Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano
Pallacanestro Olimpia Milano known as AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan after its title sponsor, is an LBA Italian professional basketball team, based in Milan, Italy. Its colors are red and white, the team is sometimes referred as "Scarpette Rosse" because team officials imported red Converse All-Star shoes for players from the United States; the tag line stuck, the nickname is still used by many fans today. As per custom in the Italian league, sponsorship has kept the team name changing frequently. From 1936 until 1955, it was called Borletti Milano. From 1956 to 1973, it was renamed Simmenthal. Other famous sponsorship names were Billy, Simac and Philips, in the 1980s. For past club sponsorship names, see the list below. Olimpia is the most titled basketball club in Italy, having won 28 Italian League championships, 6 Italian National Cups, 3 Italian Super Cups, 3 EuroLeague, 1 FIBA Intercontinental Cup, 3 FIBA Saporta Cups, 2 FIBA Korać Cups and many junior titles. Olimpia was founded by Milan businessman Adolfo Bogoncelli.
The team won the LEGA Basket Serie A championship of Italian basketball in the 1950s and the 1960s, with players including Gabriele Vianello, Sandro Riminucci, Gianfranco Pieri, Bill Bradley. In the 1970s, three teams were fighting across Europe for supremacy: Olimpia Milano, Ignis Varese, Real Madrid. Pallacanestro Varese and Olimpia Milano were arch-rivals. While Milano was a frequent Italian League champion, they were unable to win the prestigious FIBA European Champions Cup. Late in the 1970s, the quality of the club declined, but Olimpia Milano still managed to win a FIBA Cup Winners' Cup. In the second half of the 1970s, the team signed several good players, including the Boselli twins, Mike Sylvester, Chas Menatti, Dino Meneghin, Mike D'Antoni, John Gianelli, Roberto Premier. Bob McAdoo, Joe Barry Carroll, Russ Schoene, Antoine Carr, Mike Brown. American head coach Dan Peterson led the team back to prominence. In the 1980s, the team was sold to the Gabetti family. During this time, they qualified for nine Serie A championships finals, winning five, with the 1987 team winning the Serie A title, the 1986–87 FIBA European Champions Cup, the Italian Cup and the 1987 FIBA Club World Cup.
This gave the club the coveted "Triple Crown" and the rarer "Quadruple Crown". Led by point guard Sasha Djordjević, the team won another FIBA Korać Cup in 1993. Bepi Stefanel purchased the team franchise in 1994, signed-up notable European players like Dejan Bodiroga, Gregor Fučka, Sandro De Pol, Nando Gentile. In 1996, the team won the Italian Cup and its 25th Italian National Championship, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the club. Team management was inconsistent, as ownership groups from 1998 to 2004. Players of the team included Hugo Sconochini, Claudio Coldebella and Petar Naumoski. In 2005, owner Corbelli, which bought the club in 2002, from Sergio Tacchini, was flanked by Adriano Galliani, Massimo Moratti, NBA star Kobe Bryant, stylist Giorgio Armani, as sponsor with the Armani Jeans brand. After difficult years, led by coach Lino Lardo, Olimpia reached the national championship Finals being beaten by Climamio Bologna. On January 25, 2006, in the midst of a disappointing season in the EuroLeague and domestically, Djordjevic was named as the team's new coach.
He left as coach after the 2006–07 season, but not before securing Olimpia a berth in the 2007–08 Euroleague. In 2008, Giorgio Armani bought the team from Giorgio Corbelli, standing as the only owner changing the management structure, naming Livio Proli as President, Lucio Zanca as general manager. Piero Bucchi was chosen to coach the new team, leading Olimpia twice to second place in LEGA Basket, being defeated by Montepaschi Siena in both cases. On January 2011, after 23 years, glorious coach Dan Peterson came back from retirement to replace Piero Bucchi as head coach. However, his stint at Olimpia Milano this time was quite short: after failing to reach the championship Finals, on June 9, Olimpia Milano announced Sergio Scariolo as new head coach for the 2011–12 season; the first player signed for the 2011–12 season was Omar Cook, an American-born play maker, who had played the previous season with Power Electronics Valencia. Due to the NBA lockout, Danilo Gallinari went back to his Alma Mater, playing 15 games: he left the team in December.
