LA Clippers: Which Clippers Are the Greatest of Their Era?

NBA, LA Clippers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
NBA, LA Clippers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers, World B. Free
LA Clippers, World B. Free (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images) /

LA Clippers GOTE 1978-84: World B. Free

The electric scorer World B. Free comes in as the GOTE for 78-84 – the San Diego era – despite only playing two years with the San Diego Clippers.

Allegedly possessing a 44 inch vertical as a young man, Free could dazzle around the rim and get crazy hang time on his jump shots. His pretty jump shot helped lead him to be second in scoring across the entire league in both his years with the Clippers.

Free never found his way to a championship, but his two incredible years with the Clippers – undoubtedly the two best years of his career – made him a fan favorite and a Clipper legend. Along with McAdoo, Free is one of the only two Clippers/Braves to ever average 30 points per game for an entire season, and he was named to the All-Star team in 79-80.

Unfortunately, the San Diego Clippers never put a great winning team around Free. They would go 78-86 in his time with the team, and miss the playoffs both years. Still, if you score as effectively as the Prince of Mid-Air did, you are the GOTE.

It’s fun to imagine Free in the modern NBA. The three point line didn’t come around until the 79-80 season, so he took a total of 25 three pointers in his time with the Clippers, making 9 of them. With such a silky jumper, you have to assume he would have been thrilled to come up in a time when he could shoot 8-10 threes a game.

Honorable mention goes to Swen Nater. The Dutch big man joined the San Diego Clippers in the 78-79 season and played there until the 82-83 season. He was a consistent double digit scorer who grabbed 15 rebounds per game during his peak season, while being capable of hitting free throws and scoring efficiently.