Ricky Davis

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Posted by motoman 02/27/2009 @ 13:38

Tags : ricky davis, basketball players, basketball, sports

News headlines
'Lucky to be alive' - TheHerald
By Sarah Nagem, Staff Writer Debby and Ricky Davis never got to eat the barbecue-flavored meatballs and the sweet potatoes they cooked for dinner. Two days after a May 5 tornado ripped apart their house on NC 96, the meatballs were still on the stove,...
Solution is obvious - BlueRidgeNow.com
Carolyn Justus, Sheriff Rick Davis, Sheriff Mahoney, Sen. Apodaca all know of its existence! I've tried for many years to find someone with the foresight to reopen this range to law enforcement and the public! I've talked to Wib Owen with the North...
CITY OF TONAWANDA: Dems back Davis for mayor - Tonawanda News
By Eric DuVall The City of Tonawanda Democratic committee announced Friday its unanimous endorsement of Councilman Rick Davis for mayor. And while Davis will have his party's backing to unseat Republican Mayor Ron Pilozzi, he will have to defeat at...
Gladwell-Simmons II: Part 2 - ESPN
I had a similar random encounter with Baron Davis once in the lobby of a hotel in Chicago, only I recognized him. I think you can safely say you've watched too much "SportsCenter" when you whiff on Jennifer Aniston and spot Baron Davis from across a...
Elliott Davis, LLC Adds to Tax Team Leadership - Carolina Newswire (press release)
“We are thrilled to add Jack to our team of tax professionals at Elliott Davis,” said firm Managing Shareholder Rick Davis. “Jack's extensive experience working with state and local taxes both at the accounting firm level and at the Washington State...
City Wants To Charge For Eyesore Demolition - 10TV
Property owner Rick Davis is being assessed for a garage the city determined to be dangerous. He acknowledged that the structure was not in pristine shape. "There were some shootings that took place a couple weeks ago," Davis said....
Man faces life sentence in slaying - 2TheAdvocate
An East Baton Rouge Parish jury found Ricky Davis guilty of second-degree murder Thursday night in the killing of 26-year-old Corey Hawkins on Oct. 29, 2005. Davis, who lived on Read Boulevard in eastern New Orleans, turned 43 on Friday....
Baseball notes: Layton streaks into tourney - Salt Lake Tribune
Syracuse on May 7. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune) It's without question the Layton Lancers have been a streaky team during an 8-6 Region 1 season. The northern Davis County program has given fans many exciting games thus far....
Henderson And Buncombe Counties Teaming Up To Deal With Drug Problem - WHKP
The Federal Prosecutor for Western North Carolina says that our area needs to concentrate more on highway interdiction , that is keeping drugs off of local highways according to Henderson County Sheriff Rick Davis. He told WHKP News that this came...
Counties lag on tax billing - Evansville Courier & Press
Responding to a state mandate that it switch to a certified property tax billing system, Vanderburgh County has been undergoing what Treasurer Rick Davis calls a "drastic and severe" conversion since January. Other counties received similar mandates....

History of the Boston Celtics

Celtics in a game versus the Miami Heat at the TD Banknorth Garden in April 2006

This is a history of the Boston Celtics. The Boston Celtics are an American basketball team currently playing in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Over the years, the Celtics have won 17 NBA Championships, which is more league titles than any other basketball team in the history of North American sports.

The Celtics were formed in 1946 as a team in the Basketball Association of America, and became part of the National Basketball Association after the merger of the BAA and the National Basketball League to form the NBA in the fall of 1949. In 1950, the Celtics became the first franchise to draft an African American player, signing Chuck Cooper.

The Celtics had struggled during their early years, but the hiring of Coach Red Auerbach would change their fortunes. One of the first major players to join the Celtics was Bob Cousy, whom Auerbach initially refused to draft. Cousy eventually became the property of the Chicago Stags. When that franchise went bankrupt, Cousy was acquired by the Celtics in a dispersal draft. He would become a huge part of the Celtics' success and eventually became good friends with his new coach. Under Auerbach the Celtics improved dramatically, becoming a consistent threat to win in the NBA's Eastern Division in each of his first six seasons, although they fell short each time.

After the 1955-56 season, Auerbach made a stunning trade. He sent perennial All-Star Ed Macauley to the St. Louis Hawks along with the draft rights to Cliff Hagan in exchange for the Hawks' first round draft pick, the second overall. After negotiating with the Rochester Royals, Auerbach used the pick to select University of San Francisco center Bill Russell. Auerbach also acquired Holy Cross standout, and 1957 NBA Rookie of the Year, Tommy Heinsohn. Russell and Heinsohn worked extraordinarily well with Cousy, and they were the players around whom Auerbach would build the Celtics for more than a decade. Russell, who delayed joining until the middle of the 1957 season in order to play for the U.S. Olympic Team, had an immediate impact.

Russell joined the Celtics in December 1956 and went on to play most every game during which the Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals and defeated the St. Louis Hawks in seven games, giving the Celtics the first of their record 17 NBA Championships. In 1958, the Celtics again advanced to the NBA Finals, this time losing to the Hawks in 6 games. However, with the acquisition of K.C. Jones that year, the Celtics began a dynasty that would last for more than a decade. In 1959, with Cousy at point guard, Russell at center and Heinsohn at forward, the Celtics won the NBA Championship after sweeping the Minneapolis Lakers. Still coached by Auerbach, the Celtics won seven more consecutive championships, extending their streak to eight in a row. During that timespan, the Celtics met the Lakers in the Finals six times, starting an intense and often bitter rivalry. The Celtics would eventually meet the Lakers a total of 11 times in the NBA Finals. In 1964, Auerbach made the Celtics the first team to have an all African American starting lineup.

After the 1966 championship, Auerbach retired as coach and Russell took over as player-coach. With his appointment, Russell also became the first African American coach in the NBA. Auerbach would remain the General Manager, a position he would hold well into the 1980s. However, that year the Celtics' string of NBA titles was broken as they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The aging team managed two more championships in 1968 and 1969, defeating the Lakers each time in the NBA Finals. Russell retired after the 1969 season, effectively ending a dominant Celtics dynasty that had garnered 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons. The streak of 8 consecutive NBA championships is the longest streak of consecutive championships in U.S. professional sports history. Other important players during this era included Sam Jones, John Havlicek, Bill Sharman, Frank Ramsey, and Satch Sanders.

The 1970 season was a rebuilding year, as the Celtics had their first losing record since the 1949-50 season, the year prior to Auerbach's arrival. However, with the acquisition of Dave Cowens, Paul Silas, and Jo Jo White, the Celtics soon became dominant again. After losing in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1972, the Celtics regrouped and came out determined in 1973 and posted an excellent 68-14 regular season record. But the season ended in disappointment, as they were upset in 7 games by the New York Knicks in the Conference Finals and became the team with the best record ever to have failed to make the Finals. The Celtics returned to the playoffs the next year, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals in 1974 for their 12th NBA Championship. The teams split the first four games, and after the Celtics won Game 5 in Milwaukee they headed back to Boston leading three games to two, with a chance to claim the title on their home court. However, the Bucks won Game 6 when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar nestled in a hook shot with three seconds left in the game's second overtime, and the series returned to Milwaukee. But Cowens was the hero in Game 7, scoring 28 points, as the Celtics brought the title back to Boston for the first time in five years. In 1976, the team won yet another championship, defeating the Phoenix Suns in 6 games. The Celtics advanced to the 1976 NBA Finals, which featured one of the greatest games in the history of the NBA. With the series tied at two games apiece, the Suns trailed early in the Boston Garden, but came back to force overtime. In double overtime, a Gar Heard turn-around jumper at the top of the key sent the game to an unprecedented third overtime, at which point the Celtics prevailed. Tommy Heinsohn coached the team for those two championships. After the 1976 championship and a playoff appearance in 1977, Boston went into another phase of rebuilding.

In the 1977 NBA Draft, the Celtics drafted a young forward from the UNC Charlotte named Cedric Maxwell. Maxwell did not contribute much in his rookie season, but he showed promise. Auerbach's job became even tougher following a horrible 1977-78 in which they went 32-50 as John Havlicek, the Celtics All-Time leading scorer, retired after 16 seasons.

Thanks to a trade and their poor record in 1977-78, the Celtics owned two of the top eight picks in the 1978 NBA Draft. Since the Celtics had two draft choices, Auerbach took a risk and selected junior Larry Bird of Indiana State with the 6th pick, knowing that Bird would elect to remain in college for his senior year. The Celtics would retain his rights for one year, a rule that was later changed, and Auerbach believed that Bird's potential would make him worth the wait. Auerbach also felt that when the college season ended the Celtics would have a great chance to sign Bird. Auerbach was right and Bird signed soon after leading Indiana State to the NCAA Championship game, where they fell to a Michigan State University team that was led by Magic Johnson.

The other important story of the Celtics' 1978-79 season was the ongoing dispute between Auerbach and new owner John Y. Brown. The dispute nearly led Auerbach to resign as General Manager for a position with the New York Knicks. With public support strongly behind Auerbach, Brown elected to sell the team rather than face the wrath of the city for being the man who drove Red to a hated rival. During his short ownership, Brown orchestrated a trade for Bob McAdoo that Auerbach despised, and the team unraveled. The Celtics would struggle through the season, going 29-53 without Bird. Newcomers Chris Ford, Rick Robey, Cedric Maxwell and Tiny Archibald failed to reverse the team's momentum.

Bird would debut for the Celtics during the 1979-80 season, a year after his selection. With a new owner in place, Auerbach made a number of moves that would create a whole new dynasty. Auerbach traded the unhappy McAdoo, a former NBA scoring champion, to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for guard M.L. Carr, a defensive specialist, and two first-round picks in the 1980 NBA Draft. He also picked up point guard Gerald Henderson from the CBA. Carr, Archibald, Henderson and Ford would form a highly competent backcourt, with their unique skills blending in perfectly with the talented frontcourt of Cowens, Maxwell and Bird, who would go on to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors. The Celtics improved by 32 games, at the time the best single-season turnaround in NBA history, going 61–21 and losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

After the season, Auerbach completed what may be the most lopsided trade in NBA history. Auerbach had been known for stockpiling draft picks, so even after the success of 1979–80 the Celtics had both the 1st and 13th picks in the 1980 NBA Draft leftover from the M.L. Carr trade. Auerbach saw an opportunity to improve the team immediately, sending the two picks to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for center Robert Parish and the Warriors first round pick, the 3rd overall. With the draft pick, Auerbach selected University of Minnesota power forward Kevin McHale. With these three future Hall of Famers on the team the Celtics had a core in place to become a dominant team in the NBA.

The Celtics went 62-20 under coach Bill Fitch in 1980-81, despite losing center Dave Cowens to retirement late in training camp. Once again the Celtics matched up with the 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics fell behind 3 games to 1 before coming back to win a classic 7th game, 91–90. The Celtics went on to capture the 1981 NBA Championship over the Houston Rockets, just two years after Bird had been drafted. Maxwell was named NBA Finals MVP.

The Celtics only reached the Eastern Conference finals in 1982, losing to Philadelphia in 7 games. The following season culminated in an embarrassing second round playoff loss in the 1983 NBA Playoffs to the Milwaukee Bucks, 4 games to 0. Ford had retired after 1982 and Archibald's age, declining skills and injury problems led to his release after the 1982-83. Fitch was fired, and K.C. Jones was named head coach. Archibald was replaced when popular reserve forward Rick Robey, a close friend of Bird, was traded to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for point guard Dennis Johnson, a former Finals MVP himself. With Johnson starting alongside ex-CBA player Gerald Henderson, and former Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Danny Ainge, veterans Quinn Buckner and M.L. Carr coming off the bench, the Celtics once again had the backcourt depth to complement their talented frontline.

