Only four players have worn the No. 27 in Clippers history: Mike Silliman (1971), Bill Hewitt (1973), Marvin Barnes (1980), and Elmore Spencer (1993-95). Probably not four names that are on the tip of fans’ tongues, but by process of elimination, Spencer is the top player of the four.
Spencer, a Georgia native, had an unusual path in college, starting at Georgia, then going the JuCo route to play at Connors State, where he won a national title, then finishing up at UNLV, part of the group that reached a second straight NCAA Tournament Final Four in 1991.
The center was drafted late in the first round by the Clippers in 1992, and played most of his NBA career in Los Angeles. The lefty played 139 of his 157 career NBA games with the Clips. His best season came in his second year, 1993-94, when he averaged 8.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 76 games played.
After three seasons with the Clippers, Spencer split the 1995-96 season between the Denver Nuggets and Portland TrailBlazers. He wrapped up his NBA tenure in 1996-97 with just five minutes played for the Seattle SuperSonics.
For as many players that have passed through the Clippers organization in their history, Spencer definitely joins the club of players whose best days came with the Clips. Recency bias and the legends tend to obscure the likes of Spencer, good players who enjoy a short peak at the pinnacle of the game and otherwise slide into obscurity. Even in a sport like basketball when only five players can be on the floor for their team at a given time, supporting players are a vital part of the NBA fabric and Spencer was firmly in that group. No. 27 hasn’t been a particularly popular number in Clippers history, but so far, Elmore Spencer is the top player to wear that number.