Clarence Weatherspoon

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Clarence Weatherspoon
No. 30, 35
Small forward / Power forward
Personal information
Born (1970-09-08) September 8, 1970 (age 43)
Crawford, Mississippi
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school Motley (Columbus, Mississippi)
College Southern Miss (1988–1992)
NBA draft 1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Pro career 1992–2005
Career history
19921998 Philadelphia 76ers
1998 Golden State Warriors
19992000 Miami Heat
2000–2001 Cleveland Cavaliers
20012003 New York Knicks
2003–2005 Houston Rockets
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 10,483 (11.5 ppg)
Rebounds 6,846 (7.5 rpg)
Assists 1,346 (1.5 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Clarence Weatherspoon, Sr. (born September 8, 1970) is a former American professional basketball player in the NBA born in Crawford, Mississippi.

After a college career at the University of Southern Mississippi, Weatherspoon was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers as the ninth pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. He has since played for the 76ers, the Golden State Warriors, the Miami Heat, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets, averaging 11.5 points per game throughout his career.[1]

At six-foot-seven-inches and 250 pounds (201 cm, 113 kg), he was nicknamed "Baby Barkley" early during his career due to a similar aggressive playing style attributed to fellow short-statured NBA power forward and former 76er, Charles Barkley.

He participated in the 1993 Slam Dunk contest, finishing second to Harold Miner with an overall score of 92.

Southern Mississippi[edit]

After playing his high school basketball at Motley High School, in Columbus, Mississippi, Weatherspoon decided to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where he became the school's most decorated player.

Weatherspoon finished his four-year career at Southern Mississippi with averages of 18.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. He is first on the school’s all-time list in rebounding, blocked shots, and minutes; is second in scoring (just six points behind all-time leader Nick Revon); and third in points per game, field goals made, field goal percentage, free throws made and attempted, and steals.

The Golden Eagles were 64-53 during Weatherspoon’s four seasons, including a 21-8 record in 1991 when USM were nationally ranked (at one point reaching no. 9) and advanced to the NCAA tournament. The Golden Eagles fell to NC State on March 14, 1991, in the opening round of the East Regional, 114-85, and Weatherspoon scored 21 points. It was the second straight season USM had made the NCAA tournament; in 1990 they had lost 79-63 in the opening round to La Salle. Weatherspoon led the Golden Eagles with 16 points.

Weatherspoon was named Metro Conference Player of the Year for three straight years, from 1990 to 1992. He is the only three-time recipient of the award, and remains the all-time leading rebounder in the conference's history.

Weatherspoon became the first Golden Eagle to have his jersey retired when his #35 was raised to the rafters on March 7, 1992, on the night of his final home game.

As a collegian, Weatherspoon twice represented the USA in international competition. In 1990, Weatherspoon was on the silver-medal winning USA team that participated in the Goodwill Games. In 1991, Weatherspoon was on the USA's team for the Pan-American games played in Cuba; the USA won the bronze medal, and in the tournament's seven games Weatherspoon averaged 9.6 points and 6.3 rebounds.

In February 1991, Weatherspoon was the focus of a five-page feature in Sports Illustrated.

While at Southern Mississippi, Weatherspoon had a trademark dunk called the "Spoon Feed."

Weatherspoon was inducted into the Southern Mississippi Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 2007.[2]

NBA career[edit]

Weatherspoon was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers (Round 1, Pick 9) in the 1992 NBA Draft. He was drafted just three days after the Sixers had traded away Charles Barkley to Phoenix.

The Philadelphia media, who had once called Weatherspoon the “Metro’s Barkley” during one of USM’s NCAA tournament appearances, instantly drew comparisons between the departed Barkley and the recently-drafted Weatherspoon. Spoon, listed at 6-7 but appearing closer to 6-5, was, like Barkley, an undersized power forward with a strong desire for rebounding and operating down low. Weatherspoon was referred to as “Baby Barkley” at times during his early career.

Weatherspoon quietly had an excellent rookie campaign for the struggling 76ers. He averaged 15.6 points per game, which placed him third on the team, and he broke Lee Shaffer’s thirty-one-year-old record for most points in a season by a Sixers rookie (the record has since been broken by both Jerry Stackhouse and Allen Iverson). Spoon led the 76ers in rebounding, was fourth among rookies in scoring (trailing Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Christian Laettner), and scored a season-high 30 points in a nationally televised game at Denver. He was named to the All-rookie second team.

Weatherspoon’s second season was his finest as a professional. He led the 76ers in scoring at 18.4 points per game and averaged what turned out to be a career-high 10.1 rebounds per game. He was extremely consistent, scoring in double-figures in 80 of 82 games, and recording 46 double-doubles. He registered his only career triple-double in a February, 1994, home win over Charlotte (15 points, 15 rebounds, and 13 assists), and scored a then career-high 31 points against Cleveland. He was one of only five players to have over 100 in the five major statistical categories (points, rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals), joining Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shawn Kemp, and Cliff Robinson. Spoon was the only player of the group to not play in that season’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis. He narrowly missed selection, receiving 13 of 15 votes from the East coaches.

