LSU Tigers and Lady Tigers
The LSU Tigers and Lady Tigers are the athletic teams representing Louisiana State University, a public four-year coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. LSU competes in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a member of the Southeastern Conference. LSU athletics has many traditions associated with its sports programs. Based on winning percentage, the university's athletics program is one of the best in the nation. LSU has won 48 team national championships, placing them 14th all-time in total national championships. Traditional rivals in football include long running rivalries with the Ole Miss Rebels and Tulane Green Wave. More current football rivalries include the Alabama Crimson Tide, Arkansas Razorbacks, Auburn Tigers, Florida Gators, Mississippi State Bulldogs and Texas A&M Aggies; the Louisiana State University official team nickname is the Fighting Tigers or Lady Tigers. At one time, the "Lady Tigers" nickname was used only in sports that have teams for both men and women—specifically basketball, cross country, golf and diving, track and field –however since 2017, only women's basketball, cross country, track and field use the "Lady Tigers" moniker.
With LSU competing in the Southeastern Conference and the women's beach volleyball program competing in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association, LSU sponsors teams in nine men's and twelve women's NCAA sanctioned sports. By winning the SEC championship in men's basketball for the 2008-2009 season, LSU became the first SEC school to win at least 10 SEC championships in each of the big three sports of football, men's basketball, baseball. LSU was the first SEC school to win at least one national championship in each of the big three sports. LSU has won 48 overall men's and women's team national championships through the 2017 NCAA athletic season. 43 were bestowed by the NCAA, as the NCAA does not award college football national championships at the Division I FBS level or recognize LSU's claimed men's basketball championship. LSU ranks tied for ninth all-time in total NCAA Division I national championships through the 2017 NCAA athletic season; the LSU baseball team has won six national championships since 1991.
The team participates in the Western division of the Southeastern Conference and is coached by Paul Mainieri. They play home games at Skip Bertman Field. National Championships: 1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2009 CWS appearances: 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017 SEC Championships: 1939, 1943, 1946, 1961, 1975, 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2017 Conference Tournament Championships: 1986, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2017 The LSU men's basketball team participates in the Southeastern Conference and is coached by Will Wade, they play home games at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. National Championships: 1935† Final Four appearances: 1953, 1981, 1986, 2006 Sweet Sixteen appearances: 1953, 1954, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1987, 2000, 2006 SEC Championships: 1935, 1953, 1954, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1991, 2000, 2006, 2009 The LSU women's basketball team participates in the Southeastern Conference and is coached by Nikki Fargas.
They play home games at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. National Championships: none AIAW/NCAA Final Four appearances: 1977, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances: 1984, 1986, 1989, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2013 SEC Championships: 2005, 2006, 2008 The women's beach volleyball team participates in the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association and is coached by Russell Brock, they play home games at Mango's Beach Volleyball Club. National Championships: none SEC Championships: — sport is not sponsored by the SEC The men's cross country team participates in the Southeastern Conference and is coached by Dennis Shaver, they host home meets at Highland Road Park. National Championships - Men: none SEC Championships - Men: none The women's cross country team participates in the Southeastern Conference and is coached by Dennis Shaver, they host home meets at Highland Road Park. National Championships - Women: none SEC Championships - Women: none The LSU Tigers football team competes in the Division I - Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletics Association and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference.
They play in Tiger Stadium, which has a capacity of 102,321. LSU has won three national championships, including two in the last decade; the first national championship was following the regular season in 1958. LSU played Clemson in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1959 following the team being named national champions. LSU won their second national championship in the 2003 BCS National Championship game. A controversy arose as the USC Trojans were awarded the Associated Press National Championship though they did not play in the BCS Championship Game. LSU's win in the 2008 BCS National Championship Game was the Tigers third national championship, they became the first two-loss team to compete for and win the national championship, the first team to win two Bowl Championship Series titles. The team is coached by Ed Orgeron. National championships: 1958, 2003, 2007 Conference championships SIAA championships: 1896, 1908 SoCon championships:1932 SEC championships: 1935, 1936, 1958, 1961, 1970, 1986, 1988, 1989, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2011 Divisional championships: 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011 The men's golf team participates in the Sou
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans are an American professional basketball team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Pelicans compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays their home games in the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans were established as the New Orleans Hornets in the 2002–03 season when then-owner of the Charlotte Hornets, George Shinn, relocated the franchise to New Orleans. Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the franchise temporarily relocated to Oklahoma City, where they spent two seasons known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets; the team returned to New Orleans full-time for the 2007–08 season. On January 24, 2013, the franchise announced it would rename itself the Pelicans, effective after the conclusion of the 2012–13 season; the Charlotte Hornets' name and records from 1988 to 2002 were returned to its original city to be used by the then–Charlotte Bobcats franchise, which subsequently became the Charlotte Hornets, starting May 20, 2014.