Sergio Scariolo was replaced by Luca Banchi at the beginning of the 2013–14 season, the team brought from Montepaschi Siena: David Moss, Kristjan Kangur, Daniel Hackett. The team reached the quarterfinals of EuroLeague, 16 years after its last appearance, but the team lost against the eventual league champions, Maccabi Electra; the team finished in the 1st position the LEGA Basket regular season, in the 7th game of the playoff's finals, Olimpia won its 26th Italian League championship title, its first after 18 years. Alessandro Gentile, the captain of Olimpia, was named MVP of the finals. On 29th of June 2017 Simone Pianigiani was hired as the new head coach and in June 15, 2018, Milano went to win his 28th title by beating Dolomiti Energia Trento in game 6 of the 2018 LBA Finals. Olimpia Milano used the OND Borletti outdoor court for 20 years in Via Costanza. In the mid-1940s, they moved to the PalaFiera Milano, which had a seating capacity of 18,000 people, was the largest indoor sports arena in Europe, second only to the Madison Square Garden in New York City.
At the end of the 1960s, the PalaFiera was abandoned, Olimpia moved into the origi
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder is an American professional basketball team based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Thunder competes in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team plays its home games at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Thunder's NBA G League affiliate is the Oklahoma City Blue; the Thunder are the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues based in the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma City hosted the New Orleans Hornets for two seasons following devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans; the team was established as the Seattle SuperSonics, an expansion team that joined the NBA for the 1967–68 season. The SuperSonics moved in 2008 after a settlement was reached between the ownership group led by Clay Bennett and lawmakers in Seattle, Washington following a lawsuit. In Seattle, the SuperSonics qualified for the NBA playoffs 22 times, won their division six times, won the 1979 NBA Championship.
In Oklahoma City, the Thunder qualified for their first playoff berth during the 2009–10 season. They won their first division title as the Thunder in the 2010–11 season and their first Western Conference championship as the Thunder in the 2011–12 season, appearing in the NBA Finals for the fourth time in franchise history and first since 1996, when the team was based in Seattle; the Thunder's previous incarnation, the Seattle SuperSonics, were formed in 1967. In their 41 seasons in Seattle, the SuperSonics compiled a 1745–1585 win–loss record in the regular season and went 107–110 in the playoffs; the franchise's titles include three Western Conference championships and one NBA title in 1979. In 2006, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sold the SuperSonics and its Women's National Basketball Association sister franchise, the Seattle Storm, for $350 million to the Professional Basketball Club LLC, a group of Oklahoma City investors led by Clay Bennett; the sale of the SuperSonics and Storm was approved by NBA owners the following October.
In 2007, Bennett announced that the franchise would move to Oklahoma City as soon as the lease with KeyArena expired. In June 2008, a lawsuit brought by the city of Seattle against Bennett due to his attempts to break the final two years of the Sonics' lease at KeyArena went to federal court. Nearly a month the two sides reached a settlement agreement; the terms awarded the city $45 million to get out of the remaining lease at KeyArena, would have provided an additional $30 million payment to Seattle in 2013 if certain conditions had been met. The owners agreed to leave the SuperSonics name and colors in Seattle for a possible future NBA franchise. On September 3, 2008, the team name and colors for the Oklahoma City franchise were revealed to the public; the name "Thunder" was chosen in reference to Oklahoma's location in Tornado Alley and Oklahoma City as the home of the U. S. Army's 45th Infantry Division, the Thunderbirds; the Thunder participated in the Orlando Pro Summer League featuring their second-year players, potential free agents and rookies.
The players wore generic black and white jerseys reading "OKC-NBA" against an outline of a basketball. The Thunder's temporary practice facility was the Sawyer Center at Southern Nazarene University, used by the New Orleans Hornets when they relocated to Oklahoma City after Hurricane Katrina; the Thunder played several preseason games before the 2008–2009 regular season, but only one of those games was in Oklahoma City. The Thunder made their first appearance in Billings, Montana on October 8, 2008 in an 88–82 preseason loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves; the Thunder played their first Ford Center game on October 14 against the Los Angeles Clippers. In their regular-season home opener, the Thunder faced the Milwaukee Bucks. Earl Watson scored the first points of the season with a layup. Three nights on November 2, the Thunder won their first game by defeating the Timberwolves, improving their record to 1–3; the team went on a 10-game losing streak before deciding on November 22 to fire head coach P. J. Carlesimo and assistant Paul Westhead.
