At this point in time, perhaps the biggest void in the current Los Angeles Clippers team is a legitimate big man. 23-year-old Ivica Zubac, who stands 7 feet tall, is currently the team’s starting big man, and while he is not bad, he definitely represents the weakest link in the lineup. Coming off the bench is Sixth Man of the Year candidate Montrezl Harrell, but in spite of his electrifying energy, he’s just 6’7″ and will struggle against more conventional big men in the league.
Filling the gap in the middle has not always been the biggest need for the Clippers. Throughout its history, this team has had its fair share of great big men. There’s not a lot, but we are still pretty confident that the list we are about to present to you contains some names that have made their mark in the league in one way or another. So without further adieu, here is our Top 3 Clippers centers of all time.
3. Chris Kaman
Chris Kaman was part of the Clippers side that struggled during the 2000’s. At one point, the team won 23 and 19 games in back-to-back seasons. Safe to say, they got used to the lottery.
Kaman was one of the few bright spots of that era, serving as the team’s starting center between 2003 when he was selected sixth overall by the Clippers, all they way to 2011, prior to be traded to the New Orleans Hornets. It is worth noting that the 7-foot big man was one of the main pieces of that deal which brought the great Chris Paul to the Clippers, so that in itself is already one of Kaman’s greatest contributions to the franchise.
Aside from being an extremely valuable trading piece, Kaman was actually a pretty good basketball player, even making it to the All-Star squad during the 2009-10 campaign. That year, he averaged 18.5 points (on 49.0 percent shooting), 9.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.5 steals, and 1.2 blocks per contest.
Kaman was huge part of the 2005-06 Clippers that made it all the way to the second round of the playoffs — the team’s one and only postseason appearance in the span of 14 long years.
2. DeAndre Jordan
DeAndre Jordan, now plying his trade with the Brooklyn Nets, is most well known for being part of the memorable trio that represented the core of the Clippers’ “Lob City” era. Along with future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul and fellow high-flyer Blake Griffin, this team wowed the fans with their electrifying display of freakish athleticism and unmatched aerial prowess on a nightly basis. Oh, and they won more than a few games as well, making it to no less than six consecutive playoff appearances, and in the process, officially turning the page on the dark days of the early 2000’s.
In his prime, Jordan was literally the best rebounder in the entire NBA, leading the league in total rebounds for two consecutive seasons. He was named an All-Star once during the 2016-17 season, and also boasts of three All-NBA team as well as two All-Defensive team selections.
We can’t have Jordan here and not talk about that infamous free agency summer that caused quite a ruckus in the entire league. The former second Texas A&M standout entered free agency during the 2015 offseason, and multiple reports confirmed that he had already agreed a deal in principle to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. As it turns out, his teammates were not having this, and they literally locked down Jordan in his own home until he decided to make a last-minute u-turn to re-sign with the Clippers. You can only imagine what Mavs owner Mark Cuban thought/said/did once he learned about what was deemed as the betrayal of the summer.
1. Bob McAdoo
6-foot-9 big man Bob McAdoo holds the esteemed honor of being the only MVP in Clippers history. He was selected by the team — then the Buffalo Braves — second overall in 1972, and made such an impact in his debut campaign that he was awarded the Rookie of the Year trophy. By the time he hit his second season, McAdoo was a bona fide star.
The UNC product went on to average above 30 points per game in three consecutive campaigns, en route to back-to-back-to-back scoring titles. In four and a half seasons with the Braves, McAdoo averaged 28.2 points (on 50.0 percent shooting), 12.7 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game. He made three straight All-Star appearances while with the team, and was deemed the league MVP during the 1974-75 season.
The Clippers parted ways with McAdoo in 1976, trading him to the New York Knicks in what was one of the biggest trade deals of that era. Towards the tail end of his career, McAdoo would end up with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was part of the Showtime Lakers that won the title in 1982 and 1985.