1979-80 SEASON

San Diego took a huge risk in the 1979 summer by signing free agent Bill Walton from Portland. The 6-11 redhead with the fragile feet had missed the entire previous season because of injury. The acquisition backfired, and the Clippers were forced to give Kermit Washington, Kevin Kunnert, and a first-round draft choice as compensation. Walton reinjured his foot and played only 14 games for San Diego.

The result was a losing season for the Clippers. After six weeks the club stood at 11-15. Coach Shue somehow coaxed a six-week stretch of winning basketball out of his undermanned squad, as San Diego posted a 16-6 record from December 6 to January 16. But the team won only eight more games the rest of the way, ending with a 35-47 mark and a fifth-place finish in the Pacific Division.

The squad did get a couple of star performances during the 1979-80 season. Lloyd B. Free continued to pour in the points, averaging 30.2 points and finishing second in the league in scoring, again behind George Gervin. Swen Nater (who had served as Walton's backup in college) led the NBA in rebounding with 15.0 boards per game. Second-year guard Freeman Williams also turned in a good season, chipping in 18.6 points per contest.

Clippers Season Recaps