Believe it or not, but there have been no players in Clippers history to wear the No. 28 to date, so let’s circle back and check out the offerings for No. 00.
Ah yes, the double zero, the number that is technically a number, but not used in other sports. Add to that the flair of going for not one, but two zeroes. You’ve got to be pretty bold to go for this one.
Two players in Clippers history have worn No. 00: Kevin Duckworth, who wrapped up his career with the Clips, and whose career around the NBA I very much enjoyed, and Benoit Benjamin, who is the subject of this story.
Drafted No. 3 overall by the Clippers in the 1985 NBA Draft, Benjamin played collegiately at Creighton, and was named a third-team All-American his final season in NCAA ball.
The 7-foot center had a scoring touch, and was remarkably consistent in his five and a half seasons in LA, averaging 13.3 points per game over 406 games in his Clippers tenure. In addition, his block totals were elite, in his worst season with the team he averaged 2.1 blocks per game. All told, he averaged 2.8 blocks per game in his Clippers run, and was the franchise leader in blocks, with 1,117, until DeAndre Jordan surpassed him in 2016-17. He also belongs to the “10 block club”, with two career games, both with the Clippers, in which he posted 10 blocks in a single game.
The Louisiana native bounced around the NBA after being traded to Seattle for Olden Polynice in 1991, yet another dud of a trade that left the Clippers in worse shape. After the Sonics, Benjamin played for the Lakers, Nets, Grizzlies, Bucks, Raptors and 76ers in his NBA career, which wrapped up in 1999.
Benjamin has largely stayed out of the limelight since his playing days ended, evidently settling back in Louisiana, but he was among the players present for a charity game when Jayson Williams allegedly shot a limo driver in his own house in 2002 and was called as a witness at the fellow ex-NBA player’s trial.
Benjamin was never an All-Star level player, but he was remarkably consistent in his Clippers tenure in particular, and with perhaps some better franchise management could have been a core piece of a perennial playoff team. Alas, we didn’t get to see that unfold, but Benoit Benjamin brought a multifaceted game to the Clippers and is the best yet to wear No. 00.