In 1983-84 the Celtics would go 62–20 and finally get back to the NBA Finals after a three year hiatus. In the final, the Celtics came back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, winning their 15th championship. Bird renewed his college rivalry with Lakers star Magic Johnson during this series. After the series the Celtics traded Henderson, whose dramatic steal in game 2 altered the course of the series and gave the Celtics a chance, to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for their first round pick in the 1986 NBA Draft.

In 1985, the Lakers and Celtics would meet again, but this time the Lakers would take the championship. During the following offseason the Celtics acquired Bill Walton from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Cedric Maxwell. Walton was a star with the Portland Trail Blazers, but injuries had kept him from living up to expectations. He was also a lifelong Celtics fan and willing to come off the bench, deferring to the three big men already with the team. Walton would be a big part of the Celtics' success in 1986.

In 1985-86 the Celtics fielded one of the best teams in NBA history. The 1986 Celtics won 67 games, going 40-1 at their home, the Boston Garden. Bird won his third consecutive MVP award after having arguably his finest season, and Walton won the Sixth Man of the Year Award. They would win their 16th championship, easily defeating the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals.

Thanks to the 1984 trade of Gerald Henderson and the subsequent fall of the Seattle SuperSonics, at the end of the 1985-86 the Celtics owned not only the best team in the NBA but also the second pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. The Celtics drafted Len Bias with the pick and had high hopes for the young University of Maryland star. Fans believed Bias had superstar potential, and that he would be the perfect complement to the aging, but still strong, Celtics. The hope was that his presence would ensure that the franchise would remain a powerhouse after Bird, McHale and Parish retired. Unfortunately, Bias died 48 hours after he was drafted, after using cocaine at a party and overdosing. It would be the first in a long string of bad luck for the Celtics. Despite the loss of Bias, the Celtics remained competitive in 1986-87, going 59-23 and again winning the Eastern Conference Championship. Unfortunately, in the Finals the tired, aging, and injured Celtics ran into perhaps the best Los Angeles Lakers team of the decade. The biggest injury was yet another foot injury for Bill Walton, who only played 10 regular season games in 1986-87 after playing 80 games the year before. Walton fought through the injury, playing 12 games (out of 23) in the playoffs, but was not the same player as he was the year before. McHale, Parish and Ainge were also fighting injuries, forcing reserves Darren Daye and Fred Roberts to play larger roles in the series, which the Celtics would lose 4 games to 2.

The Celtics started the 1987-88 season without Kevin McHale, who was recovering from a foot injury that had hobbled him in the 1987 playoffs. Bill Walton was also recovering from injury, and while Walton stuck with the franchise for the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons, he had played his last game in the NBA in the 1987 NBA Playoffs. The Celtics did add some new players in the 1987 NBA Draft. In the first round, the Celtics selected a promising guard/forward out of Northeastern University by the name of Reggie Lewis. The Celtics also added Brad Lohaus in the second round, giving head coach K.C. Jones a few more weapons to choose from.

Jones was not one to play rookies however, and both Lewis and Lohaus would spend much of the 1987-88 season on the bench while Jones continued to play his veterans. The team won another division title, finishing 57–25 and earning home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Jones' reliance on his veterans came back to haunt him in the playoffs, as the Celtics appeared tired and worn down. Danny Ainge had played the most minutes of his career, and Bird's body was starting to wear down after averaging 39 minutes per game. The Celtics struggled to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, needed a 20 point 4th quarter from Larry Bird in the decisive game 7 to finally put the Hawks away 118–116. Emotionally and physically drained from the Hawks series, the Celtics would fall in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Detroit Pistons, 4 games to 2.

After the 1987–88 season, head coach K.C. Jones retired. Jones' teams had had the best regular season record in the Eastern Conference in all five of his seasons as coach. In addition he led the Celtics to four NBA Finals appearances and two NBA Championships. Jones was replaced as head coach by assistant Jimmy Rodgers.

Rodgers faced immediate trouble in 1988-89 when, only 6 games into the season, Bird decided to have surgery to remove bone spurs in both feet. The injury was to sideline Bird until well after the All-Star Break, although supposedly he would be able to return. However, despite his best attempts to return he was unable to make it back as the Celtics stumbled to a 42–40 record and a First Round playoff defeat to the Detroit Pistons.

Bird returned in 1989-90 to play in 75 games and lead the Celtics to a 52-30 record. The season was not completely smooth sailing, as second year guard Brian Shaw caused a stir when he held out of the season for a bigger contract, instead playing the entire season in Italy. However, in the playoffs, after winning the first two games of a Best of 5 series against the New York Knicks the Celtics collapsed, losing 3 straight, including the decisive 5th game at the Boston Garden. In the wake of the embarrassing defeat, Rodgers was fired and replaced by assistant coach (and former Celtic player) Chris Ford.

Under Ford's leadership the Celtics improved to 56–26 in 1990-91, recapturing the Atlantic Division title even though Bird missed 22 games with a variety of injuries and Parish and McHale's skills had begun to decline. McHale was never the same after playing through the 1987 Finals with a broken foot. Most significant were the developing back problems that hobbled Bird, even causing him to miss one playoff game. Reggie Lewis blossomed into a star, and swingman Kevin Gamble provided a consistent scoring presence when Bird was out of the lineup. Shaw returned from Italy and teamed with rookie Dee Brown at the point guard spot. In the playoffs, the Celtics First Round series against the Indiana Pacers was highlighted by a climactic game 5 win in the Boston Garden. Bird left the game midway through the second quarter after hitting his head hard on the parquet floor while diving for a loose ball. Bird sustained a concussion & a broken eye socket, though he still returned in the third quarter and electrified the crowd after the Pacers had grabbed the lead. The Celtics won the game behind Bird's 32 points and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semi-finals, where they were defeated by their longtime nemesis, the Detroit Pistons, 4 games to 2.

In 1992, a late season rally allowed the Celtics to catch the Knicks and repeat as Atlantic Division champions. The team finished 51–31 and again matched up with the Indiana Pacers in the First Round, this time sweeping the series 3 games to 0. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals the Celtics lost a grueling 7 game series to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4 games to 3. Due to back problems, Larry Bird played in only 45 of the 82 regular season games, and only 4 of the 10 playoff games.

After thirteen seasons with the club and winning a gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics with the Dream Team, Bird retired in 1992 primarily due to his back injuries.

At the time of Bird's retirement former Celtics guard Chris Ford was the coach of the Celtics. 26-year old Reggie Lewis (out of Boston's Northeastern University) was seen as Bird's successor as the franchise player for the Celtics. In Bird's final season it was Lewis who led the team in scoring, and he made his first All-Star appearance in the 1992 All-Star Game. Lewis, a small forward, fainted during a 1993 first round playoff matchup with the Charlotte Hornets. It was later revealed that Lewis had heart problems, yet he was able to get doctors to clear him for a comeback. He died of a heart attack after participating in a pickup basketball game during the offseason. The Celtics honored his memory during the following season by retiring his number 35.

The team took another hit after the season, as Kevin McHale retired after 13 seasons in the NBA. The Celtics were now down to one member of the "Big Three" for the 1993-94, as well as without Lewis, their captain and young star. The Celtics drafted Acie Earl in the first round of the 1993 NBA Draft, and planned on making him Parish's successor in the middle. After missing the playoffs for the first time since 1978-79, the year before Bird joined the franchise, Robert Parish left as a free agent to join the Charlotte Hornets. The time of "Big Three" was officially over.

In 1994, the Celtics hired former player M.L. Carr to be the team's new G.M. In his first draft in charge of the Celtics, he drafted University of North Carolina star Eric Montross with his first round draft pick. The Acie Earl era was already nearing an end, as Montross became the new heir apparent in the paint.

1994-95 was the Celtics final season in the Boston Garden. The Celtics signed the aging Dominique Wilkins as a free agent, and he led the team in scoring with 17.8 PPG. Second-year player Dino Radja, a power forward from Croatia, added an interior presence to the team that had been lacking in 1993-94. The Celtics made the playoffs, losing to the heavily favored Orlando Magic in 4 games.

In 1995, the Celtics moved from the Boston Garden into the Fleet Center (renamed the TD Banknorth Garden in 2005). Carr fired Chris Ford and took the coaching reins himself. After drafting Providence College star Eric Williams, the Celtics struggled to a 33-49 record. Things got worse in 1996-97 as the Celtics lost a franchise record 67 games, winning only 15 times despite the emergence of 1st-round draft pick Antoine Walker.

Carr stepped aside to another job in the organization when the Celtics convinced Rick Pitino to join the franchise as the team's President, Front Office Manager, and Head Coach. Pitino had led the University of Kentucky to an NCAA Championship and was a very successful head coach at the college level, with a short NBA stint with the New York Knicks several years prior. Some controversy was generated when Pitino was given the title of team "President", taking such title away from Red Auerbach (Auerbach, who by 1997 was holding the title in a "ceremonial" way, became the "Vice Chairman of the Board") Unfortunately for the Celtics, Pitino was not the savior everyone expected him to be, although he did acquire several talented young players during his tenure. The Celtics, after going 15-67 in 1996-97, had the best chance at winning the NBA's draft lottery in 1997. Their odds were augmented even further by a 1996 trade that sent Eric Montross to Dallas in exchange for the Mavericks 1st round pick in 1997 (as well as a swap in draft picks in 1996 that allowed the Celtics to move up to select Walker), which gave the Celtics a second lottery pick and more chances to win the coveted first pick. The San Antonio Spurs won the lottery and selected Tim Duncan first overall in the 1997 NBA Draft.

The Celtics received the third and sixth picks, and used the picks to select a brand new backcourt. They drafted Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer and dismantled much of the young team that lost 67 games the year before. David Wesley and Rick Fox were let go, and Williams was traded to the Denver Nuggets for a pair of second round draft picks. The Celtics seemed ready to pair Billups and Mercer with Antoine Walker, the second-year player out of Kentucky who was coming off a solid rookie season. Unfortunately, two of these players would not remain as fixtures on the team in the long term.

The following year the Celtics drafted Paul Pierce, a college star who had been expected to be drafted much higher than the Celtics' number 10 pick overall. Other notable players Pitino acquired were Walter McCarty and veteran Kenny Anderson (for future Finals MVP Billups). Eric Williams was re-acquired from the Nuggets, where he had suffered a horrific knee injury and played only 42 games in two seasons. To obtain Williams (and Danny Fortson) the Celtics parted ways with Mercer after only two seasons with the team.

Pitino failed to coach any successful teams and resigned in 2001, leaving the Celtics in the hands of assistant coach Jim O'Brien, a friend of Pitino's who had followed Pitino to the Celtics. Chris Wallace became the general manager of the team and the title of "Team President" was returned to Red Auerbach.

Following the resignation of Rick Pitino, the Celtics improved greatly under coach Jim O'Brien. Paul Pierce matured into an NBA star and was ably complemented by Antoine Walker, along with the other role players acquired over the years. The team finished the season going 24–24 under O'Brien (after going 12–22 before Pitino's resignation) and following the 2000-01 season O'Brien was given the job of head coach on a permanent basis. As a result of numerous trades, the Celtics had three picks in the 2001 NBA Draft, a luxury that seemed to set the franchise up well for the long term. General Manager Chris Wallace used the picks on Joe Johnson, Joe Forte (a favorite of Red Auerbach) and Kedrick Brown.

The Celtics entered the 2001-02 season with low expectations. The team's success in the latter stages of 2000-01 was largely forgotten, and critics were surprised when the team (along with the New Jersey Nets) surged to the top of the Atlantic Division ahead of teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, who were fresh off a trip to the NBA Finals. A trade at the February trade deadline sent Joe Johnson, who was having an inconsistent rookie season, along with little-used bench players Randy Brown and Milt Palacio to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers. The season salvaged by the trade, the Celtics went on to win 49 games. The 49 victories were the franchises most since 1992, when Larry Bird was still playing, and the Celtics made the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

The Celtics won a hard-fought five game series with the 76ers in the first round, 3 games to 2. Pierce scored 46 points in the series-clinching blowout at the Fleet Center. In the conference semifinals the Celtics defeated the favored Detroit Pistons 4 games to 1 in a series best remembered for the Celtics low-scoring (66-64) game 3 victory. In their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 1988, the Celtics would jump out to a 2–1 series lead over the New Jersey Nets (after rallying from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to win game 3) but would lose the next three games to fall 4 games to 2.

Following their defeat at the hands of the Nets, the Celtics once again overhauled their roster. Gone were Rodney Rogers, who signed with new rival New Jersey as a free agent, Vitaly Potapenko, Kenny Anderson and Joe Forte, who were sent to Seattle in a five-player trade that brought Vin Baker and Shammond Williams to Boston.

In 2003, the Celtics were sold by owner Paul Gaston to Boston Basketball Partners LLC, led by H. Irving Grousbeck, Wycliffe Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca, Robert Epstein, David Epstein, and John Svenson. The team made it back to the playoffs but were swept by the Nets in the second round, despite bringing Game 4 to double overtime.

Before their elimination, the team hired Danny Ainge to take over the front office, pushing Chris Wallace to another job in the organization. Ainge believed the team had reached its peak and promptly stunned the team by sending Antoine Walker to the Dallas Mavericks (along with Tony Delk). In return, the Celtics received the oft-injured Raef LaFrentz and a first-round draft pick in 2004.

On the heels of the off-season Walker trade, Ainge continued to dismantle O'Brien's team with a midseason trade that sent Eric Williams, Tony Battie, and struggling Kedrick Brown to Cleveland in exchange for troubled guard Ricky Davis, center Chris Mihm and center Michael Stewart. Reportedly distraught by this trade, O'Brien stepped down during the 2003-04 Season and was replaced by interim coach John Carroll.

Davis proved to be an exciting player, and Welsch an offensive threat from three-point range (albeit an inconsistent one), but neither was capable of playing the tenacious defense that had become a trademark of O'Brien's teams. Vin Baker proved to be not up to the task of playing near his home state of Connecticut; alcoholism forced the Celtics to first suspend him, then void his contract. He played only 37 games for the Celtics in 2004, and 17 more with the New York Knicks in a minor role. The acquisition of LaFrentz also proved problematic, as LaFrentz's chronic knee problems acted up and forced the big man to miss all but 17 games.

Still, with Pierce playing at his usual level, Davis providing a second scoring punch, and occasional help from rookie Marcus Banks at point guard the Celtics prepared for yet another playoff run. In February, the Celtics helped their former nemeses, the Detroit Pistons acquire Rasheed Wallace for their own title run, sending Mike James off to Detroit in exchange for a 1st-round pick as well as Chucky Atkins, who would provide the Celtics with a stabilizing veteran point guard to go with the inconsistent Banks. The Celtics made the playoffs only to be badly swept in the first round by the Indiana Pacers losing all 4 by blowout margins.

Ainge received a lot of criticism for dismantling the previous team, but he attempted to redeem himself in the draft. After selecting Banks and center Kendrick Perkins in 2003, Ainge added high school power forward Al Jefferson, St. Joseph's University standout Delonte West (with the Mavericks pick from the Antoine Walker trade), and the athletic Tony Allen (with the Pistons 1st-round pick acquired in the Atkins-James swap) in 2004. During his second off-season, Ainge was able to unload some payroll when he acquired veterans Gary Payton and Rick Fox from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Mihm, Atkins and bench player Jumaine Jones. Fox retired rather than rejoin the team and Payton threatened to hold out of training camp, but he eventually ended up playing for the team during the 2004-05 Season.

The Celtics were a young team under new coach Doc Rivers, yet they seemed to have a core of good young players, led by rookie Al Jefferson, to go along with a selection of able veterans (Paul Pierce, a now-healthy Raef LaFrentz, and Ricky Davis). Before the trading deadline in the winter of 2005 the Celtics re-acquired Antoine Walker when they dealt Gary Payton to the Atlanta Hawks (Payton would re-sign with the team after being released from the Hawks a week later). With Walker back in the fold, the Celtics improved enormously. The Celtics went 45-37 and won their first Atlantic Division title since 1991-92. The Pacers defeated them in the first round yet again, with the series culminating in an embarrassing 27 point 7th game loss at the Fleet Center.

At the conclusion of the 2004-05 season Payton and Walker both became free agents. Walker was sent to the Miami Heat in a multi-team sign-and-trade deal (the largest trade in NBA history) that brought the Celtics Qyntel Woods and Curtis Borchardt, both of whom would later be released, two future second-round draft picks, the rights to Spanish center Albert Miralles, and cash. Payton later chose to sign with the Heat as well. Ainge brought in a few more young players during the draft, including Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, and Orien Greene. Ainge also added the veteran Brian Scalabrine, signing Scalabrine to a 5-year/$15 million contract.

During the 2005-06 season, Ainge traded Davis, Blount, Banks, Justin Reed, and two conditional second-round draft picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves for forward Wally Szczerbiak, centers Michael Olowokandi and Dwayne Jones, and a first-round pick. Many were skeptical about this decision. However, Ainge stated more than once that he was committed to continuing the rebuilding process under team captain Paul Pierce, who played some of the best basketball of his career in 2006. Despite Pierce's excellence, the Celtics missed the 2006 playoffs with a 33–49 record.

The Boston Celtics continued to rebuild on the night of the 2006 NBA Draft. Danny Ainge traded the rights to seventh overall pick Randy Foye, Dan Dickau and Raef LaFrentz to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, and a future second-round pick. A subsequent trade with the Philadelphia 76ers for Allen Iverson was reported as a potential move beneficial to each team, although such a trade never happened and Iverson was shipped to the Denver Nuggets in December. Orien Greene was waived, and the Celtics replaced him by trading a first-round pick in the 2007 NBA Draft to the Phoenix Suns for rookie Rajon Rondo. In the second round the Celtics added Leon Powe to the team, and later signed Villanova star Allan Ray as an undrafted free agent.

The 2006-07 season was a gloomy one for the franchise. The season began with the death of Red Auerbach at the age of 89. Auerbach was one of the few remaining people who had been a part of the NBA since its inception in 1946. The Celtics went 2–22 from late December 2006 through early February 2007 after losing Paul Pierce to injury, the result of a stress reaction in his left foot (he would later miss the latter part of March and all of April because of swelling in his left elbow). At first, the Celtics received a much needed boost from guard Tony Allen but he tore his ACL on a dunk attempt in a game vs. the Indiana Pacers on January 10, 2007. The Celtics recorded a record of 24–58, second-worst in the NBA, including a franchise record 18-game losing streak that lasted from January 5 to February 14. As the streak grew, some suggested that Pierce sit out the rest of the season to the let the young players such as Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Rajon Rondo and Delonte West get more experience. Green became the second Celtic, joining Dee Brown, to capture the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend.

On February 22, 2007, former Celtic Dennis Johnson died at the age of 52. Johnson had been coaching the franchise's NBDL affiliate in Austin, Texas at the time of his death. Johnson was honored at the very next Celtics game, even though it was against the Lakers in Los Angeles. The Celtics also held a special ceremony for him at the Garden on February 28, 2007, before a game against the New York Knicks.

One bright spot of the season happened on St. Patrick's Day against the eventual champions San Antonio Spurs. The Celtics beat the Spurs 91–85, ending the 17-year away drought at San Antonio, as well as the 10-year drought against the Spurs (Boston's first victory against Tim Duncan).

On April 18, the team promoted COO Rich Gotham to President.

On May 22, the Celtics were assigned the 5th overall selection in the NBA Draft Lottery, essentially losing their chance of drafting either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, who both were considered to go 1st and 2nd in the Draft. The 5th pick was the worst-case scenario for the Celtics, who had a 19.9% chance of obtaining the 1st overall selection. However, on June 28, the day of the 2007 NBA Draft, the Celtics traded the 5th pick along with Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for All-Star 3-point specialist Ray Allen and the 35th overall selection prior to the event, and with the 5th pick selected forward Jeff Green for Seattle. In the second round of the Draft, the Celtics selected guard Gabe Pruitt with the 32nd pick, which was their own, and forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis with the 35th pick, previously obtained from Seattle.

On July 31, the Celtics traded for 10-time All-Star and 2004 MVP Kevin Garnett in the single largest trade for one player in NBA history. He was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Boston's 2009 first-round draft pick (top three protected), the return of Minnesota's conditional first-round draft pick previously obtained in the 2006 Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak trade and cash considerations. By adding Garnett to All-Stars Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, the trade brought a new era of relevancy to the long struggling franchise, but it also left the roster short-handed.

The Garnett trade left the roster depleted and depth became an immediate concern. Eventually, the Celtics signed guards Eddie House and Jackie Manuel on August 1, just two days after the Garnett trade, and center Scot Pollard on August 9. Later, Ainge called and asked 5-time All-Star Reggie Miller to return from his 2-year retirement and join the roster in a reserve role. Miller strongly considered the possibility of playing alongside Garnett, but ultimately announced on August 23 that he would not join the Celtics. On August 27, forward James Posey signed with the team and was considered a decisive signing which instantly gave the Celtics a drastic improvement to their bench.

On September 26, center Esteban Batista and guard Dahntay Jones signed non-guaranteed contracts with the Celtics, two days before the beginning of training camp and the team's departure to Rome for the 2007 NBA Europe Live Tour. Curiously, Jones was involved in a trade back in the 2003 NBA Draft, in which the Celtics drafted him with the 20th overall selection, but immediately traded him with the 16th pick, Troy Bell, to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for the 13th pick, Marcus Banks, and the 27th pick, Kendrick Perkins. Ultimately, the Celtics waived Batista on October 16, and Manuel and Jones on October 25, bringing the roster down to 14 players, one shy of the league maximum of 15 players, in order to have roster flexibility and be able to sign another player midway through the season.

Later in the season, on December 18, the Celtics released yet another player, Brandon Wallace, in order to have even more roster flexibility that coach Doc Rivers said they needed. This move brought the roster down to only 13 players, which is the league minimum for players allowed on a team's roster. On February 27, the Celtics signed center P.J. Brown for the remainder of the season, in order to bolster their front court. His decision to come to Boston was strongly aided by a conversation with future teammates Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, who convinced him to sign with the Celtics during the 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend. On March 4, 2008, the Celtics officially announced that they have signed guard Sam Cassell. After the signing, Cassell immediately flew back to his hometown of Baltimore to attend funeral services for a deceased family member. This signing ultimately put the roster up to the league maximum of 15 players.

The Celtics started the season hot, winning their first eight games, and going into 2008 with a 26–3 record. They finished the season with a 66–16 record—the most wins in a single season since the last time they won the NBA Finals, in 85–86. Their record guaranteed them home court advantage for the entire playoffs.

The 2008 NBA Playoffs, however, were bumpier than many believed they should be. Their First Round series was against the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks. At home, the Celtics were dominant: their lowest home margin of victory against the Hawks in the playoffs was 19, in Game 2. However, the Hawks were able to beat the Celtics in Atlanta. The series went seven games, with the home team winning each game.

The Second Round was against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Once again the series went to seven games, with the home team winning each one.

In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics faced Chauncey Billups, Richard Hamilton and the Detroit Pistons. In Game 2, the Celtics finally lost at home, and rumors began to fly that the Celtics had gotten too tired from consecutive seven-game series to pull off a title, especially with the Pistons having taken their first two series in six and five games, respectively. But the Celtics bounced back to win Game 3 on the road in Detroit. The series continued, and the Celtics took down the Pistons in six games, winning the deciding game on the road.

The 2008 NBA Finals were contested with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and a Los Angeles Lakers team in the middle of a dominant playoff run. They swept the Denver Nuggets in the first round, took the Utah Jazz in the second round in six games, and extinguished the repeat hopes of the defending-champion San Antonio Spurs in five games in the Western Conference Finals.

The first few games of the series started with the Celtics once again dominating at the TD Banknorth Garden, the Celtics home turf. Game 1 saw Paul Pierce come back after apparently suffering a knee injury earlier in the game, and taking over the game for a 98–88 Celtics win. But in Game 2, Boston nearly lost a 20-point lead, ultimately winning, 97–91. Squandered leads would later become the story of the series. When the Lakers returned to Staples Center and won Game 3, 87-81, then took a 24-point lead in the second quarter of Game 4, some believed momentum in the series had shifted the Lakers' way.

However, the Celtics did not give up. Led by a bench that outscored the Lakers bench by 20 points, they fought back. The Celtics locked up their defense and took over Game 4 with a crushing 97–91 victory, the biggest comeback in NBA Finals history. Although the Lakers took Game 5, 103–98, the series went back to Boston for Game 6, and the Celtics finished it off with a dominating 131–92 victory. This game would mark the largest margin of victory for a clinching finals game in NBA history. The "Boston Three Party", as Garnett, Allen and NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce became known, had finally brought a 17th banner to Boston, the first new banner for the new Garden and the first such win in 22 years.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland Cavaliers logo

The Cleveland Cavaliers (also known as the Cavs) are a professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They began playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1970 as an expansion team and won their first Eastern Conference Championship in 2007.

The Cavaliers first began play in the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team under the ownership of Nick Mileti. Playing their home games at Cleveland Arena under the direction of head coach Bill Fitch, they compiled a league-worst 15–67 record. The team hoped to build around the number one 1971 draft pick Austin Carr who had set numerous scoring records at Notre Dame, but Carr severely injured his leg shortly into his pro career and did not recover sufficiently to become a great pro player.

The following seasons saw the Cavaliers gradually improve their on-court performance, thanks to season-by-season additions of talented players such as Bingo Smith, Jim Chones, Jim Cleamons and Dick Snyder. Cleveland improved to 23-59 in their sophomore season, followed by a 32–50 record in 1972–73, and a small step backwards to 29–53 in 1973–74. In 1974, the Cavaliers moved into the brand-new Richfield Coliseum, located in the cornfields thirty miles south of downtown Cleveland in Summit County. That season, the Cavaliers finished with a 40–42 record, falling just short of a playoff berth.

In the 1975-76 season with Carr, Smith, Chones, Snyder, and newly acquired Nate Thurmond; Fitch led the Cavaliers to a 49–33 record and a division title. Fitch received the league's Coach of the Year award as the Cavs made their first-ever playoff appearance.

The Cavs won the series against the Washington Bullets, 4–3. Because of the many heroics and last-second shots, the series became known locally as the "Miracle of Richfield." However, hampered by injuries, particularly to Jim Chones, the Cavs proceeded to lose to the Boston Celtics in Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA playoffs.

Cleveland won 43 games the next two seasons (1976–77 and 1977–78), but both those seasons resulted in early playoff exits. After a 30–52 season in 1978-79, Fitch resigned as head coach. The following season, after going 37–45 under Fitch's successor Stan Albeck, original owner Mileti sold his shares to minority owner Joe Zingale.

Early on in his tenure, Stepien proposed to rename the team the "Ohio Cavaliers", part of a plan that included playing their home games not just in the Cleveland area but also in non-Ohio markets such as Buffalo, New York and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He also introduced a polka-flavored fight song, which was widely-ridiculed by fans and the media.

The ensuing chaos was reflected by the Cavs' on-court performance and attendance woes, going 28–54 in 1980–81 (Stepien's first year as owner), followed by an abysmal 15–67 mark in 1981–82. The 1981–82 team lost its last 19 games of the season which, when coupled with the five losses at the start of the 1982–83 season, constitute the NBA's all-time longest losing streak at 24 games. Although the team improved its record to 23–59 the following year, local support for the Cavs eroded which eventually bottomed out that year by averaging only 3,900 fans a game at the cavernous Coliseum which seated more than 20,000. Stepien threatened to move the franchise to Toronto and rename it the Toronto Towers, but brothers George and Gordon Gund purchased the franchise in the mid 1980s and decided to keep the team in Cleveland. (In 1993, Toronto would, in fact, get an expansion franchise, the Toronto Raptors.) Two years later, the Gunds changed the team colors from wine and gold to burnt orange, red and navy blue. Also, the team officially adopted "Cavs" as a shorter nickname for marketing purposes; it had been used unofficially by fans and headline writers since the team's inception.

In 1986, under the Gund brothers as owners, the team acquired, either through trades or the draft, Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Ron Harper and Larry Nance. These four players (until Harper was later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 1989 for the rights to Danny Ferry) formed the core of the team, under the direction of head coach Lenny Wilkens, that led the Cavs to eight playoff seasons in the next nine years, including three 50+ win seasons.

However, in 1989, the Cavs were paired against the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the playoffs. In the fourth game of the best-of-five-series, Cleveland managed to beat the Bulls in overtime 108–105 to level the series at 2–2. Home court advantage went to Cleveland. The game was evenly matched, until Cleveland managed to score on a drive and raise the lead by one, with three seconds left. Chicago called for a time-out. The ball was inbounded to Michael Jordan, who went for a jump shot. Cleveland's Craig Ehlo jumped in front to block it, but Jordan seemed to stay in the air until Ehlo landed. "The Shot" went in as time ran out, with Chicago winning the series 3–2. Although replay would show that Jordan cleared Ehlo with his arm in order to get an open look, the buzzer-beater is considered one of Jordan's greatest clutch moments, and the game itself one of the greatest. But the pinnacle of the Cavs' success came in the 1991-92 season, when they compiled a 57–25 record and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, losing again to the Chicago Bulls 4–2.

Soon after, the Cavaliers entered into a period of decline. With the retirements and departures of Nance, Daugherty and Price, the team lost much of its dominance and were no longer able to contest strongly during the playoffs. After the 1992-93 season, in which the Cavs boasted a 54–28 regular-season record but suffered an early exit from the playoffs in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals to the Chicago Bulls, Wilkens left to coach the Atlanta Hawks.

Following the hiring of Mike Fratello as head coach starting with the 1993–94 season, the Cavs became one of the NBA's best defensive teams under the leadership of point guard Terrell Brandon. But the offense, which was a half-court, "slow-down" tempo installed by Fratello, met with mixed success. Although the Cavaliers made regular playoff appearances, they were unable to advance beyond the first round.

In 1994, the Cavs moved back to downtown Cleveland with the opening of the 20,562-seat, state-of-the-art, Gund Arena. Known by locals as "the Gund", the venue also served as the site of the 1997 NBA All-Star Game.

Later on, players like Shawn Kemp and Žydrūnas Ilgauskas added quality to the team, but without further success. Fratello was fired following the shortened 1998-99 season.

An all time low for the Cavs was set by Ricky Davis on March 16, 2003. With Cleveland ahead in the game 120-95, Davis was one rebound short of a triple-double with only a few seconds left on the clock. After receiving an inbound pass at the opposing team's end of the floor, Davis banged the ball off the rim and caught it in attempt to receive credit for a rebound. Utah's DeShawn Stevenson took offense to this breach of sportman's etiquette and immediately fouled Davis hard. The play did not count as a rebound since firing at the other team's basket does not count as a shot attempt, and in fact is a technical foul under NBA rules. However, since the referees had never seen anyone shoot at the opposing team's basket before, they were unfamiliar with the rule and play was allowed to continue. This and countless other selfish acts contributed to the Cavs trading of Davis later that year, and ushering in a new type of team.

Several losing seasons followed which saw the Cavaliers drop to the bottom of the league and become a perennial lottery draft team. After another disappointing season in 2002-03, the Cavaliers landed the number one draft pick in the NBA Lottery. The Cavaliers selected local high school phenomenon LeBron James. Also in 2003, the team colors were changed from burnt orange, red and navy blue back to wine and gold along with a new primary logo.

James' status as both an area star (having played his high school basketball at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in nearby Akron) and as one of the most highly touted prospects in NBA history led many to view his selection as a turning point in the franchise's history. Embraced by Clevelanders as "King James," the 2003-04 season offered great hope for the future, as James rose to become a dominating player, winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Hope was even greater for the 2004-05 season. James increased his production in terms of points, rebounds, and assists per game. Despite the loss of Carlos Boozer in the offseason, James teamed with Žydrūnas Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden to form the core of the team. After a promising start, the Cavs began a downward spiral that eventually led to the firing of coach Paul Silas and general manager Jim Paxson. The team failed to make the playoffs that year, tied with New Jersey Nets for the final playoff spot, however the Nets owned the tiebreaker.

The Cavaliers made many changes in the 2005 offseason. Under new owner Dan Gilbert, the team hired a new coach, Mike Brown, and a new general manager, former Cavaliers forward Danny Ferry. The team experienced success on the court in the following season, clinching their first playoff appearance since 1998. After a first round win over the Washington Wizards, the Cavaliers rebounded from a 2–0 deficit in the second round against the Detroit Pistons, winning three consecutive games to come one game away from the conference finals. However, they lost a close Game 6 at home, and followed it with a 79–61 loss in Game 7. in game seven, the Cavs set two records for futility deciding playoff games: least points scored in a game (61) and in a half (23). The playoff rounds were a showcase for the emergence of LeBron James, who achieved many "youngest ever to..." records during the run.

The Cavs continued their success in the 2006-07 season. The team earned the second seed with a 50–32 record, generating a series of favorable matchups which included home court advantage in the first two rounds. The Cavaliers' first-round was a rematch with the 7th-seeded Wizards, who finished 41–41 and struggled with injuries down the stretch. The Cavaliers swept this series 4–0—the first sweep of a playoff series in franchise history—and faced the New Jersey Nets in the second round. The Cavs won the series 4–2 with James scoring 23 points and adding 8 rebounds and 8 assists in an 88–72 win in Game 6.

The Cavaliers faced the Pistons for the second straight playoff year, this time in the Eastern Conference Finals. After again losing the first two games at Detroit, the Cavaliers won the next three to take a 3–2 series lead. This year the Cavaliers eliminated Detroit in Game 6. The wins included a 109–107 double-overtime thriller at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Game 5, in which LeBron James scored the last 25 points for the Cavs, and his performance in this game is recognized as one of the best in NBA history. They continued to a dominant 98–82 win at home in Game 6. Rookie Daniel "Boobie" Gibson scored a career-high 31 points in the series clincher, and the franchise won its first ever Eastern Conference championship. The team's first trip to the NBA finals was a short one, as they were outmatched and outplayed by the very strong San Antonio Spurs, who swept the Cavs 4–0.

After struggling through an inconsistent 2007-08 regular season which saw the Cavaliers finish with a record of 45–37, the team met the Wizards in the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year. The Cavaliers jumped out to a three games to one lead, but failed to close out the series at home as James missed a potential game-winning layup at the end of the game. In game 6, James had a triple double and led the team to a 105–88 win and a 4–2 series win. They moved on to face the top-seeded Boston Celtics in the 2nd round in a series that featured the home team winning all of its games. Because of this, and with Boston having more home games, the Cavaliers lost the series 4–3. James scored 45 points in game 7, but it was not enough as Boston's Paul Pierce scored 41 points to lead the Celtics to victory.

