All-Time Team Key Reserves:
Sixth Man: Elton Brand
From 2001-2008, Brand was one of the bright spots of a struggling Clippers franchise alongside Corey Maggette. Brand averaged 20.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game in his seven seasons in LA, never dipping below a 17 point per game average in those seven seasons. The power forward was selected to the All-Star team in 2002, becoming the first player in the franchise since Danny Manning (in 1994) to make the team. Brand had a phenomenal 2006-2007 season with the Clippers, leading the team to a then-best season as a team (47-35). In the 06-07 season, Brand averaged 24.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting around 53 percent from the floor and being named to another All-Star team. Because of his play, Brand was one of the contenders for MVP in that season but failed to win.
The forward is fourth in Clippers’ history in total points with 9,336 points in an LA uniform, is number two in total rebounds with 4,710 rebounds, and third in blocks with 1,039. Before Griffin was drafted by the Clippers, Brand was heralded as the inarguable best power forward in the team’s history and will continue to be regarded as one of the best players to don a Clippers uniform.
For a taste of what Brand did in a Clippers uniform, check out his highlights from this 33 point, 15 rebound, 5 assist game in the 2006 Western Conference Semi-finals:
World B. Free:
Free only spent two years with the Clippers but set the league on fire in those two seasons. The point guard holds to highest per game scoring average in Clippers’ franchise history with a 29.4 points per game mark. Selected to All-NBA Second team in 1978-1979 season, the former San Diego Clipper was second in scoring behind Spurs legend George “The Iceman” Gervin in both of his seasons with the team and also made the Western Conference All-Star team in the 1979-1980 season. Free averaged 30.3 points per game in that season along with 4.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds, all while only making nine three-pointers in the entire season.
Here are the highlights from one of Free’s best games in a Clippers’ uniform where he dropped 46 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals against the soon to be NBA champions Los Angeles Lakers:
Remembered more for his championship years with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Ron Harper spent five seasons with the LA Clippers prior to his years with the Bulls and Lakers. Harper was traded to the Clippers at the beginning of the 1989-1990 season and ended up starting the 28 games he played for LA in that season, missing the rest with a torn ACL. In his five seasons as a Clipper, Harper averaged an impressive 19.3 points, 4.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals. While he may not have the accolades or the team success that the rest of the franchise’s point guard had, Harper is one of the better two-way players to don the uniform and had his more productive seasons with the Clippers.
One of Harper’s biggest strengths was his finishing ability at the rim, on display in these highlights from the 1991 season when he torched the Bird-lead Celtics for 36 points:
Known by most as “The Polish Pistol,” Eric Piatkowski spent nine seasons with the Clippers from 1994-2003. In those nine seasons, Piatkowski appeared in 616 games, third most in franchise history and made 738 three-pointers which remains the most in the history of the franchise (64 more than second place J.J. Redick). The guard shot 40.2 percent from three as a Clipper Piatkowski lead the league in three-point percentage in the 2001-2002 season, shooting 46.7 percent from three. Primarily a shooter, Piatkowski was a mostly one-dimensional offensive player, averaging 8.6 points, 1.1 assists, and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 43.8 percent from the floor.
“The Polish Pistol’s” offensive skill is shown off in this 23 point performance against the Seattle Supersonics during the 1994-1995 season:
Better known for his time spent with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, Odom was drafted by and spent his first four seasons in the league with the Clippers. Odom was nominated to the All-NBA Rookie First team after averaging 16.6 points, 4.2 assists, and 7.8 rebounds in addition to 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. The talented yet troubled Odom split his time at small forward and power forward for the Clippers, showing off slick handles and dishing out flashy assists while providing consistent scoring and solid defense. The forward’s averages as a Clippers are skewed because of his 2012-2013 season when he returned to LA to play his last season in the league. Coming off of the bench and dwindling athleticism resulted in Odom only averaging 4 points per game in his final season. This brought his averages as a Clippers down to 12.8 points, 3.8 assists, and 7.0 rebounds, which are still respectable numbers.
While the video quality isn’t the greatest, these highlights from Odom’s time as a Clippers capture the versatility that he brought to the team well:
Manning spent five and a half seasons with the Clippers in the early 90s and could have been one of the best big-men of the 90s if he could’ve stayed healthy. Manning tore his ACL in his rookie season with the Clippers but bounced back and became an annual double-digit scorer for the team, averaging 19.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in LA. The forward’s best season was his last full season with the Clippers in the 92′-93′ season. Manning averaged 22.8 points and 6.6 rebounds along with 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks and ended up being selected to play in the All-Star game that season. After that season, the Clippers traded Manning to the Hawks midway through the 93′-94′ season in exchange for an aging Dominque Wilkins and a first-round draft pick. After his departure from the Clippers, Manning began to struggle with injuries and was forced to come off the bench in limited minutes for the rest of his career.
The forward’s vast away of slick moves was on display in this 25 point,11 rebound performance against the Chicago Bulls in 1993: