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Charles Barkley says Drexler was always jealous of Jordan

Aug 3, 2012, 11:11 AM EDT

Clyde Drexler plays defense Getty Images

Clyde Drexler has been back in the spotlight, in because the entire 1992 Dream Team is back in the spotlight, in part because he’s said some outrageous things.

Through it all, Drexler has come off as a little bit bitter.

He sounds frustrated that the Dream Team was about Jordan and Magic and Barkley and not him. Charles Barkley, speaking frankly on the “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000 (does Barkley speak another way?) said yes, that’s pretty much right.

“I think Clyde has always been jealous of Michael (Jordan), to be honest with you,” Barkley said…. “I think he’s always wanted to be compared to Michael.

“Hey, we all want to be compared to Michael, but we’re not. Clyde was a great player, but there was always that jealousy of Michael. That was one of the incidents and things about the Dream Team, Clyde was trying to play like it was Game 7 against Michael, and that’s probably not a good idea. When Michael is driving his kids to school, he thinks it’s Game 7.”

Drexler has denied saying that the Dream Team pitied Magic Johnson and was “waiting for him to die” but the author Jack McCallum told PBT he has it on tape. It may have come out different than Drexler intended it to sound, but he did say it.

Drexler was undoubtedly one of the best players of his generation — an NBA champion, a 10-time All-Star, a guy who averages 20 points a game for his career. A deserving Hall of Famer. But he’s not Jordan or Johnson. He’s just not. Sorry.

  1. charleslee84 - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    “Clyde was trying to play like it was Game 7 against Michael, and that’s probably not a good idea. When Michael is driving his kids to school, he thinks it’s Game 7.”

    Anyone else think that quote is amazing?

    • mmmpierogi - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      “When Michael is driving his kids to school, he thinks it’s Game 7.”

      While originally reading the article, I stopped and read the quote aloud to myself and smiled for a second (the mental image it provokes is pretty funny).

    • rhodefan - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      God Bless Chuck but that’s the kind of semi-coherent, psuedo-smart babbling that makes him so watchable. I’ve read it a dozen times, and it still makes no sense. What are you supposed to do when you play someone who thinks driving his kids to school is like playing Game 7? Go soft? Doesn’t that just ensure a more thorough a$$ kicking? Clyde may have had his jealousy issues. And I think I can decipher Chuck’s meaning (don’t wake the sleeping dog or something like that…), but an amazing quote… not really.

  2. lmoneyfresh - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Who wasn’t jealous of MJ?

  3. dls612 - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Love Charles! Not afraid to speak his mind. He gives it to you honestly.

  4. crab2323 - Aug 3, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    He couldn’t carry MJ’s bags!!!!

    • jobotjones - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      Thats not true. In the 92 finals it was very much Jordan vs Drexler.

      Jordan won MVP along with the series and the rest is history.

      But to say that he wasn’t on the same level as MJ is not true.

      Jordan was better but Clyde was not far behind.

      • progress2011 - Aug 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM

        For Cylde to compare himself to Jordan, is kinda like Manute Bol comparing himself to Shaq !
        Manute was over 7’0″ and played hard against Shaq. But he couldn’t hold Shaqs carry on luggage!

        Clyde’s game was one-dimensional AT BEST.

        1. He had no moves, just put his head down, run as fast as he could and try to dunk
        2. Never understood other players are on the floor, that he could pass the ball too
        3. Didn’t make players around him better

        These are the same reasons I can confirm kobe is not in MJ’s stratosphere. Because there are similarities, doesn’t make them the same caliber.

  5. kacapaco - Aug 3, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Why is Barkley acting like junior girl and call some1 jealous? That is very sissy.

    • yanivvinay - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      …Why are you acting like a junior girl replacing words with numbers?

  6. abasketballthing - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Well, he was much better than Magic at that point, and what he said about Magic’s attitude on the Dream Team was all true. You talk like wanted to be better than Magic, but wasn’t, when in reality he was. Magic was NOT the 2nd best PG in the NBA in 1992. Bird wasn’t the 3rd best SF either. They were on the team for sentimental reasons. Maybe it was related to Magic’s health condition, maybe it wasn’t. But there’s no denying the fact that, on talent and skill alone, they didn’t deserve to be there. Also, Barkley saying he was jealous of Jordan doesn’t prove anything. Drexler’s quotes are about Magic(and again, most of them are true), not Jordan, so there’s not enough evidence there to support Barkley’s opinion.

    • 1historian - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:48 PM

      you make a good point. I don’t like to admit it because I am a huge Larry Bird fan, but you are right. I remember back then people saying that it was just unthinkable for Larry and Magic not to be on that team.

      A very reluctant thumbs up

  7. lakerluver - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Drexler was good but he was not nearly as good as he seems to think he was. He was a very one dimensional player. IMO, Drexler ranks behind several two guards in NBA history.