The Cavaliers' uniforms switched from the blue, black and orange jerseys to wine and gold jerseys in 2003. The team's original colors were wine and gold, were changed to orange and blue during the mid-1980s, and to blue, black and orange in the mid-1990s.

Their home jerseys are white with wine lettering of the name and navy blue lettering on the numbers. Their away jerseys are wine with a gold trim and white lettering on the name and number. Their alternate jerseys are navy blue, with white lettering on the name and number, and a checkerboard trim of wine and gold. They wear white socks and shoes when wearing the white or blue jerseys, while they wear black shoes and socks when wearing the wine jerseys.

In 2008-2009, The Cavaliers will wear retro uniforms during six selected "Hardwood Classic" home games styled after their uniforms from their inaugural season of 1970-71. Those uniforms are gold (with wine colored trim) featuring wine lettering on the name and number with white socks and shoes. There is also an alternate version of the retro uniform, which is royal blue with wine and gold trim, gold lettering on the name and number, with white socks and shoes.

The Quicken Loans Arena created some notoriety when it added the DIFF to the scoreboard—the difference between the two teams' scores. This scoreboard addition made such an impact that Tom Batiuk, author of the comic strip, Crankshaft, created a Sunday morning entry "honoring" (or lamenting?) it. Quicken Loans, also owned by Dan Gilbert, began the Quicken Loans blog, themed, "What's the DIFF," pointing out "the DIFF" between "average and excellent." The blog, of course honored Crankshaft's lament of the DIFF.

In 2007 the Cavaliers opened their new state-of-the-art practice facility, Cleveland Clinic Courts, in Independence, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb. It features many extravagant luxuries, 2 courts, a team meeting room, front office offices, as well as a kitchen among other features. Cleveland Clinic Courts replaces the former 1-court center the team used within Quicken Loans Arena.

WTAM (AM 1100) in Cleveland is the flagship station of a 16 station Cavaliers radio network. Select games can be heard on backup station WMMS (FM 100.7) when there is a conflict with the Cleveland Indians. All playoff games air on WTAM, and any conflicted Indians games go to WMMS.

Veteran broadcaster Joe Tait has served as the team's radio play-by-play announcer since its inception in 1970, with a brief break away from the team in the period when it was owned by Ted Stepien. Tait is considered one of the prominent announcers in professional sports. On March 26, 2008, Tait was honored by the organization for calling his 3,000th Cleveland Cavaliers game.

WTAM morning co-host/sports director Mike Snyder hosts the pregame, halftime, and postgame shows, and fills in for Tait when he is out. Producer/reporter Scott Zurella is also featured during pre and post game coverage. Former Cavaliers big man and color analyst Jim Chones joins Snyder for the post-game show.

The vast majority of Cavaliers' TV games air on cable and satellite on FSN Ohio, with select games (both regular season and playoffs) simulcast on WUAB (Channel 43) in Cleveland, the longtime free TV home of the Cavs. Channel 43 has aired games from 1973 to 1987, from 1994 to present.

Play-by-play announcer Fred McLeod and analyst Austin Carr, a former Cavaliers star, handle local TV commentary. Veteran Cleveland sportscaster Jeff Phelps and former Cavaliers star Campy Russell host the pre-game, halftime, and post-game shows.

Moondog is the official mascot of the Cavaliers. Like a growing number of NBA Mascots, the character has a unique connection not just to the team, but to city or area. Cleveland is known worldwide as the rock and roll city, due to famed Cleveland radio disc jockey Alan Freed, who popularized the phrase "rock and roll", breaking new ground and sparking a music explosion.

Freed called himself the "Moondog", and his listeners were "Moondoggers". When the Cavaliers looked to create a new mascot which represents the city, Moondog was a natural selection. Like Alan Freed, the mascot aims to be innovative, fun-loving, passionate and controversial.

Moondog was an NBA All-Star selection in 2003 and 2004. He is best known for his behind the back half-court shot and fierce loyalty to his Cavaliers. His first appearance was on November 5, 2003.

The Committee is an invitation-only consortium of Cleveland Cavalier thought-leadership. The group is named after the Cleveland Cavaliers' leadership contingent, which includes Lebron James, Ben Wallace, Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Committee membership is limited to select, hand-picked individuals displaying an astute understanding of core Cavalier issues and the implication that material events may have on the organization. The Committee is rumored to have connections to the local press and certain Cavalier players.

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Los Angeles Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers logo

The Los Angeles Clippers are a professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and are members of the NBA Western Conference's Pacific Division. The club's home games are played at the Staples Center, which they share with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Sparks.

The Clippers began in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves. They were one of three franchises that joined the NBA in the 1970–71 season; the others were the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Braves, in their eight seasons in Buffalo, played their home games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, sharing the arena with another new franchise, the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, who also debuted in 1970. The team's first head coach was Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes, the franchise's first star players were Bob Kauffman and Don May, who were acquired in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft. However,in the NBA Draft of 1970, Buffalo passed on hometown hero Calvin Murphy,a 5 foot 9 point guard from Niagara University. Murphy would eventually be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. As typical of first-year expansion teams, the Braves finished with a dismal record, going 22-60, seven games ahead of expansion-mate Cleveland, which finished its season at 15-67. Kauffman, who averaged 4.3 points per game the previous year with the Chicago Bulls, led Buffalo in scoring with 20.4 points per game and earned a spot on the 1971 NBA Eastern Conference All-Star team.

The Braves repeated their 22-60 record in the following 1971-72 season, but did make good acquisitions that would make the club better. Buffalo drafted center Elmore Smith from Kentucky State University, and local favorite Randy Smith, from Buffalo State College. Schayes was replaced one game into the season with John McCarthy as the team's head coach. The team did not do much better in the 1972-73 season, as they went 21-61 under new head coach, Dr. Jack Ramsay. The Braves' big move that season was drafting forward/center Bob McAdoo, from North Carolina. The team finally made its first playoff appearance in 1973-74, where they faced the Boston Celtics in the first round and lost in six games.

In 1974-75, Bob McAdoo was awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, averaging 34.5 points, 14.1 rebounds and 2.12 blocks per game, while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 80.5 percent from the free-throw line. The Braves made a trip to the playoffs in the 1974–75 season and again during the 1975-76 season, which would be one of their last in Buffalo.

During the last four seasons, the Braves played a total of 16 games in Toronto, Ontario at Maple Leaf Gardens in the hopes of expanding their fan base from Western New York to also include the Greater Toronto Area.

By the summer of 1976, the team's founding owner Paul Snyder was doing all he could to sell the team. The June 15, 1976 issue of Buffalo's Courier-Express blasted the headline "Braves Go to Florida, Leaving 'Hockey Town'." Snyder had a handshake deal to sell the team to Mr. and Mrs. Irving Cowan, who would move the Braves to Hollywood, Florida, yet the City of Buffalo filed a $10 million damage suit to block the move. The sale eventually fell through and the Braves and the city signed a new 15 year Memorial Auditorium lease in July with a provision that the lease could be voided if the team did not sell 5,000 season tickets in any season. Later that summer Snyder finally sold 50 percent of the franchise to businessman John Y. Brown, Jr., who had previously owned the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association. Brown later acquired the remaining half from Snyder sometime in the 1976-77 season. Brown, in turn, sold a percentage of the team to another businessman, Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. who later went on to own a portion of the Boston Celtics in the 1980s. However, a provision in the transaction stipulated that if Brown sold the contract of any Braves player, then the money would go to Snyder and the purchase price would be reduced. This subsequently occurred when the Braves sent McAdoo to the New York Knicks for players and cash midway through the 1976–77 season.

Because of the team's poor play in its final two years (30–52 in 1976–77 and 27–55 in 1977-78), along with rumors of the franchise relocating because of low season ticket sales, John Y. Brown met with the then-owner of the Celtics, Irv Levin and negotiated a deal in which the owners would swap franchises, in which Brown would take control of the Celtics and Levin would get the Braves. Levin was a California businessman, and wanted to own an NBA team in his native state. The deal was brokered by David Stern, the general counsel for the NBA who later became the league's commissioner in 1984. Following what would be the final season in western New York, the NBA owners voted 21-1 to let the Braves relocate. They moved to San Diego, California after the 1977-78 season, and became the San Diego Clippers.

In the team's first season in San Diego, the Clippers posted a winning record, going 43-39, under new head coach Gene Shue. However, that record was not good enough to advance them to the post-season, finishing two games out of the final playoff spot. As it turned out, it would be the Clippers' last winning season for 13 years. It was also in that first season in Southern California that long-time announcer Ralph Lawler began his association with the club. Randy Smith had another solid season, averaging 20.5 points per game, finishing second behind World B. Free, who was acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers. Free finished second overall in NBA scoring average, with 28.8 per game, while George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs had a 29.6 average.

The 1979-80 season was not much better, as the Clippers began to struggle, but not before they brought in San Diego native, center Bill Walton, who was two years removed from an NBA championship with the Trail Blazers. Walton was not much of an impact unfortunately, due to missing 68 games because of foot injuries, which he also suffered in his final years in Portland. San Diego managed to finish with a record of 37-45, despite the fact that many of their key players missed games due to injuries. Free continued his great scoring, again finishing second in league scoring, with 30.2 PPG. Paul Silas replaced Shue the following season, and the Clippers finished with a 36-46 record, once again missing the postseason. Walton missed the entire season once again due to chronic foot injuries. Free was traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Phil Smith.

The 1981-82 season brought more changes to the Clipper franchise as Irv Levin sold the team to Los Angeles-area real estate developer and attorney Donald Sterling for $20 million. The Clippers' poor play in their final years in San Diego resulted in poor attendance with the team averaging only 4,500 fans per game. Sterling subsequently lobbied the NBA to relocate the team to his native Los Angeles.

In 1984, the Clippers moved to Los Angeles, California, playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. The Clippers, under head coach Jim Lynam finished with a disappointing 31-51 record.

The Clippers were mired for the next seven seasons, including a 12-70 record in the 1986-87 season, at the time the second-worst single-season record in NBA history. Marques Johnson and guard Norm Nixon were both injured. That season also brought in Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor as the team's vice president and general manager of basketball operations. In the 1989-90 season, Baylor made a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers that brought Ron Harper in exchange for forward Danny Ferry and swingman Reggie Williams. That move, along with the 1987 NBA Draft of Ken Norman from the University of Illinois, the 1988 draftings of University of Kansas forward Danny Manning and Charles Smith from the University of Pittsburgh (Smith was acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for the draft rights of guard Hersey Hawkins), and the 1990 NBA Draft of Loy Vaught from the University of Michigan, formed a nucleus that made the franchise a playoff contender.

Midway through the 1991-92 season, the Clippers made yet another coaching change. Larry Brown, who was fired by the Spurs weeks before, was hired as the team's head coach in late January 1992. He replaced Mike Schuler, who had led the team to a 22-25 record before his firing. Brown finished the season with a 23-12 mark, for an overall record of 45-37. It was the franchise's first winning season in 13 years. The team also achieved a first that season-for the first time since moving to Los Angeles, the Clippers finished with a better record than the Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 16 years (since they were Buffalo), but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Utah Jazz, 3–2. Due to the late April 1992 Los Angeles riots, Game 4 of the series was moved to the Anaheim Convention Center, and the Clippers won that game. The Clippers returned to the playoffs again in the 1992-93 season with a 41–41 regular season record, but lost again in five games in the first round, this time to the Houston Rockets.