Assistant coach Scott Brooks took over on an interim basis. Oklahoma City lost its next four games to tie the franchise losing streak of 14 set in Seattle the previous season, but the team managed to prevent history by winning their next game on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies. As the season continued, the Thunder began to improve. After starting 3–29, the Thunder finished the regular season 20–30 for the remaining fifty games. Not only were they winning more they played much more competitively than in the first part of the season; the team brought their record to 23–59 and improved upon their record of 20–62 from the team's final season in Seattle. The late-season successes of the Thunder contributed to the signing of Scott Brooks as the team's official head coach. After moving to Oklahoma City from Seattle, the team's operating situation improved markedly. In December 2008, Forbes magazine estimated the team's franchise value at $300 million – a 12 percent increase from the previous year's $268 million, when the club was located in Seattle.
Forbes noted an increase in percentage of available tickets sold, from 78 percent in the team's last season in Seattle to 100 percent in 2008–09. After an inaugural season filled with many adjustments, the Thunder hoped to improve during their second season in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City did not make any major moves in the off-season, other than drafting James Harden from Arizona State University with the third overall pick i
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
The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division; the team plays its home games at State Farm Arena. The team's origins can be traced to the establishment of the Buffalo Bisons in 1946 in Buffalo, New York, a member of the National Basketball League owned by Ben Kerner and Leo Ferris. After 38 days in Buffalo, the team moved to Moline, where they were renamed the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. In 1949, they joined the NBA as part of the merger between the NBL and the Basketball Association of America, had Red Auerbach as coach. In 1951, Kerner moved the team to Milwaukee. Kerner and the team moved again in 1955 to St. Louis, where they won their only NBA Championship in 1958 and qualified to play in the NBA Finals in 1957, 1960 and 1961; the Hawks played the Boston Celtics in all four of their trips to the NBA Finals. The St. Louis Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968, when Kerner sold the franchise to Thomas Cousins and former Georgia Governor Carl Sanders.
The Hawks own the second-longest drought of not winning an NBA championship at 60 seasons. The franchise's lone NBA championship, as well as all four NBA Finals appearances, occurred when the team was based in St. Louis. Meanwhile, they went 48 years without advancing past the second round of the playoffs in any format, until breaking through in 2015. However, the Hawks are one of only four NBA teams that have qualified to play in the NBA playoffs in 10 consecutive seasons in the 21st century, they achieved this feat between 2008 and 2017. The other teams that have made it to at least 10 consecutive playoff appearances in the 21st century are the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks; the origins of the Atlanta Hawks can be traced to the Buffalo Bisons franchise, founded in 1946. The Bisons were a member of the National Basketball League, played their games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium; the club was coached by Nat Hickey. Their first game – a 50–39 victory over the Syracuse Nationals – was played on November 8, 1946.
On the team was William "Pop" Gates, along with William "Dolly" King, was one of the first two African-American players in the NBL. The team, which needed to draw 3,600 fans per game to break struggled to draw 1,000 fans per game to the Auditorium; the franchise lasted only 38 days in Buffalo when, on December 25, 1946, Leo Ferris, the team's general manager, announced that the team would be moving to Moline, which at that time was part of an area known as the "Tri-Cities": Moline, Rock Island and Davenport, Iowa. Upon relocation to Moline, the team was renamed the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, played their home games at Wharton Field House, a 6,000-seat arena in Moline; the team featured guard/forward and coach Deanglo King, was owned by Leo Ferris and Ben Kerner. Pop Gates remained on the Blackhawks roster, finished second on the team in scoring behind future 1948 NBL MVP Don Otten. A Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member, Gates helped to integrate the league and become the first African-American coach in a major sports league, coaching Dayton in 1948.
In 1949 the Blackhawks became one of the National Basketball Association's 17 original teams after a merger of the 12-year-old NBL and the three-year-old Basketball Association of America. They reached the playoffs in the NBA's inaugural year under the leadership of coach Red Auerbach; the following season, they drafted three-time All-American Bob Cousy, but they were unable to reach a deal and traded him to the Chicago Stags. The Blackhawks missed the playoffs. By it was obvious that the Tri-Cities area was too small to support an NBA team. After the season, the franchise relocated to Milwaukee and became the Milwaukee Hawks. In 1954, the Hawks drafted Bob Pettit, a future NBA MVP. Despite this, the Hawks were one of the league's worst teams, in 1955 the Hawks moved, this time to St. Louis, Milwaukee's rival in the beer industry, became the St. Louis Hawks. In 1956, the St. Louis Hawks drafted legendary Bill Russell in the first round, they traded Russell to the Boston Celtics for Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley, both Hall of Fame members.
