A Buffalo Braves cameo appearance in the NBA on Thursday

The Los Angeles Clippers paid tribute to the Buffalo Braves against Portland

Louie DiBiase
November 08, 2019 - 1:37 am

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez - USA TODAY Sports

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Even if it was for just one night, Buffalo and the NBA were brought back together on Thursday night after the Los Angeles Clippers paid tribute to the Buffalo Braves, wearing the classic orange and black uniforms. 

The Clippers were one of seven teams that brought back retro uniforms in the NBA this season. The organization decided to wear Braves jerseys over their retro San Diego Clippers uniforms. 

Before moving to the west coast, the franchise spent its first eight years in Buffalo from 1970 to 1978. 

Those eight years weren't lacking in high-quality basketball.

Three Pro Basketball Hall of Fame members in Bob McAdoo, Moses Malone, and Adrian Dantley all took the court for Buffalo at the Memorial Auditorium in the 70's.

Thursday night saw another superstar, and likely future Hall of Famer represent the Braves in Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard. 

Braves night was a success for Los Angeles as they held on for a 107-101 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

It was a nostalgic night for a lot of Braves fans in the city of Buffalo, seeing the team honored on national television.  

It was also a moment for a new wave of local basketball fans to fantasize about the NBA in Buffalo. To fantasize about having a championship contending basketball team with stars like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the roster. 

One can't help but wonder about all the what ifs, having a touch of Buffalo in the NBA again.

What if the Braves never left right before the NBA grabbed the hearts of America during the Magic-Bird era? What kind of fanbase would an NBA team have in Western New York? Would it be comparable to that of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres? Would the NBA have the same affect on Buffalo it has had across the country? Would the city have any luck acquiring and keeping elite players in what is a star-driven league? 

It isn't likely the NBA ever returns to Buffalo to answer these questions, but Thursday night presented a little taste of what it could be like. 

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