    • khadeemw - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      drexler…one dimensional?…are u crazy…he was a great scorer, distributor, and defender…watch your film buddy

  8. lakerluver - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    @abasketballthing, Drexler was NEVER better than Magic.

    • khadeemw - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:24 PM

      in 1992 drexler was definitely a better player than magic johnson…johnson had retired and drexler was coming off his best season averaging 25 pts, 6+ reb and assists

    • abasketballthing - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:22 PM

      In 1992, he was. I respect Magic, and I think he’s the best PG ever, and I know he was better than Drexler every single year before 1992, but there’s no way that a declining Magic could’ve been better than him after spending a year out of the league.

  9. slippyal2 - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Drexler was the 2nd best player in the 91-92 season. He just so happened to run into the best player to ever live in those Finals. Drexler still thinks he was better than Jordan, it is mentioned in Jacks Dream Team book. It’s crazy talk to me, but the man was confident in his abilities.

  10. lakerluver - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Drexler was a good offensive player, and he was a good passer. However, he wasn’t as good of a defensive player as you make him out to be. How many All-Defensive teams did he make? Uhh, that would be zero. That’s what I meant by one dimensional.

  11. sellahh - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    To me Barkley saying this is only a testimony for how jelous of Jordan he is himself.

    • drunkenjunk - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      you’re an idiot. Barkley and Jordan are good friends friends.

    • guyaneserj - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:15 AM

      What kinda logic is that sellah? That absolutely makes no sense whatsoever!

    • macka4 - May 26, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      Right, he inserts Drexler’s name in place of his. And he’s probably right in each case

  12. chi01town - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Like Mike…. Nobody will ever play Basketball like Michael Jordan an THATS WHY WE ( the fans ) can never let him go. Drexler was a good player BUT he will never be compaired to JORDAN… Dont feel bad Drexler… The NBA is STILL FULL of players trying to be LIKE MIKE….. ask Kobe

    • progress2011 - Aug 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      Ahahahahaah….Chi Town !!!

      That’s the EXACT argument I have been making to the delusional laker fans for years !

      But I argue, if Drexler would have been able to play with a dominant center like Shaq and then have two 7’0″ guys with skill (Bynum and Gasol) and didn’t play in MJ’s era, he would have won 5 (maybe more) titles too.

      The reason we still admire Jordan is because for every chip he won, he was the MVP and the man! Kobe has been the MVP on only 2 of his because Shaq was the man on the first 3 !

      We both will get about 60 thumbs down, because that’s how many regulars they have patrolling this site.

      ahahaha

      • mytthor - Aug 4, 2012 at 4:16 PM

        Absolutely Jordan is better than Drexler. Drexler better than Kobe?

        If Drexler played with a dominant center like Shaq? You mean, like maybe the center that schooled Shaq in the finals, Hakeem? With whom Drexler DID win a championship? And didn’t win finals mvp?

        Kobe Career: 25.4 ppg, 5.3 reb, 4.7 assists. 45% FG
        Drexler Career: 20.4 points, 6.1 reb, 5.6 assists. 47% FG

        5 less points, 1 more assist, 1 more rebound, 1 more made basket for every 50 shots.
        4 less championships. 1 less MVP. 2 less finals mvp.

        Gimme a break man? If you’re going to say Clyde’s underrated, fine. Same class as Kobe? fine. Better?
        There’s absolutely no evidence to back that up.

      • guyaneserj - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:23 AM

        Ur argument is mute mytthor with regards 2 playing with a HOF Center, as I believe Drex played with Hakeem for two seasons, Kobe played with Shaq at least 5 (I’m not a statistician, so not 100% sure of da #’s)..This was also when Drex was coming 2 da end of his career, so comparisons again, aren’t realistic.

        I’d like to see how many shots Kobe jacked up in comparison 2 Drex, If I had 0.50% of Kobe’s talent and shot as many times as he did, I’d have similar figures too…a lot gets lost in translation.. there’s lies, damn lies and then statistics…

  13. charlescub80 - Aug 3, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I liked how drexler still had to look at the ball while dribbling. That is all.

    • progress2011 - Aug 3, 2012 at 6:55 PM

      That’s so true and soooooo friggin HILARIOUS !

      The dude never learned to dribble with his left or how to dribble without looking directly at the ball on every bounce….ahahahaha

      That’s partly why, he never knew other players were open because he was too busy looking at the floor and/ or ball….ahahahaa

      He had ZERO fundamentals. You can’t compare yourself to MJ and your game never developed past fundamental dribbling…..ahahahaaha

  14. badintent - Aug 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    We talking about markets, markets, we talking about huge markets like chicago and little markets like Portland. Chicago big media market, Portland little market. so MJ on TV all the time, Clyde not so much. Both had huge hops, but only MJ blocked by Manute Bol !!Sucker MC.

  15