In 1957, the Hawks finished four games under.500. However, the Western Division was weak that year, they won the division title and a bye to the division finals after defeating the Minneapolis Lakers and Fort Wayne Pistons in one-game tiebreakers. They defeated the Lakers in the division finals to advance to the Finals, losing to the Boston Celtics in a double-overtime thriller in game seven. In 1958, after tallying their first winning record, they again advanced to the Finals, where they avenged their defeat against the Celtics from the previous year, winning the series 4–2 and giving the Hawks their first and only NBA Championship. Bob Pettit scored 50 points in the final game of the series; the Hawks remained one of the NBA's premier teams for the next decade. In 1960, under coach Ed Macauley, the team advanced to the Finals, but lost to the Celtics in another game seven thriller; the following year, with the acquisition of rookie Lenny Wilkens, the Hawks repeated their success, but met the Celtics in the Finals again and lost in five games.
They would remain contenders for most of the 1960s, advancing deep into the playoffs a
Michael Andrew D'Antoni is an American-Italian professional basketball coach and former player, the head coach of the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. While head coach of the Phoenix Suns, he won NBA Coach of the Year honors for the 2004–05 NBA season after the Suns posted 33 more wins than the previous season, he coached the New York Knicks starting in 2008 before resigning in 2012. He was hired by the Lakers seven games into the 2012–13 season. D'Antoni, who holds American and Italian dual citizenship, is known for favoring a fast-paced, offense-oriented system. On June 1, 2016, D'Antoni was named head coach of the Rockets, he received his second NBA Coach of the Year award for the 2016–17 season. After playing high school basketball at Mullens High School, in Mullens, West Virginia, D'Antoni played college basketball at Marshall University, with the Thundering Herd, from 1970 to 1973. After a college basketball career at Marshall University, D'Antoni was drafted by the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in the second round of the 1973 NBA draft.
After playing three seasons for the Kings, he played for the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association in 1975–76, for the San Antonio Spurs in 1976–77, his Spurs career lasted just two games. D'Antoni was signed by the Italian team Olimpia Milano, starting a career that saw him become the club's all-time leading scorer, he was voted the Italian LBA league's top point guard of all time in 1990, paced his team to five Italian League titles, two FIBA European Champions Cup titles, two Italian Cups, one FIBA Korać Cup, one FIBA Intercontinental Cup. During his playing career in Italy, D'Antoni earned the nickname "Il Baffo", in reference to his ever-present facial hair, he earned the nickname "Arsène Lupin" because of his ability to steal the ball. In 2015, Olimpia Milano retired his No. 8 jersey. Being of Italian origin, D'Antoni was selected to play on the senior men's Italian national team for the EuroBasket tournament in 1989. D'Antoni began his career as head coach for Olimpia Milan.
He remained there for four seasons, from 1990 to 1994, leading the club to a 1992 FIBA EuroLeague Final Four appearance, a 1992–93 season FIBA Korać Cup title. He was chosen to coach Benetton Treviso, another major Italian league basketball club. During his tenure with Treviso, the team captured the FIBA European Cup and Italian Cup, won the Italian national domestic league title in the 1996–97 season. Coach D’Antoni's Italian club teams went to the Italian League's playoffs each season. In 2001, D'Antoni returned to Italy as the coach of Benetton Treviso. In his one season back in Europe, he led Treviso to a 28–8 regular season record in the Italian League, an Italian League championship, to a 2002 Euroleague Final Four appearance, coaching a team filled with many former NBA stars. D'Antoni's first NBA coaching job was with the Denver Nuggets in 1997–98 as the club's director of player personnel, he did some broadcasting work with TNT that season. The next year, he became the Nuggets' head coach, but was fired after a poor performance during the lockout-shortened 1998–99 season.
D'Antoni became a scout for San Antonio Spurs during the 1999–2000 season. He was an assistant for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2000–01. In 2002, D'Antoni made his return to the NBA as a Phoenix Suns assistant. In 2003, he was hired with 61 games left in the season as the Suns' head coach and, despite the team's failure to improve in the second half of the season, received a vote of confidence for producing inspired play from the injury-riddled team. With the acquisition of free agent Steve Nash before the 2004–05 season, an incredible turnaround began for the team. Nash was experienced in the run-and-gun style from his previous stints with the Dallas Mavericks and the Suns, he excelled running D'Antoni's pick-and-roll offense. D'Antoni won the NBA Coach of the Year Award after his Suns went 62–20 to finish first in the regular season, his style, dubbed "Seven Seconds or Less", was described in a book of that name. Overall, his Suns won 50 or more games in four consecutive seasons, while Nash earned NBA MVP honors in 2005 and 2006.