Philadelphia hired John Lucas as its coach and general manager in 1994, and Lucas moved Weatherspoon to the small forward position for the 1994-95 campaign. The Sixers were stockpiled with lottery picks up front: Weatherspoon, Shawn Bradley, taken second in 1993, and Sharone Wright, taken sixth in 1994. Weatherspoon averaged 18.1 points per game, but saw his rebounding numbers dip from his new position, down to 6.9 per game. He matched his career-high with 31 points in a January game at Phoenix against Charles Barkley. The Sixers, however, once against floundered, winning just 24 games.

Lucas drafted Jerry Stackhouse third overall in 1995, and in typical Lucas fashion, gave lifelines to several loose cannons, including Vernon Maxwell and Richard Dumas. Within the season’s opening month they had traded Bradley to New Jersey for Derrick Coleman, and the Sixers, while talented, were never able to develop consistency, save for Weatherspoon. He averaged 16.7 points per game, second behind Stackhouse's 19.2, and 9.7 rebounds per game. Spoon recorded 30 double-doubles, scored 20 or more 30 times, and was one of six players to record 100 in five of the major statistical categories. On the final day of the regular season, in a game at Toronto, Weatherspoon scored a career-high 35 points to go with 14 rebounds and 7 blocks. The season ended in disappointment, as Philadelphia only won 18 games—their win total decreasing every year of Weatherspoon's career as it became a revolving door of coaches and players.

The 1996-97 season brought with it promise, as the 76ers drafted Allen Iverson with the first overall selection. He joined Stackhouse, Coleman, and Weatherspoon on a talented Sixers squad who preseason mantra was “New Spirit, New Attitude.” Philadelphia had fired Lucas and hired Johnny Davis to coach, however the same losing ways persisted. Weatherspoon saw his role dramatically reduced, averaging just 12.2 points and 8.3 rebounds for a Sixers team that battled injuries, consistency, and maturity. Weatherspoon's season-high of 34 points came against Golden State in January.

Davis was fired the day after the season ended and shortly after Larry Brown was hired. Brown’s first move was to trade Weatherspoon to Boston along with Michael Cage for Dino Radja. The trade fell through after Radja failed his physical, and the Sixers lack of communication with Weatherspoon, after five years of service, during this time angered him. He reported to camp unhappy though played dutifully as both a starter and, for the first time in his career, as a reserve. Weatherspoon's name was constantly in trade rumors, with the low point occurring during a December, 1997, game with Miami when Brown didn't insert Weatherspoon into the first half because he thought he had already been traded. That trade didn’t occur until February when Philadelphia sent Weatherspoon and Jim Jackson to Golden State for Joe Smith and Brian Shaw.

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular Season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1992–93 Philadelphia 82 82 32.4 .469 .250 .713 7.2 1.8 1.0 .8 15.6
1993–94 Philadelphia 82 82 38.4 .483 .235 .693 10.1 2.3 1.2 1.4 18.4
1994–95 Philadelphia 76 76 39.4 .439 .190 .751 6.9 2.8 1.5 .9 18.1
1995–96 Philadelphia 78 75 39.7 .484 .000 .746 9.7 2.0 1.4 1.4 16.7
1996–97 Philadelphia 82 82 36.0 .491 .167 .738 8.3 1.7 .9 1.0 12.2
1997–98 Philadelphia 48 18 26.9 .426 .000 .707 7.0 .8 .9 1.1 8.4
1997–98 Golden State 31 31 33.4 .458 .000 .748 8.3 1.6 1.4 .7 10.7
1998–99 Miami 49 3 21.2 .534 .000 .804 5.0 .7 .6 .4 8.1
1999–00 Miami 78 2 20.7 .513 .000 .738 5.8 1.2 .6 .6 7.2
2000–01 Cleveland 82 82 33.8 .501 .000 .790 9.7 1.3 1.0 1.3 11.3
2001–02 New York 56 41 30.9 .418 .000 .795 8.2 1.1 .7 .9 8.8
2002–03 New York 79 19 25.6 .449 .000 .768 7.6 .9 .9 .5 6.6
2003–04 New York 15 1 14.4 .450 .000 .947 3.3 .9 .5 .1 3.6
2003–04 Houston 37 0 17.6 .503 .000 .660 4.2 .5 .6 .4 5.6
2004–05 Houston 40 18 13.1 .412 .000 .829 3.1 .4 .2 .2 3.1
Career 915 612 30.3 .471 .196 .743 7.5 1.5 1.0 .8 11.5

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1998–99 Miami 5 0 22.4 .346 .000 .647 4.2 .4 1.4 .2 5.8
1999–00 Miami 10 0 17.0 .417 .000 .583 4.1 .1 .4 .3 6.4
2003–04 Houston 2 0 11.0 .400 .000 .500 2.0 .0 .0 .0 3.5
2004–05 Houston 1 0 1.0 .000 .000 .000 .0 .0 .0 .0 .0
Career 18 0 16.9 .396 .000 .596 3.7 .2 .6 .2 5.6

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]