Former Los Angeles Lakers star guard Archie Clark was one of the best players in the league at one point, earning an All-Star selection in his second career season and an All-NBA selection in 1972 with the Baltimore Bullets. Playing 10 seasons in the NBA despite entering the league at 25 years old (a byproduct of his time with the U.S. Army), Clark suited up for five franchises in his NBA career.
In a recent interview with ClutchPoints at Vegas Summer League, Clark recalls fond memories of his playing days, wondering aloud if any current players have his shake-and-bake play style. Discussing his favorite memory, the Detroit native reeled off a series off Hall of Fame players, including one that he was ultimately traded for.
“I think favorite memory,” Clark says, “was actually playing for the Lakers, my first team.”
“I had an opportunity to play with two of the greatest players to ever play, in Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. We went to the 1968 Finals. Even though we lost to Boston we had a very, very good team. I wish that team could have stuck together. But the Lakers decided that they wanted Wilt Chamberlain, so they put me in the trade and sent me to Philadelphia.”
In 1968, the revolutionary Clark, 1967 All-Star selection Darrall Imhoff and Jerry Chambers — the seventh overall pick in the 1966 NBA Draft — were traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Chamberlain.
While Clark wished to stay with the team that drafted him, he understands why L.A. made the trade.
“Wilt was the most dominant player in the league,” Clark says, “no question about it.”
Archie Clark‘s legacy
Following his playing career, Archie Clark co-founded the National Retired Basketball Players Association with Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson.
Watch ClutchPoints' full Archie Clark interview: