Buffalo Braves

BuffaloBravesBuffalo (basketball, moved and renamed)Clippers
The Buffalo Braves were an American professional basketball franchise based in Buffalo, New York.wikipedia
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Los Angeles Clippers

San Diego ClippersL.A. ClippersClippers
The franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1984, and is now known as the Los Angeles Clippers.
The franchise was founded in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves, and were one of three expansion teams to join the NBA that year, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers.

Atlantic Division (NBA)

Atlantic DivisionAtlanticdivision
The Braves competed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division from 1970 until 1978.
The division was created at the start of the 1970–71 season, when the league expanded from 14 to 17 teams with the addition of the Buffalo Braves, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers.

Relocation of professional sports teams

relocatedmovedmove
In 1978, Braves owner John Y. Brown Jr. swapped franchises with then-Boston Celtics owner Irv Levin, who then moved the team to San Diego, where it was renamed the San Diego Clippers.

Cleveland Cavaliers

ClevelandCavaliersCavs
The Braves were one of three NBA expansion franchises that began play in the 1970–71 season (the others being the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers).
The team began play as an expansion team in 1970, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Buffalo Braves.

National Basketball Association

NBANBA.comBasketball Association of America
The Braves competed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division from 1970 until 1978.
In 1970, the Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Buffalo Braves (now the Los Angeles Clippers) all made their debuts expanding the league to 17.

Boston Celtics

BostonCelticsBoston Celtic
In 1978, Braves owner John Y. Brown Jr. swapped franchises with then-Boston Celtics owner Irv Levin, who then moved the team to San Diego, where it was renamed the San Diego Clippers.
In 1978, Celtics owner Irv Levin traded franchises with Buffalo Braves owner John Y. Brown Jr..

Buffalo Memorial Auditorium

Memorial AuditoriumThe AudBuffalo
They played their home games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, sharing the arena with another new franchise, the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Buffalo Sabres, who also debuted in 1970, as well as local college basketball teams that had used the auditorium for decades prior.
Opened on October 14, 1940, it hosted the AHL's Buffalo Bisons, the NHL's Buffalo Sabres, the NBA's Buffalo Braves, the MSL's Buffalo Stallions, the MILL's Buffalo Bandits, the second NPSL's Buffalo Blizzard and the RHI's Buffalo Stampede.

1970–71 NBA season

1970–711970–71 season1971
The Braves were one of three NBA expansion franchises that began play in the 1970–71 season (the others being the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers).
Three new teams made their debut: the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Buffalo Braves.

Paul Snyder (basketball)

Paul SnyderPaul Snyder, Sr.
Originally owned by an investment firm that had few ties to Buffalo, by the end of the first season, Paul Snyder, a then 33-year-old entrepreneur who had recently cashed in on the sale of his Freezer Queen business, had bought the franchise.
Paul L. Snyder, Sr. (born c.1938) is a Buffalo, New York businessman and former owner of the Buffalo Braves basketball team.

Expansion team

expansionexpansion franchiseexpansion teams
The Braves were one of three NBA expansion franchises that began play in the 1970–71 season (the others being the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers).

Portland Trail Blazers

PortlandTrail BlazersBlazers
The Braves were one of three NBA expansion franchises that began play in the 1970–71 season (the others being the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers).
Along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Buffalo Braves (now Los Angeles Clippers), the Trail Blazers entered the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team, under coach Rolland Todd.

Buffalo Sabres

BuffaloBUFSabres
They played their home games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, sharing the arena with another new franchise, the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Buffalo Sabres, who also debuted in 1970, as well as local college basketball teams that had used the auditorium for decades prior.
In addition to the Sabres' debut, the Buffalo Bills officially joined the National Football League, and the National Basketball Association's Buffalo Braves also began to play, sharing Memorial Auditorium with the Sabres.

Maple Leaf Gardens

Mattamy Athletic CentreRyerson Athletic CentreMattamy Athletic Centre at the Gardens
Because the Braves only had third choice of dates (behind the Sabres and Canisius College) at the auditorium, from 1971–75, the Braves were forced to play a total of 16 home games at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto; in addition to alleviating the auditorium's scheduling issues, the Braves also played internationally in the hopes of expanding their fan base beyond Western New York and into the Greater Toronto Area (a similar strategy was employed by the National Football League (NFL)'s Buffalo Bills from 2008 until 2013).
The NBA's Buffalo Braves played a total of 16 regular season games at Maple Leaf Gardens from 1971 to 1975.