Brown left the Clippers to join the Indiana Pacers as their head coach, and Bob Weiss was brought in to replace him. That 1993-94 season proved to be one of the worst seasons in Los Angeles NBA history, with both the Clippers and Lakers going a combined 60-104 in the regular season. After one year on the job, Weiss was fired, and veteran head coach Bill Fitch was brought in to guide a roster of young and inexperienced players. The Clippers continued to make frequent roster and coaching changes throughout the next several years and made a playoff appearance in 1997, under Fitch. That team made the playoffs with a losing record (36–46) and were swept in the first round by the eventual Western Conference Champion Utah Jazz, 3 games to none.

From 1994 to 1999, the Clippers played selected home games in the Honda Center (known at the time as the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim), sharing the venue with the Anaheim Ducks (then the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim) (hockey) and the Splash (soccer). It was speculated that the Clippers might move to play in Anaheim full time.

However, in 1999, the Clippers and Lakers both started to play in the Staples Center. It was in that first season at Staples Center that the Clippers drafted highly-touted, but oft-troubled, star forward Lamar Odom from the University of Rhode Island. The Clippers finished with a dismal 15–67 record. The team hired former All-Star (and Los Angeles native) Dennis Johnson, as an assistant coach. The team also hired Hall of Famer and former Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as an assistant coach, to help tutor second-year center Michael Olowokandi. Johnson remained an assistant coach until the middle of the 2002-03 season, when he took over as head coach. Abdul-Jabbar lasted only one season on the job.

The 2000-01 season brought more changes. Reserve forward Derek Strong was sent to the Orlando Magic in exchange for second-year forward Corey Maggette and the draft rights to guard Keyon Dooling from the University of Missouri. The Clippers' two draft picks that year were childhood friends from Illinois: high schooler Darius Miles from East St. Louis (3rd overall pick) and Quentin Richardson, a guard/forward from DePaul University (18th overall pick). The team became popular among fans with their high-flying style of basketball and the Clippers did improve a bit with a 31-51 record, leading the NBA in bench-scoring with 37 points per game.

To improve upon the previous season, the Clippers acquired high-scoring and rebounding power forward Elton Brand from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the draft rights to Los Angeles-area native and high schooler Tyson Chandler. At this point of his career, Brand had career averages of 20 points and 10 rebounds per game in just two seasons. Brand's hard work and accomplishments earned him a spot on the 2002 NBA Western Conference All-Star team as an injury replacement for center Shaquille O'Neal of the Lakers. The Clippers contended for most of the season, but won only 3 out of their last 13 games and finished 39-43, 5 games out of the final playoff position.

The 2002 offseason brought more changes, as Miles was traded to the Cavaliers in exchange for point guard Andre Miller, who led the NBA in assists in 2001-02 with 11 per game. Suddenly, with a good point guard in Miller, the playmaker Lamar Odom at small forward, one of the league's best power forwards, Elton Brand, the emerging center Michael Olowokandi, and a very good supporting cast off the bench, the Clippers could actually make a serious run for the playoffs. However, with poor team chemistry and injuries (the Clippers lost 293 man-games to injury), the Clippers finished with a very disappointing 27-55 record. Head coach Alvin Gentry was replaced by Dennis Johnson midway through the 2002-03 season.

In the 2003-04 season, the Clippers lost many of their core players to free agency (Miller, Odom, Olowokandi, and forward Eric Piatkowski--one of the longest-tenured players in Clippers history, while opting to retain Brand and Maggette with long-term contracts. They, along with Richardson, made up one of the NBA best high-scoring trios, with a combined 58 points per game. With new head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr., the Clippers finished at 28-54, a lot due to inexperience and injuries.

The 2004-05 season saw the Clippers, although also missing the playoffs, finish with a better record than the Lakers for the first time since 1993 and have great hope for the future, with young rising stars such as Brand, Corey Maggette and Shaun Livingston. Bobby Simmons won the 2004-05 NBA Most Improved Player award after averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. As a result of that, Simmons cashed in on his newfound fame, and signed a 5-year, $47 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks in July 2005, playing closer to his hometown of Chicago.

To counter Simmons' defection to Milwaukee, the Clippers announced days later that they would sign guard Cuttino Mobley to a contract similar in years (5) but less in money ($42 million) to what Simmons received from the Bucks. Mobley was the first significant free agent signing from outside the organization since Bill Walton in late 1970s. Mobley officially signed his contract on August 3, 2005.

More deals were made, most notably on August 12, 2005, where the Clippers traded guards Marko Jaric (in a sign and trade transaction) and Lionel Chalmers to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for guard Sam Cassell and a lottery-protected 1st round pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. In relation to the lottery-protected pick, in order for the Clippers to acquire the pick, the Timberwolves would have to make the playoffs, or else Minnesota retains its draft pick.

During the summer of 2005, the Clippers announced that they would build a state-of-the-art practice facility (the first NBA practice facility within the four corners of the City of Los Angeles) in the Playa Vista development. Several current players on the Clippers' lineup live in the planned community. According to the Clippers' website, the new facility will open its doors for community programs in the off-season and will be surrounded by other community parks and recreation.

The 2005-06 season was a turning point for the team's overall image; a hot start marked by several wins over top teams caught the attention of many fans. Before the 2005-06 season, the Clippers drafted young Yaroslav Korolev. Elton Brand was chosen as a reserve power forward for the All-Star Game and articles have been run in many sports magazines giving recognition to the much improved team. Just before the NBA trading deadline, the Clippers traded power forward Chris Wilcox to the Seattle SuperSonics for forward Vladimir Radmanović. The Clippers had been lacking consistent outside shooting which is what they were looking for in the trade.

While the Clippers had a few stretches of poor play this season, resulting in some frustrating losses, they nonetheless were able to maintain a solid record, including posting several winning streaks. The Clippers achieved their first winning record in 14 seasons and clinched their first playoff spot since 1997.

By finishing sixth in the Western Conference, with a record of 47-35 (their best finish since the team left Buffalo), the Clippers benefitted from the current NBA playoff format of regular season records taking precedence over winning the division, and secured home court advantage over the Denver Nuggets instead of travelling to Denver for four games as a #6 seed would usually be expected to do. On April 12, 2006 the Clippers were #5 seed and would have played against the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs, but the Clippers lost 5 of their next 7 games and the Memphis Grizzlies clinched the #5 position instead.

On April 22, 2006, the Clippers won their first NBA playoff game in 13 years. Two days later, they won their second playoff game, going 2-0 against an opponent for the first time in franchise history. Although they won the first 2 games, they lost Game 3, but they won Game 4. On Monday, May 1, 2006 they won Game 5 in Los Angeles and their first playoff series since they moved from Buffalo.

The team faced the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference semi-finals. After losing in game one (130-123 in Phoenix), the Clippers beat the Suns in an impressive 122–97 victory in Game 2. The series shifted to Staples Center for game 3, and the Suns beat the Clippers, 94–91, as Suns forward Shawn Marion scored 32 points and grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds. In game four, Elton Brand posted 30 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists as the Clippers evened the series on May 14, 2006 with a 114–107 victory over the Suns. In game five, Suns guard/forward Raja Bell made a key 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in the first overtime to send the game into a second overtime. Phoenix beat Los Angeles in this double-overtime "thriller" game, 125–118.

The double-overtime loss for the Clippers, to say the least, was devastating, but they bounced back with a convincing, series-saving 118-106 Game 6 win over the Suns. Second-year defensive specialist Quinton Ross had a timely offensive game, scoring a then career-high 18 points. Elton Brand had another excellent contribution, with 30 points (his scoring average in this particular series), 12 rebounds, three assists, and five blocks. Corey Maggette came off the bench to score 25 points, with 7–8 shooting from the field, and 9–9 from the free throw line. Chris Kaman and Sam Cassell each scored 15 points apiece. Marion once again led Phoenix in scoring, with 34 points, with reserve guard Leandro Barbosa scoring 25 points off the bench for the Suns. The Clippers lost the seventh game to Phoenix 127–107.

General Manager (and Basketball Hall of Fame member) Elgin Baylor won the NBA Executive of the Year award for his leading the Clippers to the playoffs.

The 2006 off-season started as the team drafted center Paul Davis from Michigan State University in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft, as the 34th overall pick. The pick was acquired by the Clippers by way of a 2004 trade with the Charlotte Bobcats for center/forward Melvin Ely. The team also drafted guard Guillermo Diaz from the University of Miami as the 52nd overall pick. While Davis signed with the team in July, Diaz was not signed, and decided to play overseas. However, the team still holds his draft rights. The Clippers did not have a pick in the 2006 draft's first round.

Meanwhile in free agency, on July 13, 2006, the Clippers scored a major coup, by signing forward Tim Thomas away from divisional rival Phoenix, in a four-year, $24 million deal. That was to counter the defection of forward Vladimir Radmanović to the crosshall Lakers in a somewhat similar deal to what Thomas got from the Clippers, except Radmanovic signed for an extra year, but both players would make the same amount of money annually, which would be $6 million.

Also on July 13, guard Sam Cassell (widely credited as the biggest reason for the Clippers' recent success) signed a two-year, $13 million deal. Cassell stated in interviews that once he retires, which would be likely after this contract runs out, he would like to join the Clippers' coaching staff under Mike Dunleavy, Sr. Also, on August 1, the team signed veteran forward/center Aaron Williams (previously with the then-New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets) to an undisclosed deal. Williams played for Dunleavy with the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1994-95 season.

To further their television commitment to their local fans, on August 11, the Clippers and KTLA-TV announced a three-year contract extension, which would increase KTLA's annual 25-game commitment to 30 games a year, plus selected playoff games not airing exclusively on ABC or TNT. Just like during the last two seasons, KTLA will air all of its Staples Center-based Clippers telecasts in high definition. Until recently, they were the only local team to currently air its over-the-air broadcasts in HDTV; KCAL-TV aired its first HDTV Lakers broadcast on February 2, 2007, versus the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Fifteen of the 30 annual KTLA telecasts air on KSWB-TV in San Diego, KTLA's sister station; although KTLA is already available on cable in the San Diego market.

The increased demand for Clippers games has also led to the scheduling of twelve true nationally-televised Clippers games on TNT and ESPN. The team will also have eight additional games on NBA TV; NBA TV normally uses the home team telecast's video feed and announcers, while using its own on-screen score and graphics, therefore, their presentations are not considered true, self-produced national broadcasts, such as the case with ESPN, TNT, and ABC. This brings the total of nationally-televised games to 20, the most ever in franchise history.

On September 7, the Clippers announced a radio broadcast deal with KSPN-AM, the local ESPN Radio-operated outlet.

The team, though, did not fully perform to expectations, in comparison to the previous season. A lot of this has been attributed to lack of a team chemistry and injuries to several key players, including Cassell, Thomas, Livingston, and Kaman. Players such as Luke Jackson, Alvin Williams, and Doug Christie were signed to 10-day contracts to help solidify the team's bench. Jackson and Alvin Williams only lasted through portions of the January schedule and each had limited playing time, while Christie signed with the team on January 31. Christie was not retained, and was suspended on the final day of his second 10-day contract with the team, due to Christie's desire to not return to the team, because of the team's lack of on-court direction. Christie was released from the team on February 21.

In one of most of the devastating injuries this season, guard Shaun Livingston severely dislocated his left knee in which he tore every ligament in his knee. This occurred with 8:10 left in the first quarter of a home game versus the Charlotte Bobcats on February 26, 2007 at Staples Center, as Livingston was driving to the basket, where he missed the lay-up, and came down awkwardly on his left knee. The extent of the injury was so severe, local news outlets such as KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV and KNBC-TV elected not to air the clip of Livingston's injury on their sports reports. According to the team's lead physican, Dr. Tony Daly, Livingston's prognosis for him to return to basketball activity from the point in time of his injury is eight months (which would put it at around the first week of the upcoming season) to a full calendar year. The Clippers, which were expected by many to make the playoffs again after their surprise appearance the season before, finished the season 40–42, 2 games behind the 8th-seeded Warriors. On May 22, the Clippers received the fourteenth draft pick from the NBA lottery. The draft was on June 28 in New York. The Clippers selected Al Thornton a combo forward from Florida State University. The Clippers used their second-round pick to draft a point guard Jared Jordan with their 45th pick.

