Oct 21, 2019
We pick up where we left off in Episode 89 (The NBA Buffalo Braves – With Tim Wendel), with the continuing story of one of pro hoops’ most forlorn franchises – today known as the Los Angeles Clippers.
Author Mick Minas (The Curse: The Colorful & Chaotic History of the LA Clippers) joins the podcast from his home in Melbourne, Australia to help us go deep into the travails of a club labeled by many as the NBA’s most historically dysfunctional – and by some as simply cursed.
From its highly convoluted cross-country relocation to San Diego in 1978 to its still-chaotic life as Los Angeles’ “other” NBA team (and the Staples Center’s third-priority sports tenant) – the Clippers have had enough wayward turns of fate to fill an entire league, let alone a single franchise:
The high-profile 1979 coup of All-Star center (and San Diego native) Bill Walton, whose career literally and figuratively crumbled under the weight of chronic foot injuries;
League fines, investigations and lawsuits against team owner Donald Sterling – including the team’s unauthorized relocation to Los Angeles in 1984;
The “Clipper Triangle” of injuries to star players like Derek Smith, Norm Nixon, Marques Johnson, and Danny Manning – and league-record setting seasons of futility;
The disruption of the club’s first playoff appearance in 1992 by the Los Angeles riots;
Siren songs of Anaheim; AND
The sordid 2014 scandal that led to Sterling’s ouster and subsequent/still-in-process “rebirth” under new owner Steve Ballmer.
PLUS: Will the Clippers stay in LA?