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Video: Magic Johnson responds to Clyde Drexler’s comments

Jul 1, 2012, 9:30 AM EDT

Last week, excerpts from a new book on the 1992 Dream Team were released and in them Clyde Drexler said that people on the team and in the league pitied Magic Johnson and were “waiting for him to die.” Drexler denied making those comments but I’m not buying that — the author is one of the nation’s most respected journalists and Drexler has said some wild stuff before.

Above is a video interview with Magic Johnson where he is told of and responds to the comment.

  1. londonaiooo - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Wow, I would not want to be on Magic’s bad side. He just assassinated Drexler’s character and career all with a smile on his face and a humble facade. That was incredible to watch.

  2. ron05342 - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Drexler is a moron.

  3. alexb64 - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    I think the even dumber part of this Drexler thing is him denying what he said. All he really needed to say was something along the lines of “You know what? Yeah I said & felt things at the time that I regret now. It wasn’t like today where at any given moment you can read up on these things. I didn’t know much about HIV, I knew as much misinformation as I did facts, a lot of guys were like that. Yeah I feel stupid now, but back then I just really didn’t know.”

    • delfi2 - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      @alexb64. I agree, sort of like what Karl malone did. He at least man’d up.

    • passerby23 - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      Well said. And, “I was also a bit bitter at the time that his team beat mine that year. I thought it was a bit embarrassing at the time that a guy with HIV could beat me. But I’ve learned and matured since then.”

  4. shockexchange - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Even more interesting is how even in Magic and Drexler’s finest hour, a sportswriter who has probably has no athletic ability whatsoever, is making money off of them and their basketball exploits. Now said writer is trying to create controversy amongst them in order to market his book. Don’t you find this arrangement, Mitch Album included, rather odd?

    • mytthor - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      Just a tip, this ad hominem argument is usually meant to criticize a writer for criticizing an athlete’s athletic ability.

      In answer to your question, no, it’s not odd that he’s making money off their basketball exploits, because what he’s actually making money off is HIS writing ability.

      • shockexchange - Jul 1, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        He is making money off of the “access” he was given to the athletes as well. Without that access, he would not have had anything to write about. That “access” provided to him by Magic, Drexler, et al. is a “currency.” I mplied in my earlier post is (i) Magic, Drexler, et al. properly compensated for the access they provided the writer or (ii) the besmirching of the reputations – whether true or not – decades later?

      • mytthor - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:46 PM

        The access wasn’t a favor he was given. Sportswriters are given access so that interest in athletes can be higher. It’s a two-way street.

      • shockexchange - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:39 PM

        “The access wasn’t a favor he was given. Sportswriters are given access so that interest in athletes can be higher. It’s a two-way street.”

        Somehow, interest in Clyde has gone way down while the author expects interest in his book go skyrocket … seems as if Clyde was “on the wrong end of a trade” to me.

      • mytthor - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:06 PM

        Of course what he has done with the access he’s been given is to write himself a book with the intention of making money. The athlete’s end of the bargain doesn’t come 20 years later. The dream team was a national phenomenon because they were great players, but no one would have known without the media.

  5. connaniii - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Class act!

  6. dysraw1 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    nuff respect to MJ. the whole point of this article being released is to sell that stupid book, very often writers tend to sensationalize these story to gain public interest. but why is any of this important at this stage. Magic is doing fine.

  7. acdc363 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Wow what a fantastic response by Magic he really showed why he is one of the all time greats. “I don’t worry about MVP’s, I win championships.” LIKE A BOSS!

  8. lakerluver - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Phuk Clyde!! Dude, is envious of Magic’s career on the court and his success off the court as well. Top 5 player of all time, greatest pg ever, and arguably the most successful former player ever.

