CLIPPERS HISTORY ARCHIVE
1989-90 SEASON
by Ralph Lawler



You could see it coming as the 1989-90 season opened. The pieces were in place for this to be a very good team in the years to come. Manning was due back from last season’s knee injury in the first month of the season, Charles Smith was a rising young star, Ken Norman was better than anyone had dared hope, Gary Grant was called "the General" for a reason and big Benoit Benjamin was a legit space-eater in the middle.

Meanwhile, the draft looked bountiful again. With the second over-all pick in the draft, the Clippers chose Duke All-American Danny Ferry. I’m working TV that year with Mike Fratello and the little coach was convinced this team was poised to be a big-time power in the 1990’s.

There was a fly in the ointment. Seeing the back log of forwards on board the Clipper ship (Manning, Smith, Norman, Wolf) draft pick Ferry did not want to sign with the Clippers. To prove his point, he signed with a team in Italy.

In mid-November, right about the time Manning was due to return, Elgin Baylor sent the rights to Ferry along with Reggie Williams to Cleveland in exchange for the highly talented Ron Harper. As if that weren’t enough, the Clippers also received 3 draft picks from the Cavs – two No. 1 picks and a second rounder to boot.

All of a sudden, 11 games into the season, Manning returns… Harper appears to join Smith and Big Ben and Norman and Grant… oh me oh my. Harper fit right in and Manning didn’t look like he’d lost a thing. Don Casey did a good job handling this young club.

The Clippers went on a make-or-break eight-game road trip to open January of 1990. They went an impressive 5-3 and that included a four-point loss at Detroit and a one-point heart-breaker in OT against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

The team came home to open a three-game home-stand against Charlotte. With 33 points already in the bank, Harper, who had just been named NBA Player of the Week, went down with a season-ending knee injury. It was unthinkable,unimaginable, impossible to comprehend. The Clips had climbed within one agonizing game of .500, but without Harper would go 12-33 the rest of the way and we’ll always wonder what might have been.

RECORD
30-52
Home 20-21, Road 10-31
6th place, Pacific Division

PLAYOFFS
None
CLIPPERS LEADERS
Scoring: Smith (21.1)
Rebounding: Benjamin (9.3)
Assists: Grant (10.0)

HONORS
Ron Harper: Player of the Week (1/14/90)
HEAD COACH
Don Casey
ASSISTANT COACHES
Joe Roberts
Bob Staak
Dave Twardzik
ATHLETIC TRAINER
Bernie LaReau


1989-90 CLIPPERS PLAYER AVERAGES
REBOUNDS
PLAYER G MIN FGM FGA FG% 3GM 3GA 3G% FTM FTA FT% OFF DEF TOT AST PF DQ STL TO BLK PTS AVG
Ron Harper (LAC)281105240499.4811346.283151190.7955510315813380067823264423.0
Ron Harper (TOT)351367301637.4731451.275182231.788741322061821051811004179822.8
Charles Smith7827325951145.520112.083454572.794177347524114294686162119164521.1
Danny Manning712269440826.53305.000274370.74114228042218726149118839115416.3
Ken Norman702334484949.510716.438153242.63214332747016019607819059112816.1
Benoit Benjamin712313362688.52601.000235321.73215650165715921735918718795913.5
Gary Grant441529241517.466521.23888113.779591361954421201108206557513.1
Reggie Williams51332157.36805.0001821.857871510709916012.0
Winston Garland (LAC)28871122285.4281126.4234959.83120831031467503077530410.9
Winston Garland (TOT)791762230573.4011236.333102122.83651163214303152178158105747.3
Tom Garrick731721208421.494421.19088114.7723412816228915149011775087.0
Jeff Martin691351170414.411215.13391129.7057881159449704147164336.3
Michael Young4545992194.474826.3082738.71136508624470251532194.9
Joe Wolf771325155392.395525.2005571.775631692326212903077243704.8
David Rivers5272480197.40605.0005978.756305585155530318802194.2
Ken Bannister5258977161.47801.00052110.473397311218921174472064.0
Jim Les (LAC)686514.35701.0001113.8463472060370213.5
Jim Les (TOT)792514.35701.0001317.76534721903100233.3
Carlton McKinney7104832.25001.00024.50048127151671182.6
Steve Harris15931440.35000---34.7505510190751312.1
Jay Edwards42637.42902.00013.33311244011071.8
Torgeir Bryn31002.00000---46.66702205021141.3
Andre Turner331213.15401.00000---32531014041.3


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