1996 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The 1996 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 14, 1996, ended with the championship game on April 1 at Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. A total of 63 games were played; the Final Four venue was notable for several reasons: This marked the first time that the NCAA finals had been held in Greater New York since 1950. This was the last Final Four to be held in a basketball/hockey-specific facility; every Final Four since has been held in a domed stadium because of NCAA venue capacity requirements. Therefore, this was the last time the NCAA finals have been held in the Greater New York area and the Northeastern United States; the Final Four consisted of Kentucky, making their first appearance in the Final Four since 1993 and eleventh overall, making their first appearance in the Final Four, making their third appearance in the Final Four and first since 1987, Mississippi State making their first appearance.
Kentucky won their sixth national championship by defeating Syracuse in the final game 76–67. Tony Delk of Kentucky was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Kentucky's run to the championship was one of the most dominant in NCAA tournament history, as the Wildcats won each of their first four games by at least 20 points and won every game by at least 7 points; the committee that put together the bracket in 1996 was criticized for placing what seemed to be the best two teams in college basketball – Massachusetts and Kentucky – on the same side of the bracket so that they faced each other in the national semifinal – not the final game itself. Note that there are guidelines that the selection committee follows. In 2004 the procedure would be changed so that the regional sites would first be assigned their #1 seeds would be placed in the bracket so that the #1 overall seed would face the fourth #1 seed while the second #1 seed would face the third #1 seed, barring any upsets. Although Kentucky was the tourney favorite, Connecticut was the presumed #1 overall seed that season, after compiling a 30–2 record during the season in a strong Big East Conference, including a conference tournament victory.
Meanwhile, Kentucky was dropped to #3 overall seed following their defeat to Mississippi State in the SEC conference tournament final. Kentucky could not be placed in the Southeast region since the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games were being played in Kentucky's home arena, Rupp Arena. Massachusetts, coached by John Calipari, was stripped of their wins, including the UMass Minutemen's Final Four appearance, by the NCAA because UMass star Marcus Camby had accepted illegal gifts from agents. Connecticut, coached by Jim Calhoun, was additionally punished monetarily due to players accepting illegal gifts from agents. East Rutherford became the 25th different host city, the Continental Airlines Arena the 30th host venue, to host the final four. While the New York metropolitan area is the largest metropolitan area to host the Final Four, had at the old Madison Square Garden, the town of East Rutherford itself is the smallest town to host a Final Four. Once more, all four regional sites were future Final Four sites.
The only new venue of the tournament was the Georgia Dome, which would host five regional rounds and three Final Fours before closing in 2017. Any future tournament games to be held in New Jersey would be played at the Prudential Center. * – Denotes overtime period # On May 8, 1997, the NCAA Executive Committee voted to negate the Minutemen's 1996 NCAA Tournament record, for Marcus Camby's acceptance of agents' improper gifts. The team's 35–2 season record was reduced to 31–1, the UMass slot in the Final Four is marked as "vacated"; the Final Four trophy, banner and 45% of tournament revenue were returned to the NCAA. Camby reimbursed the school for the lost revenue. Jim Nantz/Bob Rathburn and Billy Packer – First & Second Round at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1999–2000 NBA season
The 1999–2000 NBA season was the 54th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA championship, beating the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 2 in the 2000 NBA Finals. Effective this season, the first game of the NBA regular season begins on either the first Tuesday of November or the last Tuesday of October, the last game on the third Wednesday of April; the NBA playoffs begin on the third Saturday of April. The 2000 NBA All-Star Game held in California; the West won 137–126. Tim Duncan from the San Antonio Spurs and Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers shared the game's MVP honors; the Slam Dunk Contest returned after a two-year absence, with Vince Carter winning the title in what is considered to be one of the best Dunk Contest performances of all time. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers played their first games at the Staples Center; the Lakers would go on to win 19 consecutive games between February 4, 2000, March 16, 2000, the sixth-longest winning streak in NBA history.
Staples Center's first season saw its tenants at two opposite ends of the league: the Lakers finished with a best regular season record of 67–15 and the NBA title, while the Clippers finished 15–67, the worst of the season. The Denver Nuggets played their first game at the Pepsi Center; the Indiana Pacers played their first game at the Conseco Fieldhouse. The Indiana Pacers advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history; the Atlanta Hawks played their first game at the Philips Arena. The Miami Heat started the season playing their home games at Miami Arena. In January, they played their first game at the AmericanAirlines Arena; the Toronto Raptors played their first full season at the Air Canada Centre. They made the playoffs for the first time becoming the first Canadian team to do so. During Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, the Portland Trail Blazers held a 75-60 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers with 10:28 left to play. During the fourth quarter, the Blazers would miss thirteen consecutive shots, allowing the Lakers to claw back and take the game, 89–84.