1970 NBA expansion draft

1970Expansion Draft
The team's first head coach was Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes and the franchise's first star players were Bob Kauffman and Don May, who were acquired in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft.
The draft was held on May 11, 1970, so that the newly founded Buffalo Braves, Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers could acquire players for the upcoming 1970–71 season.

Buffalo, New York

BuffaloBuffalo, NYBuffalo, United States
The Buffalo Braves were an American professional basketball franchise based in Buffalo, New York.
The Buffalo Braves played in the National Basketball Association from 1970 to 1978, with their home games held at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.

1970 NBA draft

19701970 DraftNBA Draft
However, in the NBA Draft of 1970, Buffalo passed on hometown hero Calvin Murphy, a 5-foot-9 point guard from Niagara University and picked Princeton graduate, John Hummer, as their first round draft pick.
Three expansion franchises, the Buffalo Braves, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trail Blazers, took part in the NBA Draft for the first time and were assigned the seventh, the eighth and the ninth pick in each round.

John Hummer

John
However, in the NBA Draft of 1970, Buffalo passed on hometown hero Calvin Murphy, a 5-foot-9 point guard from Niagara University and picked Princeton graduate, John Hummer, as their first round draft pick.
John Hummer (born May 4, 1948) is an American venture capitalist and retired professional basketball player who was an original member of the Buffalo Braves after starring for the Princeton Tigers men's basketball team.

Dolph Schayes

Adolph "Dolph" SchayesAdolph Schayes
The team's first head coach was Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes and the franchise's first star players were Bob Kauffman and Don May, who were acquired in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft.
He briefly coached with the Buffalo Braves.

Eastern Conference (NBA)

Eastern ConferenceEastEastern
The Braves competed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division from 1970 until 1978.

Philadelphia 76ers

Syracuse NationalsPhiladelphia76ers
The NBA had two previous teams in Upstate New York, the Rochester Royals and the Syracuse Nationals (who are now known as the Sacramento Kings and Philadelphia 76ers, respectively).
With him, the 76ers were back in the playoffs after a five-year absence, and even though they lost to the Buffalo Braves in three games, a "Doctor" would come along and get the team healthy enough to stay in perennial contention.

Irv Levin

Irving H. Levin
In 1978, Braves owner John Y. Brown Jr. swapped franchises with then-Boston Celtics owner Irv Levin, who then moved the team to San Diego, where it was renamed the San Diego Clippers.
In 1978, Levin and Lipton swapped their shares in the Celtics with John Y. Brown, Jr. and Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. for their shares in the Buffalo Braves.

Bills Toronto Series

1 game yearlyBills game in TorontoBills' games in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Because the Braves only had third choice of dates (behind the Sabres and Canisius College) at the auditorium, from 1971–75, the Braves were forced to play a total of 16 home games at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto; in addition to alleviating the auditorium's scheduling issues, the Braves also played internationally in the hopes of expanding their fan base beyond Western New York and into the Greater Toronto Area (a similar strategy was employed by the National Football League (NFL)'s Buffalo Bills from 2008 until 2013).
A similar arrangement saw the Buffalo Braves play a total of 16 regular season games at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto from 1971 to 1975, while the Toronto Raptors played a preseason game at Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo in 1996 and had a second game scheduled for 1998 that was cancelled due to the 1998–99 NBA lockout.

Elmore Smith

Buffalo drafted center Elmore Smith from Kentucky State University and local favorite Randy Smith from Buffalo State College.
A 7'0" center from Kentucky State University, he played in the National Basketball Association from 1971 to 1979. He was a member of the Buffalo Braves, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bob Kauffman

The team's first head coach was Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes and the franchise's first star players were Bob Kauffman and Don May, who were acquired in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft.
Later, the expansion Buffalo Braves acquired him and a 1971 2nd round draft pick (Spencer Haywood was later selected) from the Philadelphia 76ers the day of the NBA Expansion Draft, May 11, 1970, in exchange for veteran forward Bailey Howell.

Western New York

Westernwestern portionWestern New York State
Because the Braves only had third choice of dates (behind the Sabres and Canisius College) at the auditorium, from 1971–75, the Braves were forced to play a total of 16 home games at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto; in addition to alleviating the auditorium's scheduling issues, the Braves also played internationally in the hopes of expanding their fan base beyond Western New York and into the Greater Toronto Area (a similar strategy was employed by the National Football League (NFL)'s Buffalo Bills from 2008 until 2013).
The college basketball scene once had enough clout to help drive Buffalo's NBA team, the 1970s-era Buffalo Braves, out of the city.) Syracuse University sports, being the closest major-conference school to the region, also has a sizable following in western New York, particularly in basketball.