On This Date: Knicks sign Clarence Weatherspoon

July 21st 2001: The New York Knicks sign Clarence Weatherspoon

The New York Knicks officially signed Clarence Weathersppon to a 5 year contract worth $27 million. The move was made in anticipation for Larry Johnson’s eventual retirement due to his chronic back injuries. Weathersppon started all 82 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the previous season and averaged 11.3 points/game and 9.7 rebounds/game.

Weatherspoon provided the same rebounding tenacity he brought throughout his prime, but mostly played a nondescript role on an aging, unathletic Knicks squad that missed the playoffs for the first time in nearly 15 years. The highlight of his Knick career was during Patrick Ewing’s jersey retirement when he grabbed a career high 24 rebounds.

The Knicks dealt Weatherspoon early in the 2003-04 season to the Houston Rockets for Moochie Norris.

On This Date: Knicks acquire Moochie Norris

December 30, 2003: Knicks acquire Moochie Norris in a trade with the Houston Rockets

New GM Isiah Thomas made his first trade with the Knicks by acquiring Moochie Norris & John Amaechi for Clarence Weatherspoon. Originally a 2nd round draft pick in the 1996 NBA Draft, Norris spent most of his career as a backup point guard with various teams in the NBA and the Continental Basketball Association. He spent the previous 3+ seasons with the Houston Rockets backing up Steve Francis.

Norris received a 6-year, $23M deal before the 2001-02 season. However, his production never matched his contract. Norris scored a career-high 8.1 points/game and started 26 games in the 2001-02 season, but his production decreased heading into the trade.

Amaechi never played a game with the Knicks. Isiah waived him shortly after the trade and retired afterwards. Amaechi never played a game with the Rockets after being acquired in September 2003. 

Clarence Weatherspoon fell out of favor in the Knicks rotation due to injuries, lack of production, and a glut of PFs. (Kurt Thomas, Othella Harrington, Mike Sweetney) Scott Layden erroneously gave Weatherspoon a 5 year $27 million contract in the summer of 2001.

Norris played sparingly after the trade due to the Stephon Marbury trade and the emergence of Frank Williams. Norris was ultimately traded back to Houston in the following year for Mo Taylor.