Weatherspoon in 2019
|Southern Miss Golden Eagles|
|Born||September 8, 1970|
|Listed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Listed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|High school||Motley (Columbus, Mississippi)|
|College||Southern Miss (1988-1992)|
|NBA draft||1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9th overall|
|Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers|
|Position||Power forward / Small forward|
|1998||Golden State Warriors|
|2001-2003||New York Knicks|
|2016-present||Southern Miss (assistant)|
|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 National Basketball Association (NBA) born in Crawford, Mississippi. He is currently the assistant coach for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
At the University of Southern Mississippi, Weatherspoon was a three-time Metro Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year, the only player in conference history to achieve the feat three times. He was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers as the ninth pick in the 1992 NBA draft. He 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.
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.
After playing his high school basketball at Motley High School, in Columbus, Mississippi, Clarence "The Thumb" Weatherspoon decided to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where he became the school's most decorated basketball 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 US 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.
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. He is often remembered for multiple pump fakes under the basket when scoring down low.
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 Clifford 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 again 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.
On January 24, 1999, Weatherspoon signed as a free agent with the Miami Heat. After one season with the team, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 3-team trade that sent Portland Trail Blazers forward Brian Grant to the Heat.
On July 21, 2001, Weatherspoon signed as a free agent with the New York Knicks.
In 2016, Weatherspoon was named an assistant coach of the men's basketball team for his alma mater, Southern Miss.