    • pelayo76 - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      There is always to sides to a story.. especially in the media..stuff gets twisted around..Clyde was on of Magic’s biggest supporters and have been friends for 28 years..
      Career wise..Magic was awesome.. but so was Clyde..Magic, Jordan, Bird all had great supporting cast..Clyde had Duckworth, Porter,..and he still managed to carry the Blazers far..had he a better cast..he would had won more rings..
      Do your homework before blogging.. especially that idiot who said Drexlers a’re the moron with s line like that…

  9. badintent - Jul 1, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Magic worth $300 million, Clyde worth 300 cents. Bottom line, Wall Street time. Magic 4 rings, Clyde 1. And won it when he was on the decline.

  10. nokoolaidcowboy - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    I remember back in the day the MEDIA (yes, I am calling you out) making it look like Magic wasn’t going to be around much longer. Experts that they are…

    • londonaiooo - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:18 PM

      20 years ago HIV was a death sentence, so yes, people (including the media and medical experts), thought Magic didn’t have much time left. It’s only with the benefit of hindsight that we’ve realised how wrong we were (in many ways much like the civil rights movement in the 60s and the gay marriage issue now). As alluded to earlier, if Clyde had just admitted he said that and pointed out that knowledge had changed since then, this wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

      • shockexchange - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:40 PM


        Actually, sinse media, medical experts and the general public held the same beliefs, the only reason McCallum is sensationalizing Clyde’s views is to sell his book. It wouldn’t be much of an issue if the author had never raised it in the first play. It’s a “ploy” to sell a book … period. Yet bloggers and other media types are biting on the story in search of website hits.

      • philtration - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        HIV is still a death sentence unless you have tons of money to pay for the treatment that is obviously available.

        Johnson still being here 20 year later is not “magic” but a result of him being rich.

  11. BigBeachBall - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    that’s the culture, ballers talk trash until they die to keep each other’s minds sharp.
    It’s a brotherhood and clyde was just hitting magic with some old school trash to remind magic who he is…it sounds counter-intuitive but it’s actually a huge act of respect especially coming from a superstar like clyde. Magic is actually much better off with those comments from that type of player…. than without them.

  12. londonaiooo - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:13 PM


    Yes the author should have mentioned that attitudes and knowledge of HIV were less informed than now, but that’s the point of why Clyde should have pointed that out. Most people who are old enough to remember Magic’s press conference will recognise this, and those who aren’t will hopefully benefit from these kind of posts on blogs. And the author will hopefully not benefit from sensationalising an issue that deserves more in depth and accurate information. I don’t think this makes Clyde come across badly, because a lot of people thought a lot worse things than he stole my MVP. Different times, different attitudes.

  13. raiders4life - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    Magic Johnson is a class act and won’t allow this pettiness from Drexler affect him whatsoever. As Magic pointed out, if Clyde had a problem at the time he should’ve brought up then and not 20 years after the fact. Fool!

  14. ca7655 - Jul 2, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Ahhhhhhh Naa!!!!!, all yall fake dream team members going to get back what yall put out & Magic sat up there talking about Isiah Thomas like Zeke was the worst person on the planet & Magic & the “nightmare team” members sucking up to Michael Jordan keeping Zeke off the team they are all cursed & more than this is going to come out about this fake a** dream team, it is so funny because the NBA thought that they were going to celebrate 20 years of this dream team sh*t but that’s all they did was open up the truth about how Michael Jordan ran the league, so for Clyde Drexler comments about Magic I don’t like them at all cause he should have said this sh*t 20 years ago Oh but I forgot Clyde had to get permission from Michael Jordan to say this, so to all of the dream team members who kept Isiah “the best point guard ever” off the team cause he didn’t kiss Jordan’s ass the “HELL WITH ALL YALL”…Isiah Thomas has more class & integrity than any of those clowns.

  15. dysraw1 - Jul 2, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    well at least 1 person thinks so

  16. jimsjam33 - Jul 2, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Magic was the most exciting player in Laker history . He is also man of character . He stands up for principle and I love his demeanor . Magic , you are the greatest and you mean a boatload to the people of Los Angeles ! Keep on doing the good work for the people here .

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