‘Emotional Problems’ Sideline Clippers’ Spencer Indefinitely


Enigmatic center Elmore Spencer was placed on the injured list as a “result of apparent emotional and personal problems,” the Clippers announced before Monday night’s game.

Spencer, who met with team physician Tony Daly on Monday, will be sidelined indefinitely while undergoing treatment.

“It’s not like he’s leaving a team that’s 15-0,” Clipper Coach Bill Fitch said of Spencer, who was kicked out of practice Sunday for being late. “I think we had a lot of patience with him.”


Clipper forward Harold Ellis, who grew up with Spencer in Atlanta, said he thought the team’s 16-game season-opening losing streak contributed to Spencer’s problems.

Spencer, who turns 25 today, spent 36 days in an Atlanta hospital in 1987 after displaying symptoms of manic depression, which he said were triggered by the death of his mother, Marsha. She suffered a stroke during a phone conversation with a college recruiter in 1986.

Spencer averaged 8.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots last season and 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and one blocked shot this season.

Center Bob Martin, who missed the Clippers’ first 15 games because of a bruised right heel, was activated.