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Clippers

Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers are a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association, located in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. They play in the Pacific Division of the NBA. The club's home games are played at the Staples Center, an arena shared with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL).

The Clippers were originally named the Braves and were located in Buffalo, New York. Through relocations to San Diego then Los Angeles, the franchise failed to see significant regular season or playoff success. The Clippers are 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 and Chris Paul, and in 2013 the franchise won its first division championship, as the team made the playoffs for the ninth time in franchise history and the third time in the past eight seasons. They also added to their budding rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, as they finished with a better record than the team for the fifth time and won the season series for the second time since moving to the Los Angeles in 1984. Former head coach Vinny Del Negro would frequently go deep into the team's bench, leading many to believe the Clippers were the NBA's deepest team.

2011–present: Lob City

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!" [27]

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[28]. 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 92–82 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. Chris Paul scored 19 points, despite an injured right hip flexor. Blake Griffin was limited due to a sprained knee.

In the second round of the playoffs, the team was swept by the San Antonio Spurs.[29

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.

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 Draft.[30] On the same day, the Clippers signed free agent Jamal Crawford, formerly of the Portland Trail Blazers.[31] 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.[32] On September 14, 2012, the Clippers signed Matt Barnes to a one-year deal.

On November 29, 2012, P.A. announcer David Courtney died in a hospital in Los Angeles for reasons not yet revealed. He will be replaced by former Clipper and current Los Angeles Dodgers P.A. 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.[33] 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.[34] On December 30, 2012, the Clippers recorded their seventeenth 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 [35] On January 12, 2013, the Clippers 13 game home win streak came to an end with a 104-101 loss to the Orlando Magic.[36]

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 49-win season in 1975-76 as the Buffalo Braves.[37] On April 7th 2013, with a 109-95 victory over the Lakers, they swept the LA season series and clinched the first division title in franchise history.[38 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. Blake Griffin was hindered in Games 5 and 6 with a high ankle sprain. Griffin was ironically also injured in the previous season's playoff series against the same Grizzlies team. After being up 2-0 in the series, the Clippers would lose 4 games in a row to be eliminated the first round. On May 21, 2013 the team declined to renew Vinny Del Negro's contract as head coach.

Starting in early June, rumors began to float around that the Clippers were looking to make trades including key players Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe, although the trades did not fall through.[39] [40] The Clippers have tried to contact several coaches, including George Karl, Lionel Hollins, Brian Shaw and Byron Scott, to fill the currently vacant position. [41] The Clippers have also attempted to request for the rights to hire Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers in exchange for players and first round draft picks.[42

Los Angeles Clippers Roster

Player # Number Positon
Chris Paul 3 Point guard
Blake Griffin 32 Power forward
DeAndre Jordan 6 Center
Lamar Odom 7 Power forward
Jamal Crawford 11 Shooting guard
Matt Barnes 22 Small forward
Ryan Hollins 15 Center
J. J. Redick 4  Guard
Maalik Wayns 2 Point guard
Willie Green 34 Shooting guard
Reggie Bullock 25 Small forward
Jared Dudley 9 Forward
Darren Collison 2 Guard

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