In 16 seasons of play since the original franchise relocated from North Carolina, the Louisiana franchise has achieved an overall regular season record of 610–686, has qualified for the playoffs seven times. Their achievements include one division title. While the Charlotte Hornets put a competitive team on the court throughout the 1990s, the team's attendance began falling dramatically. Many attributed this lapse in popularity to the team's owner, George Shinn, becoming despised by the people of the city. In 1997, a Charlotte woman claimed that Shinn had raped her, the resulting trial tarnished his reputation in the city; the consensus was that while Charlotte was as basketball-crazy as fans took out their anger at Shinn on the team. Shinn had become discontented with the Charlotte Coliseum, although considered state-of-the-art when it opened in 1988, had by been considered obsolete due to a limited number of luxury boxes. On March 26, 2001, both the Hornets and the Vancouver Grizzlies applied for relocation to Memphis, won by the Grizzlies.
Shinn issued an ultimatum: unless the city built a new arena at no cost to him, the Hornets would leave town. The city refused, leading Shinn to consider moving the team to either Norfolk, Louisville, or St. Louis. Of the cities in the running, only St. Louis had an NBA-ready arena in place and was a larger media market than Charlotte at the time. A new arena in Uptown, which would become the Charlotte Bobcats Arena, was included in a non-binding referendum for a larger arts-related package, Shinn withdrew his application to move the team. Polls showed the referendum on its way to passage. However, just days before the referendum, Mayor Pat McCrory vetoed a living wage ordinance; the veto prompted many of the city's black ministers to oppose the referendum. After the referendum failed, city leaders devised a plan to build a new arena in a way that did not require voter support, but made it known that they would not consider building it unless Shinn sold the team. While the NBA acknowledged that Shinn had alienated fans, league officials felt such a demand would anger other owners.
The city council refused to remove the statement, leading the Hornets to request a move to New Orleans – a move which would return the NBA to that city since the Jazz moved to Salt Lake City in 1979. Before the Hornets were eliminated from the playoffs, the NBA approved the move; as part of a deal, the NBA promised that Charlotte would get a new team, which took the court two years as the Charlotte Bobcats. In a 2008 interview with the Charlotte Observer, who has not returned to Charlotte since the Hornets moved, admitted that the "bad judgment I made in my life" played a role in the Hornets' departure, he said that if he had it to do all over again, he would not have withdrawn from the public after the sexual assault trial. Shinn emphasized how he was making amends by committing to New Orleans saying, "I've made enough mistakes in my life. I'm not going to make one here; this city needs us here. We're going to make this thing work." The Hornets opened their inaugural season in New Orleans on October 30, 2002, against New Orleans' original NBA franchise, the now-Utah Jazz.
In the first regular season NBA game played in New Orleans in over 17 years, the Hornets defeated the Jazz 100–75, posthumously retired #7 of "Pistol" Pete Maravich during halftime. The Hornets finished the season with a 47–35 record but were defeated by the Philadelphia 76ers in the First Round of the 2003 playoffs. Following the season, the team unexpectedly fired head coach Paul Silas and replaced him with Tim Floyd; the Hornets began the 2003–04 season strong with a 17–7 start but sputtered at the end and finished 41–41. They lost to the Miami Heat in the First Round of the 2004 playoffs. After the season, Floyd was fired and the team hired Byron Scott as its new head coach. During the first two seasons in New Orleans the Hornets competed in the NBA's Eastern Conference; the 2004–05 season saw the team move to the Western Conference's Southwest Division to the number of teams in each conference after the Charlotte Bobcats started play in their inaugural season of that same year. In a season marred by injury to the team's three all-stars, the team finished the year with a
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference in the Pacific Division; the Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most behind the Boston Celtics; the franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League. The new team began calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers. A member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America, where they would win five of the next six championships, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.
Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time NBA Most Valuable Player Wilt Chamberlain, won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won multiple MVP awards, but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s; the 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their fast break-offense led by Magic Johnson. The team won five championships in a nine-year span, contained Hall of Famers Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, was led by Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley. After Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson retired, the team struggled in the early 1990s, before acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. With the duo, who were led by another Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, the team won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat".
The Lakers won two more championships in 2009 and 2010, but failed to regain their former glory in the following decade. The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season. 21 Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles. Four Lakers—Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, O'Neal, Bryant—have won the NBA MVP Award for a total of eight awards; the Lakers' franchise began in 1947 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen of Minnesota purchased the disbanded Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League for $15,000 from Gems owner Maury Winston. Minneapolis sportswriter Sid Hartman played a key behind the scenes role in helping put together the deal and the team. Inspired by Minnesota's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", the team christened themselves the Lakers. Hartman helped them hire John Kundla from College of St. Thomas, to be their first head coach, by meeting with him and selling him on the team; the Lakers had a solid roster, which featured forward Jim Pollard, playmaker Herm Schaefer, center George Mikan, who became the most dominant player in the NBL.
In their first season, they led the league with a 43–17 record winning the NBL Championship that season. In 1948, the Lakers moved from the NBL to the Basketball Association of America, Mikan's 28.3 point per game scoring average set a BAA record. In the 1949 BAA Finals they won the championship; the following season, the team improved to 51–17, repeating as champions. In the 1950–51 season, Mikan won his third straight scoring title at 28.4 ppg and the Lakers went 44–24 to win their second straight division title. One of those games, a 19–18 loss against the Fort Wayne Pistons, became infamous as the lowest scoring game in NBA history. In the playoffs, they defeated the Indianapolis Olympians in three games but lost to the Rochester Royals in the next round. During the 1951 -- 52 season, the Lakers won 40 games, they faced the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals. In the 1952–53 season, Mikan led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 14.4 rebounds per game, was named MVP of the 1953 NBA All-Star Game.
After a 48–22 regular season, the Lakers defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in the Western playoffs to advance to the NBA Finals. They defeated the New York Knicks to win their second straight championship. Though Lakers star George Mikan suffered from knee problems throughout the 1953–54 season, he was still able to average 18 ppg. Clyde Lovellette, drafted in 1952, helped the team win the Western Division; the team won its third straight championship in the 1950s and fifth in six seasons when it defeated the Syracuse Nationals in seven games. Following Mikan's retirement in the 1954 off-season, the Lakers struggled but still managed to win 40 games. Although they defeated the Rochester Royals in the first round of the playoffs, they were defeated by the Fort Wayne Pistons in the semifinals. Although they had losing records the next two seasons, they made the playoffs each year. Mikan came back for the last half of the 1955–56 season, but struggled and retired for good after the season. Led by Lovellette's 20.6 points and 13.5 rebounds, they advanced to the Conference Finals in 1956–57.
The Lakers had one of the worst seasons in team history in 1957–58 when they won a league-low 19 games. They had hired Mikan, the team's general manager for the previous two seasons, as head coach to replace Kundla. Mikan was fired in January when
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, more referred to as the Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the borough of Manhattan, in New York City. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference; the team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden, an arena they share with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League. They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City. Alongside the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are one of two original NBA teams still located in its original city; the team, established by Ned Irish in 1946, was one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America, which became the NBA after merging with the rival National Basketball League in 1949. The Knicks were successful during their early years and were constant playoff contenders under the franchise's first head coach Joe Lapchick. Beginning in 1950, the Knicks made three consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, all of which were losing efforts.