In addition to Nash, D'Antoni's Suns featured All-Star power forward Amar'e Stoudemire and high-flying small forward Shawn Marion. They made consecutive appearances in the Western Conference finals in 2005 and 2006, losing to the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks, respectively. D'Antoni became the Suns' GM after Bryan Colangelo's departure and passed on the post to Steve Kerr in 2007; the Suns were eliminated in the playoffs by the Spurs in 2007 and 2008, after which D'Antoni left Phoenix for the New York Knicks. D'Antoni was selected to the coaching staff for the Team USA Olympic Basketball squad under head coach Mike Krzyzewski and participated in the 2006 FIBA World Championship, winning a bronze medal. Pundits believed his familiarity with the three-point shot and the zone defense, hallmarks of the international game, were valuable assets to the team. Although Steve Kerr requested he stay with the Suns, D'Antoni was told that he was free to speak with other teams about coaching jobs.
On May 9, D'Antoni was made an offer by the New York Knicks. The next day, he became the Knicks' head coach. After two losing seasons, D'Antoni with new additions Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks to the playoffs in 2010–11 with a 42–40 record, they were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round. D'Antoni resigned as coach on March 14
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 2007–08 Euroleague was the 8th season of the professional basketball competition for elite clubs throughout Europe, organised by Euroleague Basketball Company, it was the 51st season of the premier competition for European men's clubs overall. The 2007–08 season featured 24 competing teams; the Euroleague Regular Season draw was held on 30 June 2007, in Jesolo, during the inaugural Euroleague summer league. The official inauguration was held on October 22, at Hala Olivia in Gdańsk, before the season's opening game between Prokom Trefl Sopot and CSKA Moscow; the 2008 Final Four was held on May 2–4, 2008, at the Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid in Madrid, Spain. Russian power CSKA Moscow became the champion for the sixth time, placing them second in all-time European championships to Real Madrid; the regular season began on October 22, 2007. The first phase was a regular season, in which the competing teams were drawn into three groups, each containing eight teams; each team played every other team in its group at home and away, resulting in 14 games for each team in the first stage.
The top 5 teams in each group and the best sixth-placed team advanced to the next round. The complete list of tiebreakers was provided in the lead-in to the Regular Season results. If one or more clubs were level on won-lost record, tiebreakers are applied in the following order: Head-to-head record in matches between the tied clubs Overall point difference in games between the tied clubs Overall point difference in all group matches Points scored in all group matches Sum of quotients of points scored and points allowed in each group match The surviving teams were divided into four groups of four teams each, again a round robin system was adopted, resulting in 6 games each, with the two top teams advancing to the quarterfinals. Tiebreakers were identical to those used in the Regular Season; the draw to set up the Top 16 groups was held on February 4, 2008, in Madrid. The teams were placed into four pools, as follows: Level 1: The three group winners, plus the top-ranked second-place team CSKA Moscow, Lietuvos Rytas, Real MadridLevel 2: The remaining second-place teams, plus the top two third-place teams Maccabi Elite, Montepaschi Siena, Unicaja Málaga, Tau CerámicaLevel 3: The remaining third-place team, plus the three fourth-place teams FC Barcelona, Efes Pilsen, Žalgiris, Fenerbahçe ÜlkerLevel 4: The fifth-place teams, plus the top ranked sixth-place team Olympiacos, Partizan, Lottomatica RomaEach Top 16 group included one team from each pool.
The draw was conducted under the following restrictions: No more than two teams from the same Regular Season group could be placed in the same Top 16 group. No more than two teams from the same country could be placed in the same Top 16 group. If there is a conflict between these two restrictions, would receive priority. Another draw was held to determine the order of fixtures. In the cases of two teams from the same city in the Top 16, they were scheduled so that only one of the two teams would be at home in a given week; each quarterfinal was a best-of-three series between a first-place team in the Top 16 and a second-place team from a different group, with the first-place team receiving home advantage. All opening games were played on April 1, 2008, all second games were played on April 3; the deciding third games were played on April 9 and April 10. The Final Four is the last phase of each Euroleague season, is held over a weekend; the semifinal games are played on Friday evening. Sunday starts with the third-place game, followed by the championship final.
May 2, Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid May 4, Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid May 4, Palacio de Deportes de la Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid Trajan Langdon Ramūnas Šiškauskas Trajan Langdon Will Bynum Danilo Gallinari Dimitris Diamantidis Marc Salyers Ettore Messina Ferdinando Minucci Euroleague 2007–08 Final ULEB Cup 2007–08 EuroCup 2007–08 EuroLeague Women 2007–08