Happy Birthday Clarence “Baby Barkley” Weatherspoon

Three days before the 1992 NBA draft, the 76ers made a blockbuster trade and sent allstar Charles Barkley to the Phoenix Suns.  There was no way to replace the athletic undersized dunking big body that was Barkley but drafting the athletic undersized dunking big body that was Clarence Weatherspoon with the #9 pick was the closest thing to doing so in so many ways.

Despite being such a deep talented draft, the media hype was dominated by Shaquille O’Neal and some attention went to contract hold outs Zo & Jimmy Jackson (Jimmy & Weatherspoon would end up playing together on 4 different teams) and overhyped Harold “Baby Jordan” Minor but Clarence “Baby Barkley” Weatherspoon, Laphonso Ellis, Tom Gugliotta, Walt Williams and Robert Horry were all having quiet solid rookie seasons.

Weatherspoon averaged 16 points per game on his way to setting a franchise record for most points by a rookie and averaged a double double in his 2nd season.  Weatherspoon also joined the elite company of Hakeem, David Robinson, Kemp & Cliff Robinson as the only players in the league that year to have over 100 in the 5 major stat cats.   His only triple double (15pts 15rebs 13ast) also came during this season.

He would see his role diminish each season as the struggling franchise tried to get bigger with draft day busts like Sharone Wright and then scoring machines like Jerry Stackhouse and Iverson.  For the 2nd half of Weatherspoon’s career he would become a productive role player for a series of teams.

I don’t know where he is now but i’m wishing him a happy birthday and wish I could give him a belated spot on the 1993 NBA AllStar team.

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