Lapchick resigned in 1956 and the team subsequently began to falter. It was not until the late 1960s when Red Holzman became head coach that the Knicks began to regain their former dominance. Holzman guided the Knicks to two NBA championships, in 1970 and 1973; the Knicks of the 1980s had mixed success. The playoff-level Knicks of the 1990s were led by future Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing. During this time, they were known for playing tough defense under head coaches Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy, making two appearances in the NBA Finals, in 1994 and 1999. However, they were unable to win an NBA championship during this era. Since 2000, the Knicks have struggled to regain their former glory, but won its first division title in 19 years in 2012–13, led by a core of forwards Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Indiana Pacers, have failed to make the playoffs since. In 1946, basketball college basketball, was a growing and profitable sport in New York City.
Hockey generated considerable profits. Max Kase, a New York sportswriter, became the sports editor at the Boston American in the 1930s, when he met Boston Garden owner Walter A. Brown. Kase developed the idea of an organized professional league to showcase college players upon their graduation and felt it could become profitable if properly assembled. Brown, intrigued by the opportunity to attain additional income when the hockey teams were not playing or on the road, contacted several arena owners. On June 6, 1946, Kase and Brown and a group of seventeen others assembled at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, as the Basketball Association of America, where charter franchises were granted to major cities throughout the country. Ned Irish, a college basketball promoter, retired sportswriter and president of Madison Square Garden, was in attendance. Kase planned to own and operate the New York franchise himself and approached Irish with a proposal to lease the Garden. Irish explained that the rules of the Arena Managers Association of America stated that Madison Square Garden was required to own any professional teams that played in the arena.
On the day of the meeting, Kase made his proposal to the panel of owners. Irish wanted a distinct name for his franchise, representative of the city of New York, he called together members of his staff for a meeting to cast their votes in a hat. After tallying the votes, the franchise was named the Knickerbockers; the "Knickerbocker" name comes from the pseudonym used by Washington Irving in his book A History of New York, a name that became applied to the descendants of the original Dutch settlers of what became New York, by extension, to New Yorkers in general. In search of a head coach, Irish approached successful St. John's University coach Joe Lapchick in May 1946. Lapchick accepted after Irish promised to make him the highest paid coach in the league. Irish obliged, hiring former Manhattan College coach Neil Cohalan as interim coach for the first year. With no college draft in the league's initial year, there was no guarantee that the Knicks or the league itself would thrive. Teams focused on signing college players from their respective cities as a way to promote the professional league.
The Knicks held their first training camp in the Catskill Mountains at the Nevele Country Club. Twenty-five players were invited to attend the three-week session. Players worked out twice a day and the chemistry between the New York natives was instant. With a roster assembled, the Knicks faced the Toronto Huskies at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on November 1, 1946, in what would be the franchise's first game—as well as the first in league history. In a low-scoring affair presented in front of 7,090 spectators, the Knicks defeated the Huskies 68–66 with Leo Gottlieb leading the Knicks in scoring with 14 points. With Madison Square Garden's crowded schedule, the Knicks were forced to play many of their home games at the 69th Regiment Armory during the team's early years; the Knicks went on to finish their inaugural campaign with a 33–27 record and achieved a playoff berth under Cohalan despite a dismal shooting percentage of 28 perce
LSU Tigers basketball
The LSU Tigers basketball team represents Louisiana State University in NCAA Division I men's college basketball. The Tigers are coached by interim head coach Tony Benford, they play their home games in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center located on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The team participates in the Southeastern Conference; the 1935 Tigers – coached by Harry Rabenhorst, keyed by the play of first LSU All-American Sparky Wade – finished the season at 14–1, defeating a Pittsburgh Panthers team that shared the Eastern Intercollegiate Conference championship and finished with an 18–6 overall record in the American Legion Bowl by a score of 41–37 in their final game of the season. LSU's lone defeat came to the Southwest Conference co-champion Rice Owls by a score of 56–47 in Houston in one of LSU's three road games. LSU has claimed a national championship for the 1935 season, but not on the basis of any determination by an external selector. Rabenhorst led the Tigers to the 1953 Final Four with a team that finished 22–3 overall and 13–0 in conference play, which included future NBA Hall of Famer Bob Pettit.