The 2007-08 season started off on a negative note, with Elton Brand on the disabled list because of a ruptured left Achilles tendon, and Shaun Livingston still out with the injury he sustained from the previous year. Brand missed most of the 2007-08 year, and the Clippers struggled to stay competitive in the Western Conference. Chris Kaman was one of the lone bright spots for the Clippers, and took advantage of a depleted roster by averaging 15.7 points and 12.7 rebounds per game throughout the season, but was limited to playing 56 games due to various injuries. The Clippers ended the season with a record of 23–59, 12th in the Western Conference and last in the Pacific Division.

The Clippers saw the departure of several players, including Elton Brand and Corey Maggette, and acquisitions of ten players either by draft, free agency or trades.

On July 1, 2008, Baron Davis, a Los Angeles native and formerly of the Golden State Warriors, verbally agreed to and signed (on July 10) a five-year contract with the Clippers, worth an estimated $65 million.

After a disappointing 2007–08 season, the Clippers obtained the 7th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and selected Eric Gordon out of Indiana University. The team also selected DeAndre Jordan from Texas A&M University in the second round (35th overall pick). Another second-round pick, Mike Taylor from the NBA D-League's Idaho Stampede and Iowa State University (55th overall pick), was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a future second-round pick. Gordon officially signed with the team on July 7, while Jordan and Taylor both signed on July 15.

Also on July 15, the Clippers acquired forward–center Marcus Camby from the Denver Nuggets in return for a $10 million trade exception and the choice to exchange second round picks with the Clippers in 2010. On July 23, the Clippers also acquired guard Jason Hart from the Utah Jazz in exchange for guard Brevin Knight. On July 28, the Clippers signed guard Ricky Davis to a one-year deal, with a player option for a second year . The Clippers continued their active offseason with signing reserve forward–center (and one-time Clipper) Brian Skinner on July 31, and traded for reserve forward Steve Novak on August 6 for future second-round pick considerations, in a deal similar to the Camby trade.

On August 7, the team signed guard Jason Williams from the Miami Heat to a one-year deal.

Recently, the Los Angeles Clippers re-signed forward Paul Davis. The Clippers signed three Davis' (Baron, Ricky, and Paul) in their "rebuilding offseason" in which they obtained key players such as Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Ricky Davis, and Jason Williams. However, just prior to the start of training camp, Williams announced his retirement on September 26.

On October 7, according to reports from various sources including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, and the team's own web site (Clippers.com), Elgin Baylor ended his 22-year reign as vice president and general manager of basketball operations. It was one of the longest such tenures in professional sports history. The Clippers have indicated that Baylor had retired from his post, and as a result, head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr. will also assume the role as general manager, while director of player personnel Neil Oshley is promoted to assistant general manager.

In many of those same reports, including a related article in the October 8 edition of the Times, it was also indicated that Baylor had either been fired, resigned, or retired, depending on the source. According to similar reports, Baylor had been offered a different position in the organization, with the same salary, but with little to none decision-making power; Baylor refused. In fact, when pressed about his stauts with the franchise, Baylor had been advised by his attorneys not to say anything, indicating that the team and Baylor are in negotiations to work out a settlement agreement based on his departure. According to the above-mentioned article, Baylor had been working without a formal contract since the early 1990s.

On November 21, the Clippers and New York Knicks made a trade, in which Los Angeles sends forward Tim Thomas and guard Cuttino Mobley to New York, in exchange for forward Zach Randolph and reserve guard Mardy Collins. With the trade of Mobley, only one member of their 2005-06 playoff team remains on the roster--starting center Chris Kaman. On December 11, Mobley announced his retirement due to the heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Mobley has yet to play a game for the New York Knicks after the trade.

McAdoo and Randy Smith (G, 1972-79, 1983-84) are also members of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. Walton, a native of the San Diego area, is also a member of the San Diego Hall of Champions.

On March 1, 2006 the Clippers held the New Orleans Hornets to an NBA record low 16 points in the second half of play. Since the introduction of the shot clock, no point total for a half had been lower than 19. Coincidentally, one of three teams to have such a low point total in a half was the Clippers.

On March 23, 2007 the Utah Jazz (44-23 at the time) lost to the Clippers (32-36 coming into the match) 104-72 in Los Angeles. That was the largest margin of defeat by an NBA team at least 20 games over .500 to a team under .500 since the Houston Rockets lost in Orlando Magic 114-82 on March 30, 1991.

The Clippers are currently the oldest NBA team to never appear in the NBA Finals.

The Clippers are one of three teams (along with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Charlotte Bobcats) to have never won an NBA Championship, Conference Championship, or a Division Championship in their franchise's history.

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2002–03 Cleveland Cavaliers season

The 2002-03 Cleveland Cavaliers season was the 33rd season of NBA basketball in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cavaliers finished the season with a 17–65 record, last in the Eastern Conference and tied for worst in the NBA. Ricky Davis was the team's leading scorer with a career high of over 20 points per game.

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Wayne Simien

Wayne Anthony Simien, Jr. (born March 9, 1983, in Leavenworth, Kansas) is an American professional basketball player, currently with Spain's Cáceres Ciudad de Baloncesto, as a power forward.

He was a member of the 2005-06 NBA champions Miami Heat.

Growing up, Simien was a University of Kansas fan due to his proximity to Lawrence. He committed to play for Roy Williams and the University of Kansas as early as the 8th or 9th grade, and was later named to the 2001 McDonald's All-American Team. He played for the Leavenworth Pioneers (Coach Larry Hogan) in high school and led the Pioneers to a 6A-State Championship his junior year in high school.

At Kansas, Simien received All American honors his junior and senior years. He was a Wooden Award finalist both years, and was the Big 12 Player of the Year his senior year. However, his college career ended when Kansas was defeated by 14th-seeded Bucknell in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Simien finished his college career with 110 wins and a 12-4 NCAA Tournament record.

Simien was selected with the 29th overall selection of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, with whom he won a championship in 2006. During the regular season, he appeared in 43 contests (about 10 minutes per game), averaging 3 points and 2 rebounds, but only managed two postseason appearances.

Simien could not participate in the Heat's 2006 Summer League program because of a salmonella infection.His contribution during the season consisted of 8 matches.

Simien was traded from the Heat along with Antoine Walker and Michael Doleac to the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 24, 2007 for Ricky Davis and Mark Blount. However, on October 29, Simien was waived by the Wolves in order for them to keep their roster at the 15-player limit.

He was given a Summer League invitation by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but did not play due to a hamstring injury. He later received a training camp invitation from the Atlanta Hawks which was subsequently withdrawn. Simien joined, in October 2008, Spain's Cáceres 2016 Basket, in the country's second level.

Simien married his wife, Katie, on July 8, 2006. They had a daughter, Selah Renae, on October 5, 2007. His name is also often confused with adult movie actor Wayne Summers, as Brian Collins of Ball State demonstrated during a 2005 newscast. Simien is from Leavenworth, Kansas. His nephew, Trey Adkins, has officially committed to play for Kansas University in 5 years.

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Mark Blount

Mark D. Blount ("BLUNT") (born November 30, 1975 in Yonkers, New York) is an American professional basketball player in the NBA for the Miami Heat. Blount is a 7'0" (2.13 m) tall center and weighs 250 lb (113 kg), being a primarily offensive big man with a soft touch.

Blount played his collegiate basketball at the University of Pittsburgh before being drafted 54th overall in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics, and would spend three seasons in the minor American leagues.

He was first signed by the Boston Celtics as a free agent on August 1, 2000 and led the team with 76 blocks that season, the most by a Celtics rookie since Kevin McHale in 1980-81.

During the 2003-04 NBA season, Blount emerged as a dependable center, putting up 10.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.29 blocks per game in 29.3 minutes per game. He had a 28-point, 21 rebound game vs. the Orlando Magic on March 1, 2004.

On January 26, 2006, Blount, along with Ricky Davis, Marcus Banks, Justin Reed, and two conditional second-round draft picks, was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Wally Szczerbiak, Michael Olowokandi, Dwayne Jones and a conditional first-round draft pick.

On October 24, 2007, Blount was traded to the Miami Heat along with teammate Ricky Davis in exchange for the Heat's Antoine Walker, Michael Doleac, Wayne Simien and a first-round draft pick.

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Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves logo

The Minnesota Timberwolves are a professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Their organization is a member of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Professional basketball returned to the Twin Cities in 1987 for the first time since the Minneapolis Lakers departed for Los Angeles in 1960, when the NBA granted one of its four new expansion teams (the others being the Orlando Magic, Charlotte Hornets, and the Miami Heat) to original owners Marv Wolfenson and Harvey Ratner to begin play for the 1989-90 season. They received the name "Timberwolves" as the result of a "Name that team" contest. Minnesota is home to the largest population of Timberwolves in the lower 48 states (at about 1200).

They made their debut on November 3, 1989 losing to the Seattle SuperSonics on the road 106–94. Five days later they would make their home debut at the Metrodome losing to the Chicago Bulls 96–84. Just two nights later the Wolves would get their first win, beating the Philadelphia 76ers at home 125–118 on November 10th. The Timberwolves, led by Tony Campbell with 23.2 ppg, went on to a 22–60 record, finishing in 6th place in the Midwest Division. Playing in the cavernous Metrodome, the expansion Timberwolves drew over 1 million fans (an NBA record for attendance) including the 3rd-largest crowd in NBA history at 49,551 on April 17, 1990 that saw the Timberwolves lose to the Denver Nuggets 99-88 in the final home game of the season.

The next season the team moved into the Target Center and won 29 games, however they fired their head coach Bill Musselman. They didn't fare much better under Musselman's successor, ex-Celtics coach Jimmy Rodgers finishing with an NBA-worst 15-67 record. Looking to turn the corner, the Wolves hired former Detroit Pistons general manager Jack McCloskey to the same position, but even with notable first round selections such as Christian Laettner and Isaiah Rider in the 1992 and 1993 NBA Draft respectively, was unable to duplicate his "Detroit Bad Boys" success in the Twin Cities as the Wolves on-court mediocrity continued. One of the few highlights from this era was when the Target Center served as host of the 1994 All-Star Game where Rider won the Slam Dunk Contest with his between-the-leg "East Bay Funk Dunk".

As winning basketball continued to elude the Wolves, Ratner and Wolfenson nearly sold the team to New Orleans interests in 1994 before NBA owners rejected the proposed move. Eventually, Glen Taylor bought the team and named Kevin McHale general manager.

In 1995, the Timberwolves selected Kevin Garnett in the draft, and Flip Saunders became coach. Christian Laettner was traded along with Sean Rooks to the Atlanta Hawks for Andrew Lang and Spud Webb. Also, first-round pick Donyell Marshall was traded the previous season for Golden State Warriors' forward Tom Gugliotta. These trades paved the way for rookie Kevin Garnett to become the go-to player inside. Garnett went on to average 10.4 ppg in his rookie season as the T-Wolves finished in 5th place in the Midwest Division, with a 26–56 record.

