Clyde Drexler Affirms Michael Jordan Partnership Would've Been Unstoppable

Drexler Reflects on NBA Draft's Iconic Crossroads.

by Nouman Rasool
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Clyde Drexler Affirms Michael Jordan Partnership Would've Been Unstoppable
© Paras Griffin/Getty Images

In the annals of NBA history, Clyde Drexler has solidified his legacy not only as one of the most electrifying scorers to ever grace the hardwood but also as a formidable adversary to Michael Jordan, the epitome of basketball excellence.

The parallels between Drexler and Jordan were unmistakable during their zenith; both were embodiments of athleticism, skill, tenacity, and an unyielding competitive spirit that defined their era. Despite the intense rivalry and the distinct paths their illustrious careers took, Drexler once revealed a captivating perspective that has since intrigued basketball aficionados.

In a candid admission to The Columbian in 2011, "Clyde the Glide" expressed his belief that a union with "His Airness" would have not just been effective but would have unequivocally ruled the basketball realm, mirroring the synergy Jordan shared with Scottie Pippen.

"Oh, definitely! We would have played the same way he and Scottie (Pippen) played together," Drexler elucidated, hinting at a potential dynasty that could have reshaped the league's landscape.

Drexler's Draft Dilemma

Interestingly, despite his admiration for Jordan's unparalleled prowess, Drexler confessed that he wouldn't have selected the University of North Carolina prodigy in the fateful 1984 NBA Draft, had he possessed the power to influence the Portland Trail Blazers' decision-making process.

Instead, he would have endeavored to secure Hakeem Olajuwon, his Phi Slama Jama compatriot, by altering the outcome of the coin toss that ultimately led the Houston Rockets to claim the first draft pick and select Olajuwon, leaving Portland to choose Sam Bowie over Jordan.

Drexler's preference for Olajuwon was rooted in a strategic vision to build a team capable of contending with the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, emphasizing the necessity of a dominant center to complement the Blazers' roster.

"At that time, Hakeem was the guy you needed to compete against Kareem. He really would have rounded out our team," Drexler elaborated on his draft-day contemplations. Clyde Drexler's recount of Mychal Thompson's bold yet unheeded advice to draft Michael Jordan adds a fascinating layer to NBA history's "what ifs." Imagining Jordan and Drexler together conjures visions of a league dominated by their combined prowess.

Despite the dismissal of Thompson's insight by the Blazers, the fantasy of this dynamic duo continues to captivate basketball enthusiasts, leaving many to ponder the monumental impact of such a partnership. This enduring speculation underscores the transformative power these legends could have wielded together, forever marking one of basketball's most intriguing untold tales.

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