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The Utah Jazz are an American professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City. The Jazz compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as aThe Utah Jazz are an American professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City. The Jazz compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference, Northwest Division. Since 1991, the team has played its home games at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The franchise began play as an expansion team in 1974 as the New Orleans Jazz (as a tribute to New Orleans' history of originating Jazz music). The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City in 1979. The Jazz were one of the most successful teams in the league in their early years. Although 10 seasons elapsed before the Jazz qualified for their first playoff appearance in 1984, they did not miss the playoffs again until 2004. During the late 1980s, John Stockton and Karl Malone arose as the franchise players for the team, and formed one of the most famed point guard–power forward duos in NBA history. Led by coach Jerry Sloan, who took over from Frank Layden in 1988, they became one of the powerhouse teams of the 1990s, culminating in two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, where they lost both times to the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan. Both Stockton and Malone moved on in 2003. After missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons the Jazz returned to prominence under the on-court leadership of point guard Deron Williams. However, partway through the 2010–11 season, the Jazz began restructuring after Sloan's retirement and Williams' trade to the New Jersey Nets. Quin Snyder was hired as head coach in June 2014. With the development of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert into All-Stars, they launched the team back into title contention.
The Los Angeles Clippers (branded as the LA Clippers) are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the NationalThe Los Angeles Clippers (branded as the LA 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 the Staples Center, an arena they share with fellow NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL). 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. The Braves saw some success and reached the playoffs three times, led by league Most Valuable Player (MVP) Bob McAdoo. Conflicts with the Canisius Golden Griffins over the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium and the sale of the franchise led to their relocating from Buffalo, New York, to San Diego, California. In 1978, upon relocating, the franchise was rebranded to be known as the San Diego Clippers, in reference to the sailing ships that can be seen in the San Diego Bay. The franchise saw limited success on the court in its six years in San Diego despite the acquisition of star center Bill Walton, who missed nearly three full seasons due to injury upon his arrival. In 1981, the franchise was acquired by Los Angeles–based real estate mogul Donald Sterling. In 1984, the franchise was controversially relocated to Los Angeles by Sterling without the approval of the NBA. Despite fines and a lawsuit brought on against franchise ownership by the NBA seeking to return the franchise to San Diego, the team was ultimately permitted to remain in Los Angeles, where they failed to see significant regular season or playoff success. They were frequently seen as an example of a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to their historically successful city-rivals, the Lakers. Between 2008 and 2017, the organization improved through the additions of players such as Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Paul. This lineup led the Clippers as a consistent playoff team and were nicknamed "Lob City". In the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons, the franchise won its first division titles. They appeared in the playoffs seven times from 2012 to 2019, equaling the number of appearances for the franchise from 1970 to 2011. In 2019, the Clippers signed two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Kawhi Leonard and traded a record number of draft picks for perennial NBA All-Star Paul George.