Kleine, circa 1986
|Born||January 4, 1962|
Colorado Springs, Colorado
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||271 lb (123 kg)|
|High school||Slater (Slater, Missouri)|
|NBA draft||1985 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall|
|Selected by the Sacramento Kings|
|1997||Los Angeles Lakers|
|1997||New Jersey Nets|
|1999–2000||Portland Trail Blazers|
|2007–2015||Little Rock (assistant)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||4,666 (4.8 ppg)|
|Rebounds||3,991 (4.1 rpg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Kleine, a seven-foot center, graduated from Slater High School in Slater, Missouri and originally enrolled to play basketball at the University of Notre Dame. After his freshman season, Kleine transferred to the University of Arkansas where he played alongside Alvin Robertson, who like Kleine would go on to a productive professional career.
Kleine was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the sixth pick in the 1985 NBA Draft. Kleine went on to have a fifteen-year NBA career, playing with the Kings as well as the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Chicago Bulls, and Portland Trail Blazers. Kleine played on teams with legendary NBA players Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman. He won an NBA championship in 1998, as a center, for a Chicago Bulls team that included Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Steve Kerr.
His best season was with the Kings in 1985, when he averaged 9.8 PPG. At the time of his retirement from the NBA, he'd scored 4,666 points, had 3,991 total rebounds, and had scored 849 free throws out of 1,069 attempts.
Kleine played for the US national team in the 1982 FIBA World Championship, winning the silver medal. Along with his college teammate Robertson, he also won a gold medal as a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team coached by Bob Knight. Sportswriter Jon Goode would later write in part that "Joe Kleine was never a star, but what made Kleine great was that he accepted his role and was ready to play every night."
After coaching AAU and high school basketball in Little Rock and serving as an analyst for Arkansas basketball games, he was hired as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2007.