Clyde Austin Drexler (born June 22, 1962) is an American retired professional basketball player nicknamed “Clyde the Glide“….who was a ten-time All-Star during his career….and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Drexler won an Olympic gold medal in 1992 as part of the United States men’s Olympic basketball team known as “The Dream Team”….and an NBA Championship in 1995 with the Houston Rockets. He is a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee after being inducted 2004 for his individual career….and in 2010 as a member of the “Dream Team”. He currently serves as a color commentator for Houston Rockets home games.
While in college at the University Of Houston….Clyde the Glyde along with teammates Michael Young, Larry Micheaux and Akeem The Dream Olajuwon comprised a group known as the “Phi Slama Jama” basketball fraternity that gained national attention for its acrobatic, above-the-rim play.
In the 1983 NBA draft, Drexler was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 14th overall pick….when he averaged 7.7 points in 17.2 minutes per game in his rookie season. His second season was his breakout season….in which he averaged 17.2 points, 6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game. In his third season, Drexler made his first All-Star team while averaging 18.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 8 assists and 2.6 steals. In the 1989–1990 season, Drexler led the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA Finals, averaging 26.4 points and 7.8 rebounds, but his team lost to the Detroit Pistons in five games. In the 1990–1991 season Drexler led Portland to a franchise best 63–19 record….who were heavily favored to win the West…but the Los Angeles Lakers upset the Trail Blazers by winning the Western Conference Finals. In the 1991–92 season he made the All-NBA First Team….and finished second to Michael Jordan in MVP voting….when the Trail Blazers met Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals….only to fall short, as Jordan and the Bulls went on to win their second consecutive championship. In the six-game series against Chicago, Drexler averaged 24.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game.
Clyde the Glyde once again faced off against Michael Jordan in the 1988 All Star Slam Dunk Contest…..as seen in this video herewith….as Drexler proved he could go toe to toe with the 2nd best player in NBA history….for it is this lil ole chiweenie Sportsphile’s opinion that Jordan was #2 behind the Celtics Bill Russell as best of all time….simply because of 11 NBA championships for Russell to 6 titles for Jordan…. and 11 to 6 makes it not even close.