Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers

Clippers Timeline


Buffalo Braves Team Formation

The Braves were one of three NBA expansion franchises that began play in the 1970 - 1971 season the others being the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers. They played their home games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, sharing the arena with another new franchise, the NHL's Buffalo Sabres, who also debuted in 1970.

Move to San Diego

Because of the team's poor play in its final two years (30–52 in 1976 - 1977 and 27–55 in 1977 - 1978), along with rumors of the franchise relocating because of low season ticket sales, John Y. Brown met with Irv Levin, who then owned the Celtics, and negotiated a deal in which the owners would swap franchises, with Brown taking control of the Celtics and Levin getting the Braves. Levin was a California businessman, and wanted to own an NBA team in his native state. However, he knew the NBA would not even consider letting him move the Celtics. He was therefore very receptive to Brown's offer. The deal was brokered by NBA general counsel David Stern, who became the league's commissioner in 1984. Following what would be the Braves' final season in Western New York, the NBA owners voted 21–1 to let the team relocate. As Levin wanted, he became owner of a team in San Diego after the 1977 - 1978 season, which became the San Diego (now Los Angeles) Clippers. As part of the transaction, the teams traded most of the players on their rosters. It could therefore be argued that the successor to the Braves franchise are the Boston Celtics. Eventually in 1978 new owner John Y. Brown, Jr. dealt with Celtics owner Irv Levin so they would trade franchise ownerships. Southern California resident Levin then decided to move the Braves to San Diego, something the league would have never allowed him to do with the Celtics.

Move to Los Angeles

The 1981 - 1982 season brought changes to the franchise as Irv Levin sold the team to Los Angeles-area real estate developer and attorney Donald Sterling for US$12.5 million. The Clippers' poor play in the final years in San Diego resulted in averaging only 4,500 fans a game. Sterling lobbied the NBA to relocate the team to his native Los Angeles. In 1984, the Clippers moved north to Los Angeles, playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. However, the move was not approved by the NBA, which fined Sterling $25 million. He sued the league for $100 million, but dropped the suit when the league agreed to decrease the fine to $6 million.

Move to the Staples Center

From 1994 to 1998, the Clippers played several games at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, sharing the venue with the NHL's Mighty Ducks and the Splash indoor soccer team. In 1999, the Clippers joined the Lakers and Los Angeles Kings in the new Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. In sharing the building with other tenants, such as the highly popular Lakers, the Clippers, with relatively low success, were often overshadowed by the Lakers.

Fall of Donald Sterling

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. Silver later announced that that NBA would appoint a CEO to run the team. 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.

Steve Ballmer $2 Billion Purchase

On May 27, 2014, Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, agreed to purchase the team for $2 billion. To buy the team, Ballmer reportedly beat out other candidates including Oprah Winfrey, Floyd Mayweather, Magic Johnson, and a group of crowdfunders. 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. 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 10 tickets in sections 101 or 111 for all Clippers games, 2 courtside tickets for all games in Los Angeles, 6 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, 3 championship rings following any Clippers title, and will run a yet to be named charitable foundation.

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Team Information Team History

Buffalo - San Diego - Los Angeles

Clippers - The "Clippers," a popular type of ship during the 19th century is a carry over from the move from San Diego.

Staples Center
1999 - present
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
1984 - 1999

*San Diego*
San Diego Sports Arena
1978 - 1984

Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
1970 - 1978

Steve Balmer
2014 - present
Donald Sterling
1981 - 2014

Irv Levin
1978 - 1981
John Y. Brown, Jr.
1976 - 1978
Paul Snyder
1970 - 1976

Established: 1970

League History:
National Basketball Association
1970 - present

Team History:
Los Angeles Clippers
1984 - present

San Diego Clippers
1978 - 1984
Buffalo Braves
1970 - 1978

NBA Championships: 0

Retired Numbers:

No Mascot

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