Do you know the history of the Buffalo Braves? A new six-part documentary series, “Before the Clippers, We Were the Braves,” which debuts on Jan. 14, provides that opportunity.
The ambitious project, produced by George Johnson and Devin Chavanne, tells the story of the Braves, who represented the northern New York city for seven seasons (1970-78) before moving to Southern California.
As a result, the Braves became the San Diego Clippers in 1978.
In 1984, they moved further north, becoming the Los Angeles Clippers.
In 190, the Buffalo Braves entered the NBA as one of three expansion teams. The Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers were the others.
The Buffalo Braves had a cast of well-known head coaches, including original bench boss Dolph Schayes (a Hall of Fame player), Jack Ramsay (a Hall of Fame coach) and Cotton Fitzsimmons (a two-time NBA Coach of the Year, 1978-79 and 1988-89).
They also had numerous stars. Randy Smith, Bob McAdoo (1972-73 NBA Rookie of the Year), Ernie DiGregorio (1973-74 NBA Rookie of the Year), Elmore Smith, Adrian Dantley (NBA 1976-77 Rookie of the Year) and Moses Malone were among them. Decades later, McAdoo, Malone and Dantley were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.