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As a result, after a failed attempt to sell the team to an owner who intended to move it to South Florida, Snyder sold the team to Kentucky Colonels owner John Y.
Brown, Jr., who decimated the team's roster, traded away all of its stars, and drove attendance down to the point where they could break their own lease on the arena.
The 1979–80 season saw the Clippers begin to struggle despite adding center Bill Walton, a San Diego native who was two years removed from an NBA Championship with the Trail Blazers.
Walton missed 68 games due to foot injuries (which he also suffered in his final years in Portland).
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. Free, who was acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers, finished second overall in NBA scoring average, with 28.9 per game, while George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs had a 29.6 average.
The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division.In 1984, the Clippers moved north to Los Angeles, playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.However, the move was not approved by the NBA, which fined Sterling 0 million.In 1978, San Diego welcomed the relocation of the Buffalo Braves franchise because the city had lost their Rockets to Houston seven years earlier.San Diego team officials did not think Braves was a representative nickname for the club and a contest decided on "Clippers", because the city was known for the great sailing ships that passed through San Diego Bay.
They also added to their budding rivalry with the Lakers, as they finished with a better record than the Lakers for the fifth time and won the season series for the second time since moving to Los Angeles in 1984, this time in a sweep. The franchise began in Western New York as the Buffalo Braves, one of three NBA expansion franchises that began play in the 1970–71 season, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers.