Ranking the 10 best players in LA Clippers history

Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images /
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BOSTON – 1980: World B. Free
BOSTON – 1980: World B. Free /

No. 8: World B. Free

Franchise Averages: 29.4 PTS, 3.7 REB, 4.3 AST

World B. Free (born Lloyd Bernard Free) was a flat-out baller, and he probably would’ve been a star in any NBA era. His name alone is grounds to fulfill that criteria, but his play is what really separated him from the pack.

If there was one thing Free did better than anything else, it was shoot the ball. In fact, he was such a tremendous shooter that he missed at least 774 shots in almost every season he played from 1978-1986, good for a consistent top-10 spot. Yet somehow, he still converted nearly 46% of his attempts for his career.

Free was most efficient as a Clipper — he made 48% of his shots overall during his time in San Diego, on 22.0 attempts per game. He never led the Clippers to a playoff spot, but he was named an All-Star in 1979, his only career selection.

But what makes Free so uniquely a Clipper is not that he was a great player on a bad team, but more about how he was acquired. San Diego sent the Philadelphia 76ers their 1984 first-round pick in exchange for Free, which eventually became Charles Barkley.

There’s no guarantee that the then-LA Clippers would’ve selected Barkley, but the fact that the franchise shipped out a pick for what would become one of the greatest NBA draft classes in history (Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Barkley, and John Stockton were all selected in the first round) in exchange for a guard that would only play two seasons for the team in downright painful, and very Clippers-like.