The 1986-87 Clippers were one of the worst teams in NBA history. They finished at 12-70, giving them the sixth-worst regular-season winning percentage of all time. Even though the roster still featured some familiar names like Benoit Benjamin, Michael Cage, Marques Johnson, and Cedric Maxwell, famous names didn’t necessarily equate to production.
The lack of success that season left an opening for some younger players to take more prominent roles on the Clippers. Benjamin was in his second season, but the Clippers also had three rookies, including one drafted in the sixth round with the 142nd pick out of Notre Dame: Tim Kempton.
A 6-foot-10 power forward, Kempton helped round out the big man rotation alongside Cage and Benjamin. He played 66 games, started six, and averaged 14.2 minutes per game. He only averaged 4.4 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, but he did collect the lone double-double of his NBA career in the final month of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds in an 18-point loss to the Rockets. Hakeem Olajuwon was just a smidge better with 19 and 11.
Kempton hopped around the league — and around the world — after one season in Los Angeles. He played for nine NBA teams in total, only lasting in Charlotte for longer than one year, and made stops in Italy and France as well. In the latter part of his NBA career, he was a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency type of big man, totaling 25 games on his final five teams. His most famous NBA moment came as a member of the Hornets when he ate an entire Whopper in one bite for charity.
He is the currently the color analyst for the Phoenix Suns radio broadcast, and he made history recently as part of the first radio broadcast to call an NBA 2K20 game live. His son Tim Kempton Jr. currently plays professionally in Greece after a four-year collegiate career at Lehigh.
Glen Rice is probably the “best” player to ever wear no. 41 for the Clippers, but he came to this team at the end of his career for only 18 games. Other than making more threes than Kempton, his per-game stats are dwarfed by those of the Clipper big man.
Rice will be remembered for other stops in his NBA career; Kempton, on the other hand, is the greatest Clipper no. 41 in franchise history.