Michael Jordan was synonymous with competitive spirit and winning in the NBA.
The Bulls superstar was a phenomenon that escalated the popularity of the league worldwide. MJ was the face of the league and his 6 rings speak for his success.
Michael Jordan and the Bulls stormed through the league in the 90s. Many a legend was left ringless due to their sheer dominance under Phil Jackson. Two three-peats was an incredible feat that this team achieved with relative ease.
One of the stars who had his legacy hurt most by the Bulls, and Michael Jordan in particular was Clyde Drexler.
Clyde “The Glide” Drexler was a stellar basketball player. Their careers were interlinked from draft day, however, with Portland passing on Michael Jordan because they had already drafted Clyde Drexler.
Drexler was similarly sized and played the same position as MJ. This forced Portland to go in a different direction and draft Sam Bowie with the #2 overall pick in 1984.
The two guards however played together for the Dream Team at Barcelona. Their experience together has been well documented.
How was Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler’s relationship during their time with the Dream Team?
Drexler and Jordan had a rivalry that was at full brew at the time of the Barcelona Olympics. Drexler fell a close second to MJ in the MVP rankings in 1991-92. Jordan also bested Drexler’s Blazers in the NBA final and “shrugged” him off.
And as one would expect, the trash-talking monster of a rival that MJ was did not let Drexler forget the Ls. “Didn’t I just kick your ass?” was a greeting of choice and so was a sly “Better watch out for those threes”.
Once, Drexler accidentally picked up two left shoes from a set of equipment and did not even bother rectifying his error. Michael pouncing on the error and rubbing insult to injury scared him. This story was told by fellow Dream Team member Chris Mullin and reveals the sort of banter that took place in training.
Never letting your rivals thrive even when they were teammates is as MJ as it gets. However, Jordan and Drexler developed to become great friends. Despite the heckling and pecking, the two legendary guards became two peas in a pod. A common factor was definitely a mutual love for golf.
The new golf buddies bonded during their time with the Dream Team. Drexler even admitted that he took the trash talking as a compliment. He considered it MJ’s sign of showing respect.
Oh to be a fly on the wall during their golfing duels. Did Drexler make up for the Ls he took in their alternate sport? Seeing how often they played, seems like he did.