“Clyde Drexler, you’ve got two left shoes and I just kicked your a**”: When Michael Jordan was extra feisty against The Glide during practice for the 1992 Olympics

Arun Sharma
|Published 07/04/2022

Competitive spirit and Michael Jordan could be called synonyms because one did not exist without the other.

Throughout his career, Michael Jordan was one thing – hyper-focused on being the best NBA athlete ever. At the end of his third retirement, Jordan did manage just that. He left a legacy that to date has not been touched. But while he was still playing, there were a lot of players who came up to challenge him.

He may have lost many games, but one thing is that Jordan never gave up. He did not go first in the 1984 NBA draft, but he played like he was the first pick. Players from the previous drafts, who were much more settled into the league were harassed by him on a nightly basis. One particular player was Clyde Drexler.

He picked the Portland Trailblazers as his target and scored more against the Blazers than any other team in the league. The 1992 finals made the world sit up and watch two of the best players that season. If Jordan was a 10/10, Clyde was a 9.5. Jordan won that match up comfortably and went on to win his second championship.

Also Read: “I took offense to me being compared to Clyde Drexler”: When Michael Jordan couldn’t stand the comparisons between himself and the Blazers guard

Michael Jordan made sure he reminded everyone why he was the best player in the league

The 1992 finals were followed by the legendary Barcelona Olympics. It was the first time NBA players could play for their country, and everyone was amped to see what the superstars could do. MJ and the Glide were a part of the team too, mostly due to their heroics in the season gone by. The practice sessions rolled in, and Jordan could not help but take pot-shots at the Portland man,

During practice, he kept picking on him, draining threes in his face, getting under his skin. “Didn’t I just kick your ass? … Anything here looks just a little familiar? … Think you can stop me this time, Clyde? … Better watch out for the threes, Clyde.” Swish! Swish! 6 threes, just like that.

Coach Chuck Daley was skeptical of exactly this – huge egos clashing since they’d never actually played together before. The league’s number 1 and 2 clashing – did not bode well for the team if it continued that way. But the 1992 Olympics was a surprise for everyone – it formed unlikely friendships.

Clyde Drexler was not one to show any signs of weakness – he was still one of the league’s best

The practice sessions got a bit heated and at the moment, Drexler slipped up and picked 2 left shoes and did not want to seem weak, so he continued that way. It was not until someone pointed it out, that he did not go out and change. The competition was so high, that he wanted to hide something as trivial as picking two left shoes from MJ.

“Clyde grabbed two left shoes, but he didn’t want to say anything, so he went through practice with two left shoes, till someone noticed and I can remember Michael saying ‘That’s kinda’ why you guys lost to us‘” Chris Mullin said in an interview. This sparked up a life-long friendship that still goes on to this day, for a friendly round of golf.

Michael admitted that Clyde was just as good as him, but never told that outright to Drexler.

Also Read: “Michael Jordan’s Hornets are looking to sign Russell Westbrook!”: NBA Insider reveals jaw-dropping news on Lakers star’s potential future


About the author
Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma

Arun Sharma is an NBA Editor at The SportsRush. A double degree holder and a digital marketer by trade, Arun has always been a sports buff. He fell in love with the sport of basketball at a young age and has been a Lakers fan since 2006. What started as a Kobe Bryant obsession slowly turned into a lifelong connection with the purple and gold. Arun has been an ardent subscriber to the Mamba mentality and has shed tears for a celebrity death only once in his life. He believes January 26, 2020, was the turning point in the passage of time because Kobe was the glue holding things together. From just a Lakers bandwagoner to a basketball fanatic, Arun has spent 16 long years growing up along with the league. He thinks Stephen Curry has ruined basketball forever, and the mid-range game is a sight to behold. Sharma also has many opinions about football (not the American kind), F1, MotoGP, tennis, and cricket.

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