Clyde Drexler: People Were Waiting For Magic Johnson To Die

Clyde “The Glide” Drexler is a household name to many NBA fans. He was an All-Star with the Portland Trail Blazers, and one of the best guards to ever play the game.

But he’s made news recently for comments he made that appear in Jack McCallum’s new book about the 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball team known as the “Dream Team.” Ball Don’t Lie reports that in the book, Drexler says Magic Johnson, who was diagnosed with HIV previously, was given a wide berth on the Dream Team, and that his prominence was overstated.

“But you have to have to understand what was going on then,” Drexler said in the book. “Everybody kept waiting for Magic to die. Every time he’d run up the court everybody would feel sorry for the guy, and he’d get all that benefit of the doubt.”

Moreover, Clyde Drexler seems upset that Johnson won the essentially meaningless NBA All-Star Game MVP award in 1992. Drexler played fantastic in the game, but Johnson, who was added as a special 13th roster member for the West, took home the MVP honors.

“If we all knew Magic was going to live this long, I would’ve gotten the MVP of that game, and Magic probably wouldn’t have made the Olympic team,” Drexler said.

Clyde Drexler, who celebrated his birthday last Friday according to ESPN, was voted one of basketball’s 50 Greatest Players. He’s a Hall of Famer who made 10 All-Star appearances, won a gold medal and won an NBA title with the Houston Rockets.

Johnson on the other hand is a five-time NBA champ, three-time MVP, NCAA champion and 12-time All-Star who some consider to be the greatest player of all time.

Whether Clyde Drexler’s complaints seem less stinging in the context of the book remains to be seen, but various commentators, including Deadspin, claim Drexler is holding on to bitter feelings.