This guy entered the league with such an impact, that it earned him the nickname ‘Baby Barkley’ which in hindsight, sounds ridiculous, but at the time there was good reason for the comparison; here’s why. Clarence Weatherspoon was taken with the 9th pick of the 1992 NBA Draft, by the Philadelphia 76ers. His Rookie season saw him average 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds a game, which had the Sixers fans in nostalgia due to the ferocity in which Weatherspoon played the game reminded some of the great ‘Sir Charles’.
His second season was even better lifting his averages to 18.4 points,10.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game. Those numbers are elite during any era of basketball, and for Weatherspoon his stocks were rising fast! Those numbers would end up being his career highs. The next season Weatherspoon kept up his scoring average of around 18 points per game, but his rebounding numbers dropped. There was a problem whilst all this hype around him was going on, the Sixers were continuing to have very bad seasons.
Check out Weatherspoon’s highlights below:
Tons of roster changes meant a lot of change for Weatherspoon, and he couldn’t quite find the continuity he had in his early days. His 4th season again saw him put up nice numbers with 16.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks a game, which is more than handy, but unfortunately for Weatherspoon things were about to come crumbling down fast. Weatherspoon’s career would never rise again from that moment, his scoring average dropped dramatically over the next two seasons in Philly, which led to him being treated to the Golden State Warriors mid season in 1998.
From that moment on Weatherspoon would spend time at the following teams: Warriors, Heat, Cavs, Knicks and Rockets. Not once did his numbers even remotely resemble those of his 2nd year which put the league on notice. It was a fair fall from grace for Weatherspoon, who showed so much promise at the beginning of his career. As a big 90s basketball fan, I still vividly remember the hype sounding Clarence Weatherspoon from basketball card collectors wanting his Rookie Card. I will say this however, Weatherspoon still delivered some great games in the NBA, he was a double-double machine in his early years and certainly deserves remembrance as an iconic NBA player, not only that I’m adding him to my top 5 coolest NBA names list which features the following thus far: Mookie Blaylock, Kerry Kittles and now Clarence Weatherspoon.
Weatherspoon finished 2nd in the 1993 Slam Dunk Contest to Harold Miner.
Weatherspoon wore two numbers in his career: #30 and #35.