LA Clippers best shooting guards in franchise history: 4) Marques Johnson
Former UCLA Bruin Marques Johnson is another in a long line of Clippers players to have their best days in the NBA wearing another uniform.
Johnson began his NBA career in Milwaukee, where the six-foot-seven wing would be named to both the All-Star and All-NBA teams three times in the first seven years in the league. In 1979 he was third in the league in scoring on his way to a First Team All-NBA selection. He would help lead the Bucks to division titles in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1984.
He returned to his hometown Los Angeles when he was traded by the Bucks (along with Junior Bridgeman, Harvey Catchings and cash) to the Clippers for Terry Cummings, Craig Hodges and Ricky Pierce.
Johnson played well individually for the team, but struggled as the Clippers continued to lose and remarked that playing in the shadow of the Lakers “kind of wore you down and made you feel like you were kind of the JV team in Los Angeles.”
Nevertheless, the man who claims to have coined the phrase “point forward” averaged 18.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game in his three seasons with the Clippers and was named team captain by head coach Don Chaney.
Unfortunately, a neck injury suffered in a game during the 1986-87 season would all but end Johnson’s career. He would miss all but ten games that year, plus the entirety of the following two seasons before attempting a return with the Golden State Warrior in 1989-90. He would only play ten games for the Warriors before being waived by the team on November 12, 1989.