News: How Were the Clippers of Los Angeles Founded?

The NBA announced on February 6, 1970, that Buffalo, Cleveland, Houston, and Portland would be the four new expansion teams. The San Diego Rockets relocated there when the Houston franchise failed. The Buffalo Braves, who advanced to the conference semifinals in 1974 and 1976, were the first team in the class to make it to the postseason. Additionally, they were honored with three Rookie of the Year awards: Adrian Dantley (1977), Ernie DiGregorio (1974), and Bob McAdoo (1973). In 1975, McAdoo was the NBA MVP. Having chosen the third choice of dates, behind the Buffalo Sabres hockey club and the local NCAA basketball team Canisius College, they played in Memorial Auditorium. The Warriors were they left with some weekend and weekday dates, but he and the NBA were unable to establish a calendar until after Canisius and the Sabres had completed theirs. The league’s capacity to negotiate and finalize television deals was hampered by the delay, especially with regard to Saturday night games. The NBA threatened to withhold league revenue sharing from the Braves unless [owner Paul Snyder] resolved the matter within five years. [1] Because of the conflicts, the Braves even played 16 home games in Toronto during their first five seasons, and another two each in Syracuse and Rochester.

Irv Levin, the owner of the Boston Celtics, received the Braves franchise from Brown in exchange for moving the team to San Diego. Freeman Williams, the top scorer in the NCAA, and a junior who would not be eligible until the following season were the two first-round draft picks that Brown allowed Levin to select for the Celtics. While the Celtics held onto Larry Bird, the new Clippers acquired Williams. The six-season record for the San Diego years was 186–306 (.378), which was quite poor. When they signed hometown hero Bill Walton in free agency, everything appeared good, but they had to offer Portland elite players in exchange, and Walton only appeared in 14 games over his first three seasons. The Clippers were purchased by Donald Sterling, who relocated them to Los Angeles in 1984.

 

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