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Top Ten Los Angeles Clippers of All-Time

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We’ve hit the dog days of the NBA summer.  All the big name free agents have been snatched up.  Summer league is over.  Training camps are still months away.  So, now is the perfect time to reminisce a bit.  The Hoops Manifesto has gathered together a stellar collection of Bloguin basketball writers to determine the top ten players all-time for each of the 30 NBA franchises.  Next up: the Los Angeles Clippers (nee Buffalo Braves, San Diego Clippers).

Voting panel: Jeff Fox from The Hoops Manifesto, College Wolf from the TWolves Blog, Don from With Malice, Philip from Orlando Magic Daily and Diego from Leaving It All On The Court.

10) Bill Walton – San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers – 1979 – 1980, 1982 – 1985

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Clippers accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame

“His playing days are remembered primarily for his Portland Trail-Blazer years, but Walton was still a double-double threat when healthy with the San Diego and eventual Los Angeles Clippers team.” – Diego Quezada

“Walton was injury-plagued in his time at the Clippers – and without a doubt wasn’t at the level he was in Rip City, but when he did play… he evoked memories of why he was often thought of as one of the best big men to play the game.” – Don 

9) Chris Kaman – Los Angeles Clippers – 2003 – present

Clippers accomplishments:

- one-time NBA All-Star

“A member of the heralded 2003 Draft class, Kaman took awhile to come into his own but has become one of the better big men this League has to offer. Last year, he averaged 19 points and nine rebounds per game; he could be a perfect second banana if Eric Gordon becomes a great talent.” – Diego Quezada 

8) Bob Kauffman – Buffalo Braves – 1970 – 1974

Braves accomplishments:

- three-time NBA All-Star

“I can’t really tell you much about Bob Kauffman except that he had a couple of real cool nicknames – ‘Horse’ and ‘Ajax’.” – Jeff Fox

7) World B. Free – San Diego Clippers – 1978 – 1980

Clippers accomplishments:

- NBA leader in free throws made in 1978/79 & 1979/80
- NBA leader in free throws attempted in 1978/79
- one-time NBA All-Star
- one-time All-NBA selection

“Awesome name. Stayed with Clippers just long enough not to be cursed by them. What more can you want to make this list? Free (or do you refer to him as B. Free or do you have to say his whole name every time?) averaged 28.8 and 30.2 points per game in his two seasons with the San Diego Clippers.” – Philip 

6) Ron Harper – Los Angeles Clippers – 1989 – 1994

Clippers accomplishments:

- none

“Everyone forgets that before this guy was the point guard for the late-90s championship Bulls teams, he was a pretty solid player for the Cavaliers and Clippers. Harper around 20 points per game in his five seasons in Los Angeles. While clearly playing above his ability level – he only averaged more than 10 points per game once after leaving Los Angeles for Chicago in 1994 –  Harper did something every Clipper on this list accomplished – be remembered as a Clipper.” – Philip 

“It’s fitting that the man with one of the ugliest jump shots ever played for the Clippers.” – Jeff Fox

5) Corey Maggette – Los Angeles Clippers – 2000 – 2008

 Clippers accomplishments:

- franchise’s all-time leader in free throws (made & attempted)
- NBA leader in free throws made in 2003/04

“A multifaceted scorer who could get to the free throw line whenever he wanted to, Maggette firmly established his position as the Clippers starting small forward. Only inconsistency and injuries prevented him from entering the upper echelon of perimeter players.” – Diego Quezada

“The options are limited…” – College Wolf  

4) Danny Manning – Los Angeles Clippers – 1988 – 1994

Clippers accomplishments:

- two-time NBA All-Star

“It only seems right – it is the Clippers after all.” - College Wolf  

“The number one pick of the 1988 Draft probably started the whole Clippers Curse. Manning averaged a respectable 14.0 points per game with a career-high 22.8 points per game when he and Larry Brown led the Clippers to the 1993 NBA Playoffs. Best player on two Clippers playoff teams (1992 as well)? That deserves a medal, or something.” – Philip 

3) Randy Smith – Buffalo Braves/San Diego Clippers – 1971 – 1979, 1982 – 1983

Braves/Clippers accomplishments:

- franchise’s all-time leader in games, minutes, field goals (made & attempted), assists, steals & points
- NBA leader in games played in 1972/73, 1973/74 & 1978/79
- two-time NBA All-Star
- one-time All-NBA selection

“Standing just 6-foot-3 but playing small forward, Smith was a dynamic scorer who formed a lethal combination with Bob McAdoo. The Braves’ style of play with Smith and McAdoo as the cornerstone pieces helped influence how the game is played to this day.” – Diego Quezada

2) Elton Brand – Los Angeles Clippers – 2001 – 2008

Clippers accomplishments:

- franchise’s all-time leader in offensive & total rebounds
- NBA leader in offensive rebounds in 2001/02
- two-time NBA All-Star
- one-time All-NBA selection

“He may not have deserved the five year, $82 million contract that Donald Sterling gave him after Pat Riley tried to court Brand in 2003, but the former Duke standout was a 20 and 10 player when healthy. During the 2005-06 season, Brand had his best season with averages of 25 points and 10 boards per game.” – Diego Quezada

“He may not be much for Philly these days, but he was really great those years in L.A.  He flew under the radar though because their teams were not good.” - College Wolf  

“The best season in the Clippers <ahem> storied history in Los Angeles has to be the 2006 year. The Clippers outshone their co-tenants in the Staples Center and advanced past the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The Clippers? Really. Yes, really. Elton Brand had his best season with 24.7 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game. Brand’s strong post play made him an All Star and made the Clippers a good team. How often does that happen?” – Philip 

“Like Jermaine O’Neal of the Pacers, it’s easy to look at him now and forget how good he actually was.  In his time (2001-2008), he was a consistent 20/10 player with a real knack for blocking, and the backbone of one of the best Clipper teams ever.” – Don 

1) Bob McAdoo – Buffalo Braves – 1972 – 1976

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Braves accomplishments:

- basketball Hall of Fame
- NBA leader in minutes played in 1974/75
- NBA leader in field goals made in 1974/75 & 1975/76
- NBA leader in field goals attempted in 1975/76
- NBA leader in field goal % in 1973/74
- NBA leader in free throws made in 1975/76
- NBA leader in free throws attempted in 1974/75 & 1975/76
- NBA leader in total rebounds in 1974/75
- NBA leader in points in 1973/74, 1974/75 & 1975/76
- NBA leader in minutes per game in 1974/75 & 1975/76
- NBA leader in points per game in 1973/74, 1974/75 & 1975/76
- four-time NBA All-Star
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- one-time NBA MVP
- NBA All-Rookie Team
- two-time All-NBA selection

“Only played four years (with the franchise), but they were four DOMINANT years.” - College Wolf  

“McAdoo broke into the league with the Buffalo Braves (who would later be the Clippers… figures Los Angeles’ best player would come from the period they were not even in California) and had three 2,000 point season in his first four years. He averaged a career-best and league-leading 34.5 points per game in 1975. He averaged 37.4 points per game that year in the Playoffs. Good thing he was never (officially) a Clipper.” – Philip 

“Big Bob was a complete beast, averaging 28.2 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.5 blocks as a Brave – and lead them to their golden years.  Under McAdoo, the Braves made the playoffs three of the four years he was there.” – Don 

Previous franchises done: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana.

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto

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