Playing at the San Diego Sports Arena, the Clippers posted a record of 43–39 in their first season in California under new head coach Gene Shue, leaving them two wins shy of the final playoff spot.
It would be the Clippers' last winning season for 13 years.
Southern California resident Levin then decided to move the Braves to San Diego, something the league would have never allowed him to do with the Celtics.
In 1978, San Diego welcomed the relocation of the Buffalo Braves franchise because the city had lost their Rockets to Houston seven years earlier.
The 1981–82 season brought changes to the franchise as Irv Levin sold the team to Los Angeles-area real estate developer and attorney Donald Sterling for .5 million.
The Clippers' poor play in the final years in San Diego resulted in averaging only 4,500 fans a game.
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The Los Angeles Clippers, abbreviated by the team as the LA Clippers, are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles.The Clippers were frequently seen as an example of a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the historically successful Lakers, with whom they have shared a market since 1984 and an arena since 1999.The Clippers' fortunes turned in the early 2010s with the acquisition of core players Blake Griffin, De Andre Jordan, and Chris Paul.It was also in that first season in southern California that long-time announcer Ralph Lawler began his association with the club. Free, who was acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers, finished second overall in NBA scoring average, with 28.9 per game, while George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs had a 29.6 average.The 1979–80 season saw the Clippers begin to struggle despite adding center Bill Walton, a San Diego native who was two years removed from an NBA Championship with the Trail Blazers.