The game was capped off with a famous alley-oop to Shaquille O'Neal from Kobe Bryant. Two active players were killed in automobile accidents within four months of each other. On January 12, Bobby Phills of the Charlotte Hornets was killed as a result of reckless driving while racing against teammate David Wesley. On May 20, Malik Sealy of the Minnesota Timberwolves was driving home from a birthday party being held for Kevin Garnett when his SUV was struck by a drunk driver, driving on the wrong side of the road. Phills would have his jersey retired during the season after news of his unexpected death was announced, while Sealy would have his jersey retired after this season concluded. San Antonio Spurs forward Sean Elliott was sidelined for most of the season while undergoing kidney transplant operations, he returned on March 13, becoming the first player to return following kidney transplant. The Boston Celtics retired their trademark parquet floor on December 22, 1999, after 54 years; the floor would be replaced by a replica combining elements of the old floor and new wooden sections.
Doc Rivers became the first recipient of the NBA Coach of the Year Award to have not led his team to the playoffs. He coached the Orlando Magic to a respectable 41-41 record, good enough for the 9th seed in the East The season marked Patrick Ewing's last in a New York Knicks uniform, he was traded during the 2000 offseason to the Seattle SuperSonics in a three-team deal. Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain died on October 12, 1999, at 63. Wilt's former teams, the Lakers and Warriors honored him by sporting black patches for the rest of the season. Kevin Johnson returned from retirement to replace the injured Jason Kidd of Phoenix Suns in this season's playoffs, but the Suns fell to the Lakers in the second round and Johnson would retire again. 36-year-old Houston Rockets forward Charles Barkley suffered a devastating injury early in the season but returned for a final game before retiring. The Atlanta Hawks changed their uniforms; the Cleveland Cavaliers changed their uniforms. The Denver Nuggets moved into the Pepsi Center.
The Detroit Pistons added new maroon alternate uniforms. The Indiana Pacers moved into the Conseco Fieldhouse; the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers both moved into the Staples Center, while the Lakers changed their uniforms. The Miami Heat changed their logo and uniforms, moved into the AmericanAirlines Arena in January; the Philadelphia 76ers added new blue alternate uniforms. The Seattle SuperSonics added new red alternate uniforms; the Toronto Raptors changed their uniforms removing the pinstripes. Notes z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs y – Clinched division title x – Clinched playoff spot Teams in bold advanced to the next round; the numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record.
* Division winnerBold Series winnerItalic Team with home-court advantage Most Valuable Player: Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers Co-Rookies of the Year: Elton Brand, Chicago Bulls.
Ohio State University
The Ohio State University referred to as Ohio State or OSU, is a large public research university in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1870 as a land-grant university and the ninth university in Ohio with the Morrill Act of 1862, the university was known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College; the college began with a focus on training students in various agricultural and mechanical disciplines but it developed into a comprehensive university under the direction of then-Governor Rutherford B. Hayes, in 1878 the Ohio General Assembly passed a law changing the name to "The Ohio State University", it has since grown into the third-largest university campus in the United States. Along with its main campus in Columbus, Ohio State operates regional campuses in Lima, Marion and Wooster; the university has an extensive student life program, with over 1,000 student organizations. Ohio State athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are known as the Ohio State Buckeyes. Athletes from Ohio State have won 100 Olympic medals.
The university is a member of the Big Ten Conference for the majority of sports. The Ohio State men's ice hockey program competes in the Big Ten Conference, while its women's hockey program competes in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. In addition, the OSU men's volleyball team is a member of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. OSU is one of only 14 universities; the proposal of a manufacturing and agriculture university in central Ohio was met in the 1870s with hostility from the state's agricultural interests and competition for resources from Ohio University, chartered by the Northwest Ordinance, Miami University. Championed by the Republican stalwart Governor Rutherford B. Hayes, The Ohio State University was founded in 1870 as a land-grant university under the Morrill Act of 1862 as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College; the school was within a farming community on the northern edge of Columbus. While some interests in the state had hoped the new university would focus on matriculating students of various agricultural and mechanical disciplines, Hayes manipulated both the university's location and its initial board of trustees towards a more comprehensive end.
The university opened its doors to 24 students on September 17, 1873. In 1878, the first class of six men graduated; the first woman graduated the following year. In 1878, in light of its expanded focus, the Ohio legislature changed the name to "The Ohio State University", with "The" as part of its official name. Ohio State began accepting graduate students in the 1880s, in 1891, the school saw the founding of its law school, Moritz College of Law, it would acquire colleges of medicine, optometry, veterinary medicine and journalism in subsequent years. In 1916, Ohio State was elected into membership in the Association of American Universities. Michael V. Drake, former chancellor of the University of California, became the 15th president of The Ohio State University on June 30, 2014. Ohio State's 1,764-acre main campus is about 2.5 miles north of the city's downtown. The historical center of campus is a quad of about 11 acres. Four buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: Hale Hall, Hayes Hall, Ohio Stadium, Orton Hall.
Unlike earlier public universities such as Ohio University and Miami University, whose campuses have a consistent architectural style, the Ohio State campus is a mix of traditional and post-modern styles. The William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library, anchoring the Oval's western end, is Ohio State library's main branch and largest repository; the Thompson Library was designed in 1913 by the Boston firm of Allen and Collens in the Italianate Renaissance Revival style, its placement on the Oval was suggested by the Olmsted Brothers who had designed New York City's Central Park. In 2006, the Thompson Library began a $100 million renovation to maintain the building's classical Italian Renaissance architecture. Ohio State operates the North America's 18th-largest university research library with a combined collection of over 5.8 million volumes. Additionally, the libraries receive about 35,000 serial titles, its recent acquisitions were 16th among university research libraries in North America. Along with 21 libraries on its Columbus campus, the university has eight branches at off-campus research facilities and regional campuses, a book storage depository near campus.
In all, the Ohio State library system encompasses specialty collections. Some more significant collections include The Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program, which has the archives of Admiral Richard E. Byrd and other polar research materials. Anchoring the traditional campus gateway at the eastern end of the Oval is the 1989 Wexner Center for the Arts. Designed by architects Peter Eisenman of New York and Richard Trott of Columbus, the center was funded in large part by Ohio State alumnus Leslie Wexner's gift of $25 million in the 1980s; the center was founded to encompass all aspects of visual and performing art
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The Rockets have won four Western Conference titles; the team was established as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team based in San Diego, in 1967. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston; the Rockets won only 15 games in their debut season as a franchise in 1967. In the 1968 NBA draft, the Rockets, picking first overall, selected power forward Elvin Hayes, who would lead the team to its first playoff appearance in his rookie season; the Rockets did not finish a season with a winning record until the 1976–77 season, when they traded for center Moses Malone. Malone went on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award twice and led Houston to the conference finals in his first year with the team, he led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981 where they were defeated in six games by the Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird and future Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
In the 1984 NBA draft, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would be paired with 7 feet 4 inches Ralph Sampson, forming one of the tallest front courts in the NBA. Nicknamed the "Twin Towers", they led the team to the 1986 NBA Finals—the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history—where Houston was again defeated by the Boston Celtics; the Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the first round for several years following a second-round defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1987. Rudy Tomjanovich took over as head coach midway through the 1991–92 season, ushering in the most successful period in franchise history; the Olajuwon-led Rockets went to the 1994 NBA Finals and won the franchise's first championship against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. The following season, reinforced by another All-Star, Clyde Drexler, the Rockets repeated as champions with a four-game sweep of the Orlando Magic, who were led by a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway.
Houston, seeded sixth in the Western Conference during the 1995 playoffs, became the lowest-seeded team in NBA history to win the title. The Rockets acquired all-star forward Charles Barkley in 1996, but the presence of three of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all-time was not enough to propel Houston past the Western Conference Finals; each one of the aging trio had left the team by 2001, the Rockets of the early 2000s, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries. After Yao's early retirement in 2011, the Rockets entered a period of rebuilding dismantling and retooling their roster; the acquisition of franchise player James Harden in 2012 has launched the Rockets back into championship contention in the mid-2010s. Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden have been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player while playing for the Rockets, for a total of four MVP awards.
