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The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball AssociationThe Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Pacific Division in the league's Western Conference. The Clippers play their home games at Staples Center, which they share with NBA team Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Clippers plan to move into their own arena, the Intuit Dome, in nearby Inglewood by 2024. The franchise was founded as the Buffalo Braves in 1970 as an expansion team. Led by Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo, the Braves reached the NBA playoffs three times during their eight seasons in Buffalo. Conflicts with the Canisius Golden Griffins over the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and the sale of the franchise led to their relocation from Buffalo to San Diego, California in 1978 and subsequent rebranding as the San Diego Clippers, in reference to the sailing ships seen in San Diego Bay. The team saw little success on the court and missed the playoffs during all six of their years in San Diego. In 1984, owner Donald Sterling controversially relocated the franchise to Los Angeles without NBA approval, which was permitted following legal action between the league and Sterling. Over the course of their first 27 seasons in Los Angeles, the Clippers qualified for the postseason only four times and won a single playoff round. They were frequently considered a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the historically successful Lakers. The Clippers' reputation improved during the 2010s, which saw them transform into consistent postseason contenders. Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Paul led the "Lob City" era, alongside other key players such as JJ Redick, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, and Austin Rivers. The team qualified for the playoffs in six consecutive seasons from 2012 to 2017 and won two consecutive division titles in 2013 and 2014, both firsts for the franchise. Despite this success, the Clippers struggled in the postseason and were frequently eliminated in the Conference Semifinals; the team reached the Conference Finals for the first time in 2021. To date, they are the league's oldest franchise to have never played in the NBA Finals.
The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), asThe Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division. The Suns are the only team in their division not to be based in California, and play their home games at the Footprint Center. They are also the only team to play for Phoenix, as the other three teams (Diamondbacks, Cardinals, and Coyotes) all play for the state of Arizona. The franchise began play in 1968 as an expansion team, and their early years were shrouded in mediocrity, but their fortunes changed in the 1970s after partnering Dick Van Arsdale and Alvan Adams with Paul Westphal; the team reached the 1976 NBA Finals, in what is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. However, after failing to capture a championship, the Suns would rebuild around Walter Davis for a majority of the 1980s, until the acquisition of Kevin Johnson in 1988. Under Johnson, and after trading for perennial NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, and combined with the output of Tom Chambers and Dan Majerle, the Suns reached the playoffs for a franchise-record thirteen consecutive appearances and remained a regular title contender throughout the 1990s, and reached the 1993 NBA Finals. However, the team would again fail to win a championship, and entered into another period of mediocrity until the early part of the 2000s. In 2004, the Suns signed free agent Steve Nash (who had blossomed for the Dallas Mavericks after being traded from Phoenix six years earlier), and returned into playoff contention. With Nash, Shawn Marion, and Amar'e Stoudemire, and under head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Suns became renowned worldwide for their quick, dynamic offense, which led them to tie a franchise record in wins in the 2004–05 season. Two more top two Conference placements followed, but the Suns again failed to attain an NBA championship, and were forced into another rebuild. After ten consecutive seasons without a playoff berth, the Suns reached the 2021 NBA Finals after acquiring Chris Paul, forming a trio with their young core Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. The Suns own the NBA's seventh-best all-time winning percentage, and have the second highest winning percentage of any team to have never won an NBA championship. 10 Hall of Famers have played for Phoenix, while two — Barkley and Nash — won NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) while playing for the team.