the thread about point forwards and the thread about kobe never having a 2:1 asst / to ratio got me thinking about just what a good playmaker drexler really was (i know he's not a forward, but he fits into that mcgrady - could be but isn't category of 2 guard). i think that his total floor game is sort of forgotten today and wanted to make a congrats to being awesome thread for clyde.
for a guy who never actually played a minute of pg and didn't dominate the ball, he was exceptional at getting his teammates involved. he had tremendous vision and made quick, decisive moves that often led to great dishes inside and out. he has the highest ass/gm for a career of all retired 2 guards (and he's far enough in front of jordan that i don't think removing mj's wizard days would make a difference for those who like to pretend that comeback never happened). only wade and iverson are ahead of him if you count current guys and both of them have played enough time at the pg to boost their assists above what you'd expect of a 2 guard. only bird ranks above him when looking at guys who have never played point guard.
actually his whole all-around game is underrated. he has more total rebounds than any guard other than oscar and more offensive boards than any guard by almost 1000 (jordan is second though they didn't differentiate in the 60s, so it's actually probably oscar out in front here too). point being you've got a guy who passed like a pg (highest per game 8assts), rebounded like a forward (highest per game 8rbds), and scored like a top level sg (highest per game 27pts on 21 shots).
he's also #4 in total blocks by a guard (behind iceman, mj, and harper) and #13 all-time in total steals.
he only made 1 all-nba first team, but before his injury in 1993 he only played 1 year as a starter (subbed in for jim paxson as a rookie) where he didn't have to compete with michael jordan AND magic johnson. nobody was beating out those two. also had zeke and stockton in their primes to deal with. really he only had 1 opportunity before he got hurt, and he made it that year.
the only knock i've got on drexler is that he took bad shots in the vince carter vein. other than that you've got a guy who scores with the carters / pierces of the world, rebounds with the dengs / lebrons, and makes plays for his teammates with the wades / mcgradys. defensively he was not the most focused player, but when he zoned in he was very capable and as his stats suggest he was a great help defender / passing lane poacher. he hit big shots in clutch situations and never backed down from the competition. he played an enormous role in the rocket's repeat as champions in 95 and hit an amazing turnaround shot over gary payton to move them past the sonics into the conference finals in 97.
according to my fiancee he is also the single worst dancer ever to appear on dancing with the stars. i don't know if that's a point of pride for him, but i'm impressed.
Clyde was a shooting guard/small forward, so I think it's fair to talk about him the way you are.
"according to my fiancee he is also the single worst dancer ever to appear on dancing with the stars. i don't know if that's a point of pride for him, but i'm impressed." That's a plus... I don't think Michael Jordan can dance either.
Clyde was a really good passer. he is also one of the greatest finishers in the history of the game. when he tried to be a true shooting guard that just wasnt Clyde's game and you would see those bad shots. He wasn't quite a true SF either. just a great athlete.
Yes! My favorite player! I became a Blazers and Drexler fan in 1989....so I got to see a majority of his career. Although Magic and MJ were in the upper tier of superstars, Clyde was right there in the next tier. I like the fact that his teammates liked playing with him and he was unselfish. His old teammate Mychal Thompson has called him the best athlete he's ever seen. I must admit too that he is the worst all-time Dancing With the Stars dancer.
one quick anecdote about clyde's raw athleticism / grit - i saw a quick clip of a dream team practice sometime during the 92 olympics or the tournament of americas that i haven't seen since (so we're talking about 15 years ago and i'm sure i'm over-doing it in my head) where clyde made maybe the most impressive defensive recovery i've ever seen. jordan lost drexler on a screen (barkley i think) and blasted by malone. robinson stepped up and mike spun by the admiral and extended for a patented mj flip shot in the lane when out of nowhere (or at least way off camera), clyde (who was left way back above the free throw line on the pick), flew into the lane and blocked the shot with authority. just an incredible play in the amount of time he had to react and recover.
This thread has reminded me of how excited I am to become an "old" NBA fan. Being able to look back upon personally-watched players and bring to light parts of the game that have been overlooked or underappreciated will be sweet. I can't wait to have watched the game through multiple eras and really be able to compare different types of basketball.
Clyde Drexler is the greatness, my favorite player. I agree with everything said even the dancing. I didn't start watching hoops until 94, so I didn't know of Drexler until his last half season in Portland, and I liked him a lot. But when he got traded to my hometown Rockets on Valentines day 1995, he was officially my favorite. When dude put his head down in the open court, it was over, someone was goin' to be on Inside Stuff.
Also, I think Clyde did play a little point guard in his early years. I've seen him taking the ball down court and setting up the offense.
Dude had some very impressive stat lines. He's one of only three players (Oscar and Hondo) with over 22,000 points, 6,000 assist and 6,000 rebounds.
1986: 18.5 / 5.6 boards and 6 assist.
1988: 27 / 6.6 and 5.8
1989: 27.2 / 7.9 and 5.8
1992: 25 / 6.6 and 6.7
1996: 19.3 / 7.2 and 5.8