Hands up who had Kawhi Leonard wearing a Buffalo uniform in 2019-20, anyone?
The King of the North, indeed.
This afternoon the Los Angeles Clippers (or “LA Clippers” as they prefer to be called) unveiled their new “Classic” edition uniform for the 2019-20 NBA season, and they’re going allllll the way back to their days as the Buffalo Braves in the 1970s.
As a “Classic” uniform, it will only be worn for a few games during the upcoming season and will not be returning in 2020-21.
The Buffalo Braves began play for the 1970-71 season joining the league as an expansion team alongside the Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers sharing their home arena with another expansion team, the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres (and with the Bills joining the NFL, you gotta figure 1970 was a helluva year to be a sports fan in Buffalo).
Due to some scheduling conflicts, as well as a plan to expand their fanbase, the Braves played several home games in Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens during their first few seasons. Following a few abysmal seasons at the gate, and on the court, the league approved an ownership swap which resulted in the Braves moving south to San Diego in 1978 where they were re-named the Clippers. They headed up the coast to Los Angeles in 1984 where they still reside today.
The uniform revealed by the Clippers today is based on what was worn by the Braves beginning with their second season in 1971/72 and again in 1972/73, with a colour scheme of orange, black, and white. The team switched to a light blue for the 1973/74 season which they kept with them through to San Diego.