In 1996, the T-Wolves added another star player in the draft, swapping Ray Allen to the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to Stephon Marbury, the 4th overall pick. The addition of Marbury had a positive effect on the entire team, as Kevin Garnett and Tom Gugliotta became the first Wolves to be selected to the All-Star team. Gugliotta and Garnett led the Timberwolves in scoring as the team made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with a record of 40–42. However, in the playoffs the Timberwolves made a quick exit as they were swept by the Houston Rockets in 3 straight games. The T-Wolves also decided to change their image by changing their team logo and colors, adding black to the team colors and replacing the original logo with a logo featuring a snarling wolf looming over a field of trees. It was also during the season that Minnesota began to play on the parquet floor also used by the Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic in every home game at the Target Center.

In 1997, Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury established themselves as two of the brightest rising stars in the NBA. Garnett averaged 18.5 ppg and 9.6 rebounds per game, while Marbury averaged 17.7 ppg and dished out 8.6 assists per game. Despite losing leading scorer Tom Gugliotta for half the season the Timberwolves went on to post their first winning season at 45-37 making the playoffs for the 2nd straight season. After dropping Game 1 on the road to the Seattle Supersonics in the playoffs the Timberwolves earned their first postseason win in Game 2 winning in Seattle 98-93. As the series shifted to Minnesota the Timberwolves had an opportunity to pull off the upset as they won Game 3 by a score of 98-90. However, the Wolves dropped Game 4 at home as the Sonics went on to win the series in 5 games.

In 1998, a year after signing Kevin Garnett to an unprecedented 6-year, $126 million contract, the Timberwolves were used as the poster child of irresponsible spending as the NBA endured a 4-month lockout that wiped out the season. With an already cap-heavy payroll the Wolves were forced to let Tom Gugliotta walk away in part because they want to save money in order to sign Stephon Marbury to a long-term contract and in part because Tom Gugliotta did not want to play with Stephon Marbury. This moved proved unsuccessful, however, as Stephon Marbury wanted to be the biggest star on a team and subsequently forced an in-season trade by refusing a contract extension. In the 3-team midseason deal that sent Marbury to the New Jersey Nets the Wolves got Terrell Brandon in return and a first round draft pick in the 1999 draft (which turned out to be the sixth pick). The Wolves made the playoffs for the 3rd straight season by finishing in 4th place with a 25–25 record. In the playoffs the Timberwolves were beaten by the San Antonio Spurs in 4 games.

In 1999, the Timberwolves drafted Wally Szczerbiak with the sixth pick in the draft. He had a solid season finishing 3rd on the team in scoring with 11.6 ppg. Led by Kevin Garnett, who averaged 22.9 ppg and 11.8 rebounds per game, the Timberwolves enjoyed their first 50-win season finishing in 3rd place with a solid record of 50-32. However, in the playoffs the Wolves fell in the first round again, losing to the Portland Trail Blazers in 4 games.

Guard Malik Sealy was killed in a car accident in the summer of 2000 by a drunk driver. Souksangouane Phengsene, was driving the wrong way down the freeway Sealy was driving on, causing the fatal crash in his Land Rover. Sealy's number has since been retired, with the number 2 jersey memorialized with Sealy's name on a banner hanging from the rafters of Target Center. The drunk driver was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to four years in prison. He was previously arrested for drunk driving in Iowa in 1997 and has since been arrested twice more for driving while intoxicated in 2006 and 2008.

Also in that season, a free agent deal signed by Joe Smith was voided by the NBA, who ruled that the Timberwolves violated proper procedure in signing the contract. The league stripped the T-Wolves of five draft picks, fined them $3.5 million and suspended general manager Kevin McHale for one year. (Smith would eventually sign with the Detroit Pistons before re-signing with the T-wolves in 2001.) Despite the trouble the Wolves made the playoffs for the 5th straight season with a 47–35 record. In the playoffs the Wolves were eliminated in the first round again by the San Antonio Spurs in 4 games in the spring of 2001.

With the arrival of newcomers Gary Trent, Loren Woods, Maurice Evans and the return of Joe Smith; the Wolves started the season on fire by winning their first six games and a franchise-best 30-10 start. One of the wins included a franchise record 53 point over Chicago in November. They would finish with a 50-32 record, their second ever 50 win season that was highlighted by another All-Star appearance by Garnett and a breakout season by Wally Szczerbiak, who earned his first All-Star appearance. Once again, Minnesota lost in the first round of the playoffs, getting swept by the Dallas Mavericks in three straight.

2002-03 seemed to look up for the Wolves. Kevin Garnett had a great season, finishing second in MVP voting while averaging a solid 23.0 ppg and 13.4 rebounds per game as the Timberwolves finish in 3rd place with a 51–31 record. As a result, they were awarded home court advantage for the first time when facing the three-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. After being blown out at home in Game 1, the Timberwolves had a chance to take a 3-1 series lead as they led heading into the 4th quarter of Game 4 in Los Angeles. However, the Lakers came back to win the game on the way to winning the series in six games, and the Timberwolves were eliminated in the first round for the 7th straight year.

In 2003, the Timberwolves made two strong offseason moves, trading away forward Joe Smith and injured guard Terrell Brandon in a multi-player deal for Ervin Johnson, Sam Cassell and embattled guard Latrell Sprewell.

During the 2003-04 NBA season, the Timberwolves became the team to beat in the Western Conference. They finished the season as the top seed in the Western Conference with a record of 58-24, and beat the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings in the first two rounds of the NBA playoffs. Kevin Garnett leapt upon the scorer's table upon the completion of Game 7 in the Sacremento series, one of the more defining moments in franchise playoff history. Unfortunately, the Timberwolves' run ended in the Western Conference finals as the team lost to the Lakers, the previous Minnesota franchise. Due to an injured hip, Sam Cassell played only sparingly during the series with the Lakers. Kevin Garnett finally earned his first MVP award with 24.2 points, 13.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.

In the 2004-05 season, the Wolves kept the same team from the previous season. The team was plagued with contract disputes and the complaining of key players Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell, and Troy Hudson. Coach Flip Saunders was replaced in midseason by GM Kevin McHale, who took over the team for the rest of the season. The Timberwolves finished 44–38, and missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years.

During the 2005 offseason, Kevin McHale and the Wolves started their search for a head coach. McHale interviewed Seattle assistant coach Dwane Casey, San Antonio Spurs assistant P.J. Carlesimo, former coach John Lucas and Wolves assistants Randy Wittman, Sidney Lowe and Jerry Sichting, among others.

On June 17, 2005, the Timberwolves hired Dwane Casey as the new head coach. This was Casey's first head coaching job. He was the Wolves' 7th head coach in their 16-year history.

In the 2005 Draft, the Timberwolves selected Rashad McCants, a shooting guard from North Carolina with the 14th overall pick of the 1st round. The Timberwolves also selected Bracey Wright, a guard from Indiana with the 17th pick of the 2nd round (47th overall).

During the offseason, they traded All-Star Sam Cassell and a protected future first-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for Marko Jaric and Lionel Chalmers. They also signed free agent Nikoloz Tskitishvili.

On January 26, 2006, the Wolves traded forward Wally Szczerbiak, centers Dwayne Jones and Michael Olowokandi, and a future first-round draft pick to the Boston Celtics. In return, they received forward/guard Ricky Davis, center Mark Blount, forward Justin Reed, guard Marcus Banks, and two second-round draft picks. In a separate trade on the same day, the Timberwolves traded Nikoloz Tskitishvili to the Phoenix Suns for a 2006 second-round draft pick. The Timberwolves finished 33-49, missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

In the 2006 NBA draft, the Timberwolves selected future Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy with the 6th overall pick, Craig Smith with the 36th pick, Bobby Jones with the 37th pick and center Loukas Mavrokefalidis with the 57th pick. The Timberwolves traded Brandon Roy to the Portland Trail Blazers for Randy Foye and cash considerations. The Timberwolves then traded forward Bobby Jones to the Philadelphia 76ers for a 2007 second-round pick and cash.

On January 23, GM Kevin McHale fired head coach Dwane Casey and replaced him with Randy Wittman. McHale explained in a news conference that it was inconsistency by Casey that led to the firing. Casey had compiled an overall record of 53-69. They finished the 2006-07 season with a record of 32–50, allowing them to keep their 2007 first-round pick.

On June 14, 2007, the Timberwolves traded Mike James and Justin Reed to the Houston Rockets for Juwan Howard.

In the 2007 NBA Draft the Timberwolves selected Corey Brewer and Chris Richard from the National Champion Florida Gators.

On July 31, 2007, the Minnesota Timberwolves reached a deal to trade All-Star Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics for Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, two first-round draft picks, and cash considerations. This is the largest combination of players and picks ever traded for a single player in NBA history.

On October 24, 2007, the Timberwolves traded Ricky Davis and Mark Blount to the Miami Heat in exchange for the Heat's Antoine Walker, Michael Doleac, Wayne Simien, and a 2008 protected first-round draft pick (lottery protected in 2008, top 10 in 2009, top 6 in 2010, beyond: unprotected).

On October 29, 2007, The Timberwolves waived Juwan Howard after reaching a contractual buyout agreement, worth $10 million of roughly $14.25 million which Minnesota would have owed him. The Timberwolves waived Wayne Simien to finalize their roster to 15 players. The Wolves traded a top 56 protected NBA draft pick to the Spurs for cash and Beno Udrih whom was immediately waived.

Minnesota began the NBA preseason with two games in London and Istanbul, as part of NBA Europe Live 2007. On October 10, The Wolves lost to Kevin Garnett and the revamped Boston Celtics 92-81. To start the season, the Wolves began 0-5 before finally ending the drought with a home win over Sacramento. That drought also brought about speculation of the possible dismissal of current coach Randy Wittman. The youngest team in the NBA began adjusting to life after trading franchise star Kevin Garnett to Boston, meanwhile playing without budding talent Randy Foye for the first half of the season. Guards Sebastian Telfair and Marko Jaric were deputized as starting point guards during Foye's injury absence. The Timberwolves finished the season 22-60. On a handful of occasions during the season, the team showed flashes of its potential in wins or very close contests with the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and San Antonio Spurs.

In the 2008 NBA Draft the Timberwolves selected O.J. Mayo out of Southern California with the third overall pick. Despite Mayo being regarded as one of the top three players in the draft, McHale traded Mayo to the Memphis Grizzlies in a draft day blockbuster deal. The rights to Mayo, Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric, and Greg Buckner were traded to the Grizzlies for the rights to Kevin Love, the fifth overall pick out of UCLA, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins. Critics see this as another draft day blunder as Mayo has started strong for the Grizzlies averaging over 20 points per game while Love has averaged only 8 points and 6 rebounds a game for the Wolves; however, the deal did remove one long contract (Jaric's) from the Wolves' balance sheet, and shed two aging, unproductive players in Walker and Buckner.

In 2008, in celebration of the franchise's twentieth anniversary, the team unveiled a new logo and uniforms. They first appeared in the first preseason game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center on October 14, 2008.

On December 8, 2008 after a 23-point loss to the Clippers that dropped the team to 4-15, the Timberwolves fired head coach Randy Wittman and Kevin McHale took over. McHale also relinquished his vice president of basketball operations duties. It's unclear whether McHale's future with the team is dependent on the success or progress of the team which he has put together over the last four years.

The Timberwolves flagship station is KFAN 1130 AM. KFAN has been the flagship since the team's inception, except for a brief two year hiatus to KLCI BOB 106.1 FM for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons. Broadcasters are Alan Horton and Kevin Lynch.

Games are broadcast on KSTC-TV Channel 45 and FSN North. Broadcasters are Tom Hanneman and Jim Petersen.

Although his number hasn't been retired, it is generally understood that no Timberwolf will ever wear Kevin Garnett's #21 again.

On December 8, 2008, Randy Wittman was fired as head coach of the team and was replaced by GM Kevin McHale for his second stint as interim head coach for the Wolves.

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Source : Wikipedia