The Los Angeles Clippers have undergone a lot changes throughout the history of their franchise.
They entered the NBA as the Buffalo Braves in 1970 and spent nine years there before moving and becoming the San Diego Clippers in 1978.
After spending six seasons in San Diego, the Clippers moved to Los Angeles, where they have played ever since.
The Clippers do not exactly have a history of excellence. They have never won a championship, they’ve never been to an NBA Finals and they have never even made it past the second round of the playoffs.
That being said, the Clips have had their fair share of great players come and go throughout their history.
Here are the five best players to ever don a Clippers uniform (disclaimer: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have not been in LA nearly long enough to be considered):
5. DeAndre Jordan
Most of the names on this list are guys that the younger generation of fans will recognize, mainly because, well, up until recently, the Clippers stunk.
DeAndre Jordan was one of the first players to help put the Clippers on the map as an NBA franchise.
He was drafted by Los Angeles back in 2008 and spent the first decade of his career there, making an All-Star appearance and regularly contending for Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Although Jordan never won any individual awards, he led the league five times in field-goal percentage and twice in rebounding during his time with the Clips. He also averaged double-doubles in each of his last five seasons with the club.
Jordan, who is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, was a significant part of Lob City and will always be fondly remembered by Clippers fans.
4. Elton Brand
Elton Brand spent the first two years of his NBA career with the Chicago Bulls but was traded to the Clippers for Tyson Chandler on draft night in 2001.
He went on to reside in LA for the next seven seasons, establishing himself as one of the best power forwards in a landscape that probably housed the best era of power forwards in league history. Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Webber, Jermaine O’Neal, etc. They were all around.
Brand may not have been elite, but man, he was good.
The Duke product earned a couple of All-Star selections with the Clippers, registered 20 points per game or better four times, and also averaged double-doubles four times.
His shining moment as a Clipper came in 2006 when he led the franchise to its first playoff series win since its days in Buffalo all the way back in 1976.
During that postseason, Brand posted 25.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game while shooting 55.1 percent from the floor. He even almost led LA to a second-round upset over the Steve Nash-led Phoenix Suns.
A torn Achilles in 2007 put an ugly period at the end of Brand’s Clippers career, but his success during his peak years in LA will forever be underrated.
3. Bob McAdoo
Bob McAdoo is mostly known for his time with the Los Angeles Lakers later on in his career when he helped the Lakers win a couple of championships in a reserve role, but his best years were with the Clippers. Well, actually, the Braves.
McAdoo was drafted by the Braves back in 1972 and spent the first four-and-a-half seasons of his career in Buffalo, winning three straight scoring titles between 1974 and 1976 and averaging double-doubles four times.
The big man was a force to be reckoned with down low, frequently shooting over 50 percent from the floor and getting to the charity stripe regularly.
McAdoo bounced around the NBA after his time with the Braves, playing for the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets before joining the Lakers in 1981. He then ended his career by spending one year with the Philadelphia 76ers during the 1985-86 campaign.
But there is no doubt that McAdoo, who is now in the Hall of Fame, was the first great player in the history of the Clippers franchise.
2. Chris Paul
Prior to the NBA’s suspension this season, Chris Paul was showing he was an ageless wonder with the Oklahoma City Thunder, improbably leading the Thunder to what likely would have been (or possibly still will be) a playoff appearance.
But as good as Paul is now, that pales in comparison to just how phenomenal he was during his days with the Clippers.
No, CP3 did not begin his career in Los Angeles, as he spent his first six seasons with the New Orleans Hornets before being traded to the Clippers in 2011.
However, Paul was just as spectacular in LA, making five All-Star appearances in six years and propelling the franchise to its longest run of success to date.
The Clippers never made a trip to the Western Conference Finals during Paul’s stay, which is a criticism that many still use against the floor general, but he was consistently one of the league’s best players and an annual MVP candidate.
Paul led the NBA in assists twice during his tenure in Los Angeles and also paced the league in steals three times throughout his time in Hollywood.
1. Blake Griffin
Paul may have been the most polished player and the maestro of the Lob City Clippers, but everyone on the planet knows who was the most exciting.
That title belonged to Blake Griffin, who set the NBA world on fire with his Shawn Kemp-like poster dunks upon his arrival in the league a decade ago.
Knee problems always held Griffin back, but when he has healthy, he was probably the most freakish athlete in the league and one of the most violent dunkers the game has ever seen.
But what’s most impressive about Griffin is how much he improved his skillset with time. Widely lambasted for being “just a dunker” in the early stages of his career, Griffin developed a lethal mid-range jumper and flashed his incredible ball-handling and passing ability, rare traits for a man his size. He even became a reliable free-throw shooter after struggling so much from the line over his first several seasons.
Oddly enough, Griffin never became an elite defender, but his unique abilities on the offensive end of the floor (not to mention his awesome dry sense of humor) catapult him to the top of this list.
Griffin spent eight-and-a-half years as a member of the Clippers before being traded to the Detroit Pistons midway through the 2017-18 campaign, not long after signing what appeared to be a lifetime contract.
Blake made five All-Star appearances and averaged over 20 points per game seven times in Los Angeles. Now, he’s looking to chase a title with the Nets.