My first ever NBA game was unforgettable — not only because the home team Los Angeles Clippers won in dramatic fashion (120-116 in OT), but it was an experience I shared with my Dad, a man who has taken me to more Buffalo Bills/Sabres/etc. games than I can count (when I lived back east, he used to have season tickets). Add to it the fact that he attended Buffalo Braves games in the ’70s (who eventually moved to San Diego and became the Clippers, later relocating to LA) and hasn’t attended an NBA game since, I could not think of a better way to commence this Holiday break!

clips

GO CLIPPERS!! (I now own a hat)

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I have to get this out there today since the Los Angeles Clippers face an elimination game against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the NBA playoffs tonight: if you are from Buffalo, NY you must cheer for the LA Clippers this post season!

Yes, you absolutely 125% have to, otherwise you’re betraying your hometown sports heritage.

This is why:

BUFCLIP

The LA Clippers are indeed the Buffalo Braves. Founded in 1970, the Braves were an up and coming NBA team during their later years in Buffalo, making the playoffs 3 seasons out of 8 and advancing as far as the Conference Semifinals in the 1975-76 season. Then through a weird deal, they moved to San Diego and became the Clippers at the start of the 1978-1979 season. Their tenure in San Diego was a short one, as the team relocated for a second time to LA in 1984 and the rest is history.

As a Buffalonian I know how passionate the natives can be about their sports teams — the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills have been stinking it up in both the NHL and NFL respectively for nearly my entire life, yet the fans remain dedicated. I include myself amongst this loyal lot. I can’t even begin to tell you how many jokes I rebuff on a yearly basis while wearing any Bills or Sabres gear here in Los Angeles. I have witty retorts up my sleeve for practically every other sports franchise in preparation — this is what it’s like being a relocated Buffalo sports fan. Sure the AFC Bills were awesome in their twilight years, and the Buffalo Bandits professional lacrosse team have won a few Championships, but the real pro sports teams of Buffalo have been taking swift kicks to the nuts year in year out for decades.

The Clippers emulate Buffalo sports teams in many ways — they were once the laughing stock of the league, they choke in big games and the banners hanging at home court are limited. They’re the underdog even when big, well-paid names are wearing their colors.

So Buffalonians, I implore you — invoke your sports history and pull for the Los Angeles Clippers to even their series tonight against Memphis, prompting a deep playoff run. You’re essentially rooting for Buffalo when you pull for the red, white and blue.

Go Clippers!

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I do own a Buffalo Braves Shaun Livingston throwback jersey (that’s LA Clipper Elton Brand pictured here), and it’s cool to see how the Buffalo Bandits based their colors off of the Braves. A lot of Buffalo fans wonder why the Bandits’ color scheme is so radically different from the Buffalo Sabres’ blue & gold or Buffalo Bills’ red, white & blue — this picture provides the answer! John Tavares was the man for that lacrosse team. Such a badass.