Tag: Clyde Drexler

clyde drexler

Clyde Drexler thinks the Suns will make playoffs. This year.


Steve Nash is gone. Grant Hill is gone. Michael Beasley is going to be picking up a lot of the scoring slack. Channing Frye is now likely out for the season.

It’s going to be a rough season for the rebuilding Suns… unless you ask Clyde Drexler.

Drexler is the one Suns true believer. He thinks that even though this team missed the playoffs with that Nash guy last season they are going to be better this season without him. Here is what he told Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic.

“They’ve got a real team now,” Drexler said in initiating a discussion about the Suns while attending the Jerry Colangelo Basketball Hall of Fame Golf Classic in Litchfield Park last week. “They can really play. You already got (Marcin) Gortat. Now, you got (Luis) Scola. You got (Goran) Dragic. And you got (Michael) Beasley. You’ve got three new starters coming in who can play.”

The Glide is right, the Suns totally didn’t have a real team with Nash because he broke out of the flow of the offense all the time to run a lot of iso-Nash. You know how he’s the big dog and has to pile up his numbers, then everybody else can get the scraps.

So, next Coro says that most experts think the Suns are about the 12-14 seed in the West. Maybe better than only the Kings.

“Are you kidding me? If they don’t get the fourth or fifth playoff spot, I’m not standing before you. They’re big. They’re athletic. They know how to play.”

Somebody that knows Drexler and wants a free lunch should bet him on this stuff. It’s easy money.

The Suns are not going to be quite as bad as some predict, but still, a playoff team? I’m sure stranger things have happened, but I can’t think of one off the top of my head.

Charles Barkley says Drexler was always jealous of Jordan

Clyde Drexler plays defense

Clyde Drexler has been back in the spotlight, in because the entire 1992 Dream Team is back in the spotlight, in part because he’s said some outrageous things.

Through it all, Drexler has come off as a little bit bitter.

He sounds frustrated that the Dream Team was about Jordan and Magic and Barkley and not him. Charles Barkley, speaking frankly on the “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000 (does Barkley speak another way?) said yes, that’s pretty much right.

“I think Clyde has always been jealous of Michael (Jordan), to be honest with you,” Barkley said…. “I think he’s always wanted to be compared to Michael.

“Hey, we all want to be compared to Michael, but we’re not. Clyde was a great player, but there was always that jealousy of Michael. That was one of the incidents and things about the Dream Team, Clyde was trying to play like it was Game 7 against Michael, and that’s probably not a good idea. When Michael is driving his kids to school, he thinks it’s Game 7.”

Drexler has denied saying that the Dream Team pitied Magic Johnson and was “waiting for him to die” but the author Jack McCallum told PBT he has it on tape. It may have come out different than Drexler intended it to sound, but he did say it.

Drexler was undoubtedly one of the best players of his generation — an NBA champion, a 10-time All-Star, a guy who averages 20 points a game for his career. A deserving Hall of Famer. But he’s not Jordan or Johnson. He’s just not. Sorry.

Video: Magic Johnson responds to Clyde Drexler’s comments

Magic Johnson

Last week, excerpts from a new book on the 1992 Dream Team were released and in them Clyde Drexler said that people on the team and in the league pitied Magic Johnson and were “waiting for him to die.” Drexler denied making those comments but I’m not buying that — the author is one of the nation’s most respected journalists and Drexler has said some wild stuff before.

Above is a video interview with Magic Johnson where he is told of and responds to the comment.

Drexler denies Dream Team comments about Magic… but he said them

1992 Olympics: USAB

Life is never really all that simple and all that clean. Politicians like to paint issues as black or white, but all of us know life is lived in shades of gray.

So it is with Clyde Drexler’s comments on HIV-positive Magic Johnson as part of a new book about the 1992 Dream Team — “Everybody kept waiting for Magic to die. Every time he’d run up the court everybody would feel sorry for the guy, and he’d get all that benefit of the doubt.”

Drexler told the Associated Press he said no such thing.

“I was one of Magic’s biggest supporters during that difficult period in his life and I take great exception to having such comments attributed to me. Magic and I have a friendship that goes back more than 28 years and I would never say such hurtful things. I have reached out to Magic to assure him that I did not say those things and to apologize to him and his family for even having to respond to something as baseless as this.”

Thing is, I have no doubt he did say that. The book’s author Jack McCallum is not some novice reporter, he’s a 30-year Sports Illustrated veteran — and he knows to tape his interviews.

But that doesn’t mean there is context that should be taken into account. McCallum goes into all of that on his blog in what is a fascinating read. He talks about how 10 of the 12 players were named to the team before the start of the 1991-92 NBA season and that two spots were left open — one for a college player (Christian Laettner) and one spot for the best of the rest in the NBA. At that moment, Drexler was at the peak of his game and felt he should have been in the first 10. Drexler always has felt he didn’t get enough recognition.

Here is a slice of what McCallum added as context.

I didn’t feel comfortable writing that because Drexler is not a cruel man. But that’s what he said. Now, is there an element of truth to it? I can’t say for sure. What’s clear, though, is that it was extremely impolitic of Drexler to say it. And let me emphasize again that he wasn’t talking about the Dream Teamers but more the league in general.

But here’s something else that was not in the Deadspin excerpt but is in the book:

When Magic came back to the NBA after the Olympics, he faced renewed controversy, some of it coming from a Dream Team mate—Karl Malone. And in that charged atmosphere–freighted with ignorance, misunderstanding and, frankly, a dearth of information about a disease that we still can’t fully control–Drexler said this: “If Magic wants to play, I’ll play against him.”

It’s never that clean, it’s never really that simple in life.

Drexler says Dream Team pitied Magic Johnson because “he was going to die”


It is really hard to explain to people who are growing up now the spector that HIV/AIDS cast back in the late 1980s and early 1990s — it was a death sentence that you could get through sex. There were drug regimines just coming on the market but nobody knew if they would work, nobody really knew what was going to happen to people who contracted the disease or how long you could live with it.

That was the environment around HIV-positive Magic Johnson and the Dream Team in 1992.

Long-time Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum has a new book coming out on the original Dream Team — a book I can’t wait to read — and Deadspin got some excerpts with Clyde Drexler talking about Magic on that team.

Drexler was never fond of Magic’s comeback — from the 1992 All-Star Game where Magic dropped 25 points — and those bitter feelings are still there.

“Magic was always…” And Drexler goes into a decent Magic impression: “‘Come on, Clyde, come on, Clyde, get with me, get with me,’ and making all that noise. And, really, he couldn’t play much by that time. He couldn’t guard his shadow.”

“But you have to understand what was going on then. Everybody kept waiting for Magic to die. Every time he’d run up the court everybody would feel sorry for the guy, and he’d get all that benefit of the doubt. Magic came across like, ‘All this is my stuff.’ Really? Get outta here, dude. He was on the declining end of his career.”

Drexler had played exquisitely in the 1992 All-Star Game in Orlando, although the MVP award eventually went to Magic, who had been added by Commissioner Stern as a special thirteenth player to the Western Conference roster. “If we all knew Magic was going to live this long, I would’ve gotten the MVP of that game, and Magic probably wouldn’t have made the Olympic team.”

Wow. Bitter much?

I think these comments say a lot more about Drexler than they do about Magic or the Dream Team.

I cannot wait to read the entire book. This slice via Deadspin just whet my appetite.