Happy Back to the Future Day! For those who have no idea what I am talking about, today is October 21, 2015. This is the day, back in fictional Hill Valley 1985, that Marty McFly, Doc Brown, and Jennifer Parker visit in the DeLorean turned time machine that Doctor Emmett Brown invented, thanks to the flux capacitor, in Back to the Future II. I can still remember, as a kid, being excited to be alive in 2015, to get the chance to drive a flying car (Goldie Wilson III could convert ground vehicles to "skyway fliers" for only $39,999.95. What a deal!), or ride a hoverboard made by Mattel, or hydrate a Pizza Hut pizza, or watch the Chicago Cubs win the world series (this actually has a chance of happening. Slim, but still possible. Have heart Cubs fans!).
Anyway, enough ranting about the greatest science fiction movie franchise ever. After all, this is a Clippers site, not a movie site. It's time for TWiCH, the weekly look back at the Clippers stories that were in the news, this week in history.
Remember how exciting it was to watch the Clippers historical comeback on the Memphis Grizzlies back in the 2012 playoffs? Apparently, huge 4th quarters are in the team's DNA. Back when the Clippers were known as the Buffalo Braves, in an early season match-up against the Boston Celtics, the Braves attempted to comeback from a 43 point deficit.
The Braves entered the 4th quarter down, 60-103. Game over, right? Wrong. The Braves would have the best quarter ever by an NBA team, and score 58 points, a record that still stands today. The only problem is that they allowed the Celtics to score 23 points, which meant that the new record was set in a loss. If they had actually pulled off the great comeback, the one the Clippers had against the Grizzlies would look like nothing.
As Clippers fans, we have grown accustomed to ads that tend to market things other than the Clippers. Sometimes the ads would feature all the superstars that would be visiting the Sports Arena or Staples Center, with little to no pictures or references to the Clippers own players. Other times, it would be an ad featuring the owner, Donald T. Sterling, with some sort of congratulatory message that, more times than not, was paid for by Sterling himself.
Well in 1986, Clippers ads focused on the Lakers. More specifically, they focused on the Lakers ticket prices. An article run in the Los Angeles Times on October 21, 1986, shares some of the wording in the ads:
One of the Clippers' new ads pictures two fans sitting on the roof of what appears to be the Forum. The caption reads: "Next season, they'll put you on the roof."
Another shows a man, wearing a barrel and tennis shoes, who has just walked away from a ticket office. The caption reads: "Next season, they'll want your firstborn."
The Lakers response to the ads was that they didn't care:
"No comment," said Laker General Manager Jerry West after viewing copies of the Clipper ads. "I'd sure like to comment, but I'm not going to lower myself."
Said Laker owner Jerry Buss in a prepared statement: "The people of Los Angeles aren't going to be fooled by these advertising claims. We have many good, reasonably priced tickets available."
Time for a random useless fact. Torgein Bryn. I'm sure even the most NBA savvy person would have no idea who that is. Bryn was the first ever Norwegian born player in the NBA. To this day, he is still the only Norwegian to ever play in an official NBA game. Bryn played on the 1989 Clippers summer league team, and showed enough to get a contract with the team. He appeared in 3 games for the team, playing a total of 10 minutes, and committed more fouls that points scored, 5 to 4. He was waived by the Clippers on November 17, 1989, and never played in the NBA again.
If you never got a chance to see him play (which is probably 99% of you), here is a non-NBA highlight:
Last month, Justin Russo visited some trades that didn't happen involving Michael Jordan. Well, this week in 1993, the agent for Danny Manning revealed that the Clippers were reaching out to a couple of other NBA teams to possibly trade Manning to. The Clippers were looking at a return of some value for Manning, who was on the last year of his contract, and thus had the opportunity to leave the team after the season. The Clippers, per Manning's agent, spoke with the Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz, inquiring about Charles Barkley and Karl Malone. Can you imagine if one of those trades came to fruition? I know, they are nowhere near the impact that a Jordan could have had, but Barkley and Malone aren't horrible.
Ultimately, neither trade happened, and midway through the 1993-94 season, Manning was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Dominique Wilkins.
Lakers fans were furious. The Clippers new coach, Doc Rivers, decided to do something that, according to Lakers fans, was unforgivable. He decided to cover up the Lakers championship banners during Clippers home games.
"Listen, I think this is our arena when we play," Rivers told the Los Angeles Times. "So I just thought it would be good that we show our guys. No disrespect to them. But when we play, it's the Clippers' arena as far as I know."
Lakers fans, and even players, didn't take to Rivers remodeling of Staples center calmly:
From ESPN.com - "He can do that?" Young said after Lakers practice Sunday, the team's first since returning from China. "For real? That's disrespectful. We got to talk to Doc. He can't have that. We got to do something about that."
Since 2013, the Clippers have covered up the Lakers championship banners for every Clippers home games.