Thursday, November 15, 2007

Classic card of the week



Elmore Spencer, 1992-93 Fleer

Elmore Spencer is confused. What the hell play are you calling coach? Princeton? X? What is the ref doing? I can’t see! Did he just say I have eight fouls? WTF? Besides being perpetually confused by the intricacies of his role in the NBA -- rebound, outlet pass, stay out of the way, repeat – Elmore Spencer was also famous for being the first player in NBA history to wear eye black during a game, as a result of the glaring sun that often crept its way into various indoor arenas throughout the league. Spencer also chewed tobacco during games and once tried to break up a fastbreak by sliding into Sherman Douglas, tearing Douglas’ ACL in the process.

When he wasn’t busy pretending to play a different sport, Elmore Spencer spent most of his time being fat. Says the back of the card: Spencer, the consummate widebody, led UNLV to a 26-2 mark last year as a senior while averaging 14.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. Consummate widebody? Really? In the context of sports, the term consummate is always followed by “teammate.” That’s it. It’s like having a “u” after a “q.” There is no such thing as a consummate widebody. “Token lardass” would have been the appropriate term. Anyhoo, there’s more: Spencer may be the perfect backup center for the Clips, providing an effective shot-blocking and rebounding presence in the middle similar to that put forth by Duane Causwell of the Sacramento Kings. Hey Clippers fans, rest easy! Your team may have found its perfect backup center! And he’s fat! So just sit back, relax, and gear up for the championship run that is sure to ensue! And as hyperbolic as it may have sounded at the time, Elmore Spencer did not take the comparisons to Duane Causwell lightly! Said Spencer in a 1993 interview with Ferret Magazine: Just to be mentioned in the same breath as Duane Causwell is an honor, and I’m truly humbled by the comparison. I mean, what kid growing up in the inner city, shooting hoops at the park until the sun goes down, doesn’t envision himself coming off the bench with three minutes left in the third quarter, with the sole purpose of acquiring three fouls and maybe a rebound? That’s Duane, baby! Every kid I knew growing up wanted to be like DC, man.*

*He said none of this

Did you know?
In order to suit Elmore Spencer during his tenure at UNLV, the team changed its famous “run-and-gun” style of basketball to “jog-and-eat.”

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