12 players have worn the No. 20 for the Clippers to date in their history, and while Moses Malone was one of them, the Basketball Hall of Famer played for the Braves for all of two games, so he’s out of the running.
Instead, let’s take a look at Freeman Williams. Who? You’re about to find out.
Williams was a Los Angeles native who played collegiately at Portland State and to this day remains the second leading scorer all-time in NCAA history behind “Pistol” Pete Maravich, before being drafted by the Celtics in 1978. As a result of the truly bizarre Buffalo Braves/Boston Celtics franchise swap that year, Williams ended up staying west with the newly christened San Diego Clippers.
A shooting guard, Williams was a consistent player for the Clippers, playing 82 games twice in his first three seasons. In his second season, 1979-80, he averaged 18.6 points per game to be the secondary scoring option behind World B. Free. The next season, Williams was the team’s top scorer, posting a career-high 19.3 points per game on a balanced offense.
He was one of the top players in the league from 3-point range, finishing in the top 10 three times in 3-pointers made, and he won NBA Player of the Month in Dec. 1980.
This compilation video is a good one, giving you a sense of Williams’ shooting prowess, his range, athleticism and even a little defense.
The next season, Williams played 37 games for the Clippers before being traded to Atlanta in 1982. That stay was short, as he was traded to the Utah Jazz. Williams bounced around even more after that, playing in the CBA and returning to the NBA for the Washington Bullets briefly during the 1985-86 season, and that was that for his career.
In the end, Williams’ salad days were with the Clippers. While he didn’t continue to build on his first few seasons and edge into the all-star conversation, he did have a solid run on some San Diego teams that have been largely forgotten because of how poor the team was in those days. Nevertheless, Freeman Williams makes a good case to be the best Clipper to wear the No. 20.