“Clyde Drexler was a threat, but I took offense to being compared to him!”: When Michael Jordan revealed his motivation behind obliterating the Blazers in 1992 Finals
The 90s was an era that was simply dominated by Michael Jordan. However, this came at the cost of star players like Clyde Drexler.
Drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers as the 14th overall pick in the 1983 draft, Clyde Drexler looked like a decent pick. But his massive jump in numbers in his second season set his path to greatness.
A 6’7″ shooting guard, Drexler established himself as one of the best in his position, but with a player like Michael Jordan playing in the same position, it is safe to say the competition was tough for Drexler.
Given how similar both the players were, their battle was a must-watch for everyone. Unfortunately, though, the two were always in different conferences, thus limiting the matchups.
But the 1992 NBA Finals certainly set the stage for the rivalry. With the Blazers taking on the defending champions Chicago Bulls, the series was set to settle the debate once and for all.
When Michael Jordan destroyed Clyde Drexler in the 1992 NBA Finals
The stage was set, Blazers versus Bulls for the 1992 Finals. Clyde Drexler, who narrowly missed out on the MVP trophy, was set to face off against probably the best player to ever play the game in Michael Jordan.
With Drexler having one of his best years statistically, the 10-time All-Star looked like a real threat. Many started comparing MJ with ‘Clyde the Glyde’. But his Airness was surely having none of it.
In an interview in ‘the Last Dance’ documentary, Jordan described how he had a point to prove to his critics. “Clyde was a threat. I’m not saying he wasn’t a threat, but me being compared to him, I took offense to that.”
Lakers legend Magic Johnson revealed how determined Jordan was to crush Drexler and Co. “I’m working for NBC covering the finals. So the night before Game one we were at Michael’s house playing cards and he said, ‘you know what’s gonna happen tomorrow. I’m gonna give it to this dude.”
Johnson continued, “So he hit that first three, and then here comes the second, then the third… Michael didn’t want anybody to have nothing over him.”
Shooting 6 of 10 attempted threes and locking down Drexler, Jordan certainly made a statement. Scoring 39 points in game 1, Jordaan dominated Portland. Not only that, MJ continued to put on a show for the whole series averaging over 35 points per game while Drexler averaged only about 25 points per game. ‘His Airness’ certainly made a statement to never mess with him.
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