Dispatches from the Dark: Volume 4, Clarence Weatherspoon

(“Dispatches from the Dark” will bring us the few bright lights of enlightened ball that emerged from harrowing pagan bleakness of the Pre-Iverson 90′s.  A period universally known as the “Dark Ages” of Sixers basketball.)

rublev archangel

“Amidst the errors there shone forth men of genius; no less keen were their eyes, although they were surrounded by darkness” -Petrarch

Let us venture back to the beginning, The warm and restless month of June, 1992.

The Cosby show had just ended, flannel was making it’s furtive emergence on the runways of New York, Charles Barkley had just been traded to Phoenix, and the most enthusiastically received  horrible saxophone performance in American History has just crescendo-ed on the Aresenio Hall Show.

The 90’s were in full flower…

cosby show raven simone Francesco Petrarchbill and hilary clinton

1992 flannell

Oh, right. That saxophone performance…

And in these heady days, the faithful souls of Sixer-dom can be forgiven for not realizing that the Dark Ages had already descended… A mere seven days after the trade of Barkley, the Sixers would find themselves holding the 9th overall pick in the NBA Draft; hoping to reboot the franchise in what was (mistakenly) believed to be a once in a generation 1992 draft class, headlined by 3 franchise big men in Shaq, Alonzo Mourning, and (whoops) Christian Laettner.

1992 Shaq Mourning Laetttner1992 shaq lsu1992-draft-608

The Sixers management had plan, their fans needed Charles Barkley methadone, immediately. After trading away the actual Charles Barkley, they planned to draft the best mimeographed copy of Charles Barkley available… They got their man, in 9th overall pick Clarence Weatherspoon.
weahterspoon beautful dunk

A 6’6 bowling ball of a forward From the Deep South with strength, hops and a nose for putbacks. He was exactly like Barkley, well, except for the freakish athleticism, ball skills, and comedic presence. That apparently will get you a solid if thorughly unspectacular nba career, and equally solid and unspectacular nickname of “Spoon” and the ignominious distinction of being the defining “star” of the Philly hoops Dark Age.

Weatherspoon dunk contest weatherspoon rookie card

weatherspoon maniacal

In the 1992-93 season (When 250lb post up small forwards where the norm) Spoon would find his greatest statistical success. going for 18.4 points, 10 rebs, and 1.4 blocks per game. A true shooting percentage of 52.5% and a tidy PER of 18.1

it seemed like Spoon might be destined for borderline star-dom, but has athleticism quickly waned and instead he produced 12 seasons of solid work as a 6’6 power forward; making a living on big butt rebounds, and knack for drawing fouls around the basket…

But let’s reflect on those better days…

A distant 3rd place finish in the1993 slam dunk contest. As Baby Barkley (Weatherspoon) is outdone by the even more absurdly nicknamed Baby Jordan (Harold Miner).

Spoon’s last hurrah with the Sixers. 34 points in a loss, of course…

And what summation of a floor-bound, big man’s career would be complete without an ethereally scored mix by Polish hoops prophet (and GrowthPlates pen pal) TheKingMisiek?

north star

And what’s Clarence Weatherspoon up to right now? we found him…

weatherspoon hip?


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