Starting as the Buffalo Braves in 1970 as part of the NBA’s expansion at that time along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers, the Los Angeles Clippers were one of the worst franchises in all of sports until 2014 when Steve Ballmer took over as the owner.
Enjoying moderate success in their eight years in Buffalo with just three playoff appearances, the Clippers relocated to San Diego in 1978. The team continued to struggle in their new city as they were purchased by Donald Sterling in 1981. Sterling then moved his team to Los Angeles due to the poor attendance in San Diego.
The team under Sterling only made the playoffs seven times, three of which came during the Blake Griffin Era. It was a combination of bad ownership and bad front office as the Clippers were poorly run and being neighbors with the Lakers did not help.
Nevertheless, the Clippers have produced several great players that made the team’s all-time starting five.
Center – Bob McAdoo
One of the best centers to ever play the game, Bob McAdoo was the first star of the franchise. McAdoo was ahead of his time for his position as he could shoot and he could run. He won Rookie of the Year in 1972 and was a three-time All-Star in his time with the Buffalo Braves.
McAdoo even won the NBA MVP in 1975 when he averaged 34.5 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.1 blocks per game. He still ranks third in the franchise’s all-time scoring list despite playing just four seasons in Buffalo. He was enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.
Honorable Mention: Center – DeAndre Jordan
One of the longest-tenured players in Clippers history, DeAndre Jordan was with the team from 2008 until 2018. Jordan slowly improved as he got older and became one of the best defensive big men in the NBA. It culminated in 2016 when he was named to the All-NBA First Team while also making his first All-Star appearance in 2017.