The Rockets, under general manager Daryl Morey, are notable for popularizing the use of advanced statistical analytics in player acquisitions and style of play. The Rockets were founded in 1967 in San Diego by Robert Breitbard, who paid an entry fee of US $1.75 million to join the NBA as an expansion team for the 1967–68 season. The NBA wanted to add more teams in the Western United States, chose San Diego based on the city's strong economic and population growth, along with the local success of an ice hockey team owned by Breitbard, the San Diego Gulls; the resulting contest to name the franchise chose the name "Rockets", which paid homage to San Diego's theme of "a city in motion" and the local arm of General Dynamics developing the Atlas missile and booster rocket program. Breitbard brought in Jack McMahon coach of the Cincinnati Royals, to serve as the Rockets' coach and general manager; the team, that would join the league along with the Seattle SuperSonics built its roster with both veteran players at an expansion draft, college players from the 1967 NBA draft, where San Diego's first draft pick was Pat Riley.
The Rockets lost 67 games in their inaugural season, an NBA record for losses in a season at the time. In 1968, after the Rockets won a coin toss against the Baltimore Bullets to determine who would have the first overall pick in the 1968 NBA draft, they selected Elvin Hayes from the University of Houston. Hayes improved the Rockets' record to 37 wins and 45 losses, enough for the franchise's first playoff appearance in 1969, but the Rockets lost in the semi-finals of the Western Division to the Atlanta Hawks, four games to two. Despite the additions of Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich and the management of Hall of Fame coach Alex Hannum, the Rockets tallied a 67–97 record in the following two seasons and did not make the playoffs in either season; because of the low performance and attendance, Breitbard looked to sell the team, in 1971, Texas Sports Investments bought the franchise for $5.6 million, moved the team to Houston. The franchise became the first NBA team in Texas, the nickname "Rockets" took on greater relevance after the move, given Houston's long connection to the space industry.
Before the start of the 1971–72 season, Hannum left for the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association – renamed Denver Nuggets, who joined the NBA in 1976 – and Tex Winter was hired in his place. However, Winter's clashes with Hayes, due to a system that contrasted with the offensive style
NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament known and branded as NCAA March Madness, is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States featuring 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, to determine the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, was the idea of Ohio State coach Harold Olsen. Played during March, it has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States; the tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences, 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These "at-large" teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee announced in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the "First Four" play-in games held in Dayton and dubbed Selection Sunday; the 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination "bracket", which pre-determines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next.
Each team is "seeded", or ranked, within its region from 1 to 16. After the First Four, the tournament occurs during the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites across the United States. Teams, seeded by rank, proceed through a single-game elimination bracket beginning with a "first four" consisting of 8 low-seeded teams playing in 4 games for a position in the first round the Tuesday and Wednesday before the first round begins, a first round consisting of 64 teams playing in 32 games over the course of a week, the "Sweet Sixteen" and "Elite Eight" rounds the next week and weekend and – for the last weekend of the tournament – the "Final Four" round; the Final Four is played during the first weekend of April. These four teams, one from each region, compete in a preselected location for the national championship; the tournament has been at least televised since 1969. The games are broadcast by CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV under the trade-name NCAA March Madness. Since 2011, all games are available for viewing nationwide and internationally.
As television coverage has grown, so too has the tournament's popularity. Millions of Americans fill out a bracket, attempting to predict the outcome of 63 games of the tournament. With 11 national titles, UCLA has the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships; the University of Kentucky is second, with eight national titles. The University of North Carolina is third, with six national titles, Duke University and Indiana University are tied for fourth with five national titles; the University of Connecticut is sixth with four national titles. The University of Kansas & Villanova are tied for 7th with three national titles. Since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 teams, Duke has won five championships; the NCAA has changed the tournament format several times since its inception, most being an increase of the number of teams. This section describes the tournament as it has operated since 2011. A total of 68 teams qualify for the tournament played during April. Thirty-two teams earn automatic bids as their respective conference champions.
Of the 32 Division I "all-sports" conferences, all 32 hold championship tournaments to determine which team receives the automatic qualification. The Ivy League was the last Division I conference. If two or more Ivies shared a regular-season championship, a one-game playoff was used to decide the tournament participant. Since 2017, the league conducts their own postseason tournament; the remaining 36 tournament slots are granted to at-large bids, which are determined by the Selection Committee in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the First Four play-in tournament and dubbed Selection Sunday by the media and fans, by a group of conference commissioners and school athletic directors who are appointed into service by the NCAA. The committee determines where all sixty-eight teams are seeded and placed in the bracket; the tournament is divided into four regions and each region has at least sixteen teams, but four additional teams are added per the decision of the Selection Committee.