Rabenhorst's 1953–54 Tigers repeated as SEC champions—again finishing undefeated in conference play at 14–0, at 20–5 overall—and played in the Sweet Sixteen game of the 1954 NCAA Tournament, falling 78–70 to eventual national third-place Penn State. From 1957 to 1966, LSU was coached by Frank Truitt, they combined for a record of 88–135. Significant players included Jr.. Press Maravich was head basketball coach from 1966 to 1972, he had an overall record of 76–86 at LSU. He led the team to three winning seasons, but did not win an SEC championship or make an NCAA tournament appearance, his 1969–70 team advanced to the NIT Final Four. This era is best known for the exploits of Press Maravich's son, Pete "Pistol Pete" Maravich whom he coached from 1967 to 1970. Pete dominated at the collegiate level averaging 44.2 points per game and was named National Player of the Year in 1970. Collis Temple Jr. of Kentwood became LSU's first African-American varsity athlete during Press' final season of 1971–1972.
Dale Brown was head LSU basketball coach for 25 years from 1972 to 1997. During his time at LSU, he led the basketball team to two Final Fours, four Elite Eights, five Sweet Sixteens, thirteen NCAA Tournament appearances, he led the Tigers to four regular season SEC championships and one SEC Tournament championship. In 1996–97, Dale Brown signed Baton Rouge high school phenom Lester Earl, who led Glen Oaks High School to three consecutive Louisiana High School Athletic Association state championships, with all championship games played at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Earl played just 11 games at LSU before he was suspended and transferred to the University of Kansas soon afterward. While at Kansas, Earl said that an LSU assistant coach gave him money when he was at LSU; the NCAA began an investigation. It found no evidence that his assistants paid Earl. However, it did find that a former booster paid Earl about $5,000 while he was attending LSU; the basketball team was placed on probation in 1998.
In September 2007, Lester Earl issued an apology to Brown, then-assistant head coach Johnny Jones, LSU in general for his role in the NCAA investigation. Earl now has altered his original claims that the NCAA pressured him into making false claims against Dale Brown or else he would lose years of NCAA eligibility. Earl said, "I was pressured into telling them SOMETHING. I was 19 years old at that time; the NCAA intimidated me, manipulated me into making up things, encouraged me to lie, in order to be able to finish my playing career at Kansas. They told me if we don't find any dirt on Coach Brown you won't be allowed to play but one more year at Kansas. I caused great harm and difficulties for so many people. I feel sorriest for hurting Coach Brown. Coach Brown, I apologize to you for tarnishing your magnificent career at LSU." The NCAA has declined any new comments on the situation. However, Brown says. "The most interesting journey that a person can make is discovering himself. I believe Lester has done that, I forgive him."
In 1997, John Brady replaced the legendary Dale Brown as head coach at LSU. When Brady arrived, the program stinging from a recruiting scandal. Brady's first two years were rough. In 2000, the Tigers broke through, posting a 28 -- a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance. However, due to the loss of Stromile Swift and Jabari Smith to the 2000 NBA Draft, the Tigers could not carry their momentum to the next year, going 13–16 in 2001. Brady's team entered the 2005–06 season unranked, but were coming off a solid season in which they went 20–10 and made the NCAA Tournament. Led by Glen "Big Baby" Davis and Tyrus Thomas, the Tigers won their first outright SEC regular season championship since 1985, earned a #4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. After wins over Iona and Texas A&M, LSU de
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers, abbreviated by the team as the LA Clippers, are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of Pacific Division of the league's Western Conference; the Clippers play their home games at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, an arena shared with fellow NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The franchise was founded in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves, one of three expansion teams to join the NBA that year; the Braves moved from Buffalo, New York to San Diego, California in 1978 and became known as the San Diego Clippers. In 1984, The Clippers moved to Los Angeles. Through much of its history, the franchise failed to see significant regular season or playoff success; the Clippers were seen as an example of a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the successful Lakers, with whom they have shared a market since 1984 and an arena since 1999.
