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The best Clipper to wear No. 9

A major throwback

NBAE/Getty Images

Today, we’ll be paying tribute to one of the greatest to ever suit up for the Clippers. 16 different players have worn No. 9 in franchise history, with the first being Herm Gilliam in 1971 and most recently Tyrone Wallace in 2019. However, none better than the late Randy Smith.

Smith wore No. 9 for Buffalo and San Diego from 1972 through 1979, and then again in 1982 during his second stint with the Clippers. Prior to DeAndre Jordan breaking his record a few years ago, no player had played more games for the team than Smith. During his career, 715 games were spent with the Clippers organization, which is now the second most. He still holds the franchise record for minutes played, as he played 24,393 minutes for the team.

In addition to playing more than any Clipper, he’s also the leading scorer in franchise history with nearly 13,000 points.

Smith was an NBA All-Star in 1976 and 1978, and won the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award in 1978.

Though Smith put up impressive numbers, his most valuable asset was his availability. Through his first eight seasons with the Clippers organization, Smith missed a grand total of six games. On November 3, 1982, Smith played in his 845th consecutive NBA game, breaking Johnny Kerr’s record of most consecutive games. Smith’s streak ended at 906 games when he played his last game with the Clippers on March 13, 1983.

His best season came during the Braves’ final season in Buffalo. He averaged nearly 25 points per game, to go along with 5.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds.

After a few seasons in Cleveland and New York, Smith found himself back on the Clippers in 1982. He was traded to the Atlanta Hawks during the season, retiring at the end of the year.

Here’s where Smith ranks in Clippers franchise history:

  • 715 games (2nd)
  • 24,393 minutes (1st)
  • 12,735 points (1st)
  • 3,498 assists (2nd)
  • 1,072 steals (1st)
  • 2,985 rebounds (9th)
  • 50 win shares (6th)