The committee is charged with making each of the four regions as close as possible in overall quality of teams from wherever they come from. The names of the regions vary from year to year, are broadly geographic. From 1957 to 1984, the "Mideast" corresponding to the Southeastern region of the United States, designation was used. From 1985 to 1997, the Mideast region was known as "Southeast" and again changed to "South" starting from 1998; the selected names correspond to the location of the four cities hosting the regional finals. From 2004 to 2006, the regions were named after their host cities, e.g. the Phoenix Regional in 2004, the Chicago Regional in 2005, the Minneapolis Regional in 2006, but reverted to the traditional geographic designations beginning in 2007. For example, during 2012, the regions were named South, Midwest (St. Louis, Mis
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
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team played its home games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to Moda Center in 1995. The franchise entered the league as an expansion team in 1970, has enjoyed a strong following: from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American major professional sports at the time, only since surpassed by the Boston Red Sox; the Trail Blazers have been the only NBA team based in the bi-national Pacific Northwest, after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA championship once in 1977.
Their other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 34 seasons of their 48-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, tied for the second longest streak in NBA history; the Trail Blazers' 34 playoff appearances rank third in the NBA only behind the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs since the team's inception in 1970. Six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers. Bill Walton is the franchise's most decorated player. Four Blazer rookies have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Three players have earned the Most Improved Player award: Kevin Duckworth, Zach Randolph, CJ McCollum. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Lenny Wilkens and Jack Ramsay, have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, two others, Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy, have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the team. Sports promoter Harry Glickman sought a National Basketball Association franchise for Portland as far back as 1955 when he proposed two new expansion teams, the other to be located in Los Angeles.
When the Memorial Coliseum was opened in 1960 Glickman saw the potential it could serve as a professional basketball venue but it was not until February 6, 1970, that the NBA board of governors granted him the rights to a franchise in Portland. To raise the money for the $3.7 million admission tax, Glickman associated himself to real estate magnates Robert Schmertz of New Jersey, Larry Weinberg of Los Angeles and Herman Sarkowsky of Seattle. Two weeks on February 24, team management held a contest to select the team's name and received more than 10,000 entries; the most popular choice was "Pioneers", but that name was excluded from consideration as it was used by sports teams at Portland's Lewis & Clark College. The name "Trail Blazers" received 172 entries, was selected by the judging panel, being revealed on March 13 in the halftime of a SuperSonics game at the Memorial Coliseum. Derived from the trail blazing activity by explorers making paths through forests, Glickman considered it a name that could "reflect both the ruggedness of the Pacific Northwest and the start of a major league era in our state."
Despite initial mixed response, the Trail Blazers name shortened to just "Blazers", became popular in Oregon. Along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Buffalo Braves, the Trail Blazers entered the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team, under coach Rolland Todd. Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks led the team in its early years, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs in its first six seasons of existence. During that span, the team had three head coaches; the team won the first pick in the NBA draft twice during that span. In 1972, the team drafted LaRue Martin with the number one pick. In 1974 the team selected Bill Walton from UCLA; the ABA–NBA merger of 1976 saw those two rival leagues join forces. Four ABA teams joined the NBA; the Trail Blazers selected Maurice Lucas in the dispersal draft. That summer, they hired Jack Ramsay as head coach; the two moves, coupled with the team's stellar play, led Portland to several firsts: winning record, playoff appearance, championship in 1977. Starting on April 5 of that year, the team began a sellout streak of 814 straight games—the longest in American major professional sports history—which did not end until 1995, after the team moved into a larger facility.
The team started the 1977–78 season with a 50–10 mark, some predicted a dynasty in Portland. However, Bill Walton suffered a foot injury that ended his season and would plague him over the remainder of his career, the team struggled to an 8–14 finish, going 58–24 overall. In the playoffs, Portland lost to the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1978 conference semifinals; that summer, Walton demanded to be traded to a team of his choice because he was unhappy with his medical treatment in Portland. Walton was never traded, he held out the entire 1978–79 season and left the team as a free agent thereafter; the team was further dismantled as Lucas left in 1980. During the 1980s, the team was a consistent presence in the NBA post-season, failing to qualify for the playoffs only in 1982. However, they never advanced past the conference semifinals duri