The Clippers' fortunes turned in the early 2010s with the acquisition of core players Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul. In 2013, the franchise won its first division title, as the team made the playoffs for the ninth time in franchise history and the third time in the previous eight seasons, they added to their budding rivalry with the Lakers, as they finished with a better record than the Lakers for the fifth time and won the season series for the second time since moving to Los Angeles in 1984, this time in a sweep. They repeated as division champions in 2014; the franchise began in Western New York as the Buffalo Braves, one of three NBA expansion franchises that began play in the 1970–71 season, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers. They played their home games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, along with another Buffalo team that would begin play that year, the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres. After two bad seasons, the Braves' fortunes started to change under coach Jack Ramsay and star forward/center Bob McAdoo.
McAdoo led the NBA in scoring for three consecutive seasons and was named the league's MVP in the 1974–75 season. The Braves qualified for the playoffs three times in a row, losing twice to the eventual Eastern Conference champions. Despite the team's modest success in Buffalo, Braves owner Paul Snyder and the league found it impossible to schedule home games at the auditorium because of the Canisius Golden Griffins men's basketball team, which had a pre-existing lease on the arena and priority on game dates over the Braves; the Griffins saw the Braves as a threat to their own success, purposely scheduled all the best dates at the arena to prevent the Braves from succeeding. As a result, after a failed attempt to sell the team to an owner who intended to move it to South Florida, Snyder sold the team to Kentucky Colonels owner John Y. Brown, Jr. who decimated the team's roster, traded away all of its stars, drove attendance down to the point where they could break their own lease on the arena.
Brown met with Celtics owner Irv Levin in 1978 so they could trade franchise ownerships. Southern California resident Levin decided to move the Braves to San Diego, something the league would have never allowed him to do with the Celtics. In 1978, San Diego welcomed the relocation of the Buffalo Braves franchise because the city had lost their Rockets to Houston seven years earlier as well as their American Basketball Association franchise, the San Diego Sails after the 1974-1975 ABA season. San Diego team officials did not think Braves was a representative nickname for the club and a contest decided on "Clippers", because the city was known for the great sailing ships that passed through San Diego Bay; when the Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984, they kept their name. Playing at the San Diego Sports Arena, the Clippers posted a record of 43–39 in their first season in California under new head coach Gene Shue, leaving them two wins shy of the final playoff spot, it would be the Clippers' last winning season for 13 years.
It was in that first season in southern California that long-time announcer Ralph Lawler began his association with the franchise. The Clippers began pursuing star free agents, beginning with World B. Free, acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers. Free finished second overall in NBA scoring average, with 28.9 per game, while George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs had a 29.6 average. The 1979–80 season saw the Clippers begin to struggle, despite adding center Bill Walton, a San Diego native, two years removed from an NBA Championship with the Trail Blazers. Walton missed 68 games due to foot injuries. San Diego finished. Free again finishing second in league scoring, with 30.2 PPG. Paul Silas replaced Shue the following season, the Clippers finished 36–46, again missing the postseason. Walton missed the entire season again due to foot injuries, while Free was traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Phil Smith; the 1981–82 season brought changes to the franchise as Levin sold the team to Los Angeles-area real estate developer and attorney Donald Sterling for $12.5 million.
The Clippers experienced poor play and franchise mismanagement in their final years in San Diego, much like in Buffalo, competition from other sports teams in town, namely the ascendant San Diego Chargers, sucked away attention from the Clippers. That season, the Clippers were drawing fewer fans than the Braves had
The Miami Heat are an American professional basketball team based in Miami. The Heat compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division; the Heat play their home games at American Airlines Arena, have won three NBA championships. The franchise began play in 1988 as an expansion team, where after a period of mediocrity, the Heat would gain relevance during the 1990s following the appointment of former head coach Pat Riley in the role of team president. Riley would construct the high-profile trades of Alonzo Mourning in 1995, of Tim Hardaway in 1996, which propelled the team into playoff contention. Mourning and Hardaway would lead the Heat to four division titles, prior to their departures in 2001 and 2002, respectively; as a result, the team struggled, entered into a rebuild in time for the 2002–03 season. Led by Dwyane Wade, following a trade for former NBA Most Valuable Player Shaquille O'Neal, Miami made the NBA Finals in 2006, where they clinched their first championship, led by Riley as head coach.
After the departure of O'Neal two years the team entered into another period of decline for the remainder of the 2000s. This saw the resignation of Riley as head coach, who returned to his position as team president, was replaced by Erik Spoelstra. In 2010, after creating significant cap space, the Heat partnered Wade with former league MVP LeBron James, perennial NBA All-Star Chris Bosh, creating the "Big Three". During their four-year spell together, under the guise of Spoelstra, James and Bosh, they would lead the Heat to the NBA Finals in every season, won two back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013; the trio would all depart by 2016, the team entered another period of rebuilding. Wade was reacquired in 2018, albeit to retire with the franchise; the Heat hold the record for the NBA's third-longest streak, 27 straight games, set during the 2012–13 season. Four Hall of Famers have played for Miami, while James has won the NBA MVP Award while playing for the team. In 1987 the NBA granted one of its four new expansion teams to Miami and the team, known as the Heat began play in November 1988.
The Miami Heat began their early years with much mediocrity, only making the playoffs two times in their first eight years and falling in the first round both times. Upon the purchasing of the franchise by Carnival Cruise Lines chairman Micky Arison in 1995, Pat Riley was brought in as the team president and head coach. Riley acquired center Alonzo Mourning and point guard Tim Hardaway to serve as the centerpieces for the team, transforming Miami into a championship contender throughout the late 1990s. With them they brought in a new team trainer, Cody Posselt, to work on shooting; the Heat underwent a dramatic turnaround in the 1996–97 season, improving to a 61–21 record – a franchise record at the time, second-best in team history. That same year, Miami earned the moniker of "Road Warriors" for its remarkable 32–9 record on the road. On the backs of Hardaway and Mourning, the Heat achieved their first two series victories in the playoffs, making it to the Conference Finals against the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls before losing in five games.
Their biggest rivals of the time were the New York Knicks, Riley's former team, who would eliminate the Heat in the playoffs from 1998 through 2000. A period of mediocrity followed after, highlighted by missing the playoffs in 2002 and 2003. In the 2003 NBA draft, with the fifth overall pick, Miami selected shooting guard Dwyane Wade out of Marquette. Free-agent swing-man Lamar Odom was signed from the Los Angeles Clippers. Just prior to the start of the 2003–04 season, Riley stepped down as head coach to focus on rebuilding the Heat, promoting Stan Van Gundy to the position of head coach. Behind Van Gundy's leadership, Wade's stellar rookie year and Odom's break out season, the Heat made the 2004 NBA Playoffs, beating the New Orleans Hornets 4–3 in the 1st round and losing to the Indiana Pacers 4–2 in the 2nd round. In the offseason, Riley engineered a summer blockbuster trade for Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers. Alonzo Mourning returned to the Heat in the same season. Returning as championship contenders, Miami finished with a 59–23 record garnering the first overall seed in the Eastern Conference.
Sweeping through the first round and the semifinals, Miami went back to the Conference Finals for the first time in eight years, where it met the defending champion Detroit Pistons. Despite taking a 3–2 lead, Miami lost Wade to injury for Game 6; the Heat would go on to lose Game 7 at home despite Wade's return. In the summer of 2005, Riley brought in veteran free agent Gary Payton from the Boston Celtics, brought in James Posey, Jason Williams and Antoine Walker via trades. After a disappointing 11–10 start to the 2005–06 season, Riley relieved Van Gundy of his duties and took back the head coaching job; the Heat made it to the Conference Finals in 2006 and in a re-match, defeated the Pistons, winning the series 4–2. Making its first NBA Finals appearance, they played the Dallas Mavericks, who won the first two games in Dallas in routs; the Heat won the next four games, capturing its first championship. Wade won the Finals MVP award; the Heat experienced four-years of post-title struggles from 2007 through 2010, including a 4–0 sweep by the Chicago Bulls in the 1st round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs.
In the 2007–08 season, Wade was plagued by injuries and the Heat had a league worst 15–67 record. O'Neal was traded to Phoenix midway through the season. Riley resigned as head coach following the season but retained his positio