buffalo Braves struggled to see court time back in Buffalo, competing for space with the men’s basketball team from Canisius College. This stroke of bad luck continued after the team was sold to John Y. Brown Jr., who effectively cleared the team roster and sent fan attendance to an all-time low. Thankfully, the owner of the Boston Celtics, Irv Levin, helped the Braves relocate to the San Diego, California area.
The change in location led the team to a brand new name as well. “Clippers” was chosen as the name due to the presence of a style of ship commonly seen in the local San Diego Bay. The move to San Diego brought on World B. Free, known for netting close to 29 points per game, and Bill Walton. However, Walton’s playing time with the Clippers was severely limited due to persistent injuries that left him sidelined.
In 1982, the team was sold to Donald Sterling in a $12.5 million deal, though the team recorded nearly 20 fewer wins than in the previous season, ending with a 17-65 record. While in San Diego, the Clippers again hit a stream of bad luck, unable to clinch a winning record and struggling to bring fans out to attend home games. 1984 brought another relocation, this time to Los Angeles without the consent of the league. This landed Sterling in hot water, facing a $25 million lawsuit for the unauthorized move.
Once in Los Angeles, the Clippers developed a trend: Acquiring veteran players that soon injured themselves after joining the team. This unfortunate trend led the team’s record to tank, finishing the 1987 season with one of the worst records in all of NBA history, 12-70. Yet, the addition of head coach Larry Brown was a game-changer for the struggling Clippers, who finally finished with a .500 record for the first time in over a decade and advanced to the playoffs for the first time in nearly 2 decades.
The Los Angeles Clippers have gone through quite a few logos in the franchise’s history, from the early days as the Buffalo Braves to the modern-day Los Angeles Clippers.
1984 - 1987
The first jersey was used beginning in 1984 and was mostly blue. “Clippers” was written in white letters with the letter “C” being much larger than the others.
1987 - 2000
From 1987 to 2000, the Clippers rocked a mostly red jersey. “Clippers” was written in cursive white letters with a blue outline.
2000 - 2010
The only change to the jersey used between 2000 and 2010 was the use of a darker blue and blue accents along the side of the jersey.
2010 - 2014
The 2010 season brought a jersey that was mostly white, using the same font from previous Clippers jerseys. This time, the font was blue with red outlines while the player’s number was the opposite.
2015 - 2017
By 2015, the Clippers adopted a mostly red jersey. This jersey had the “LAC” logo on one side with the large player number on the opposite side in large white font.
2017 - Today
The most recent jersey was added in 2017. This jersey is more modern, with a nice blue color taking up the majority of the jersey. “Clippers” is in all capital white letters in the center with an equally-sized player number just below. The only color other than blue and white on this jersey is the color red, which can be seen around the V of the jersey’s neck.