It’s time for another look back at this week in Clippers history. To help get that bad taste of last nights beat down by the Golden State Warriors, we have added some Buffalo flavor, including the team’s humble beginnings in Buffalo, New York. Along with that, I will be including a TWiCH record, which is the franchise record history for the current week.
When I first come up with the concept of TWiCH, I had no idea how well it would work, or if there would be enough stories to fill out an entire post. I have come to learn that there are many, many stories that are both educational and interesting. I have made it my goal to limit the stories to five per week, which should allow for this to continue past this initial year, with new stats, stories and facts.
The 1971-72 season was the Buffalo Braves 2nd season in the NBA. Not much can be expected out of a 2nd year team. But early on in the season, on Nov. 11, the Braves set a nice mark for margin of victory, defeating the Chicago Bulls 130-99, setting the young franchise record. The record would stand for two and a half years, when, on Feb. 19, 1974, the Braves defeated the Milwaukee Bucks by 36 points.
The Braves were lead by Bob Kauffman, Randy Smith, and Elmore Smith, who scored 28, 22, and 20 points. The Bulls were lead by Jerry Sloan, with 20 points.
Long before there was the self-proclaimed, career long virgin, AC Green, there was Randy Smith. Randy Smith broke the NBA’s all time consecutive games streak on Nov. 3, 1982, playing his 845th straight game, overtaking Johnny Kerr. Smith would go on to continue the record, topping out at 906 in 1982. He held the record until 1997, when AC Green played his 907th straight game, in route to 1,192 consecutive games played.
If you were a basketball fan in 1990, you have to remember three letters: LMU. Even if you had no idea that it stood for Loyola Marymount University, you heard of them. And you also heard of the two kids from Philadelphia who were the major cogs to the biggest Cinderella story around, Hank Gathers and Bo Kimble. You might even know where you were or what you were doing when you heard about the death of Hank Gathers. Gathers could have been great. He had the size and athleticism, and the passion to be great. Unfortunately we never got to see him in an NBA uniform.
But we did get to see his best friend, Bo Kimble. Kimble was drafted 8th overall by the Clippers in the 1990 NBA Draft. In his first game as a Clipper, on his first trip to the foul line, the right-handed Kimble paid tribute to his friend, by shooting a left-handed free throw, just as he had in the NCAA tournament six months earlier. Unfortunately, while wearing the Clippers red, white and blue, he missed the tribute free throw, and his career never took off, but this moment is still one of my favorite Clippers moments ever.
On Nov. 8, 2001, Loy Vaught was bought out of his remaining 2 year/$11 million contract, and retired, ending his NBA career. Many Clippers fans remember Vaught constantly hitting his baseline jumper, and bringing his lunch pail to the court each and every game. Unfortunately, his post Clippers career was nagged by injuries, and he could not replicate his glory days with the Clips.
What can you say. Lamar Odom was drafted by the Clippers, played with them for four seasons before spending one season in Miami, then moved on to the Lakers as part of the trade that sent Shaquille O’Neil to the Heat. He spent seven seasons with the Lakers, before getting upset about being part of the Lakers Chris Paul trade that was nixed by the NBA, and requesting to be traded, rather than remain a Laker. He was sent to the Mavericks for part of a season, before they asked him to leave the team. After that, he returned to the Clippers, and was pretty good for the team.
He did make one big, unforgivable mistake. He couldn’t remember what team he was playing for. In a promotional shoot, Odom introduced himself, and I quote "Hi, I’m Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers".
I have to admit, this is an honest mistake, and it is sort of funny, but, really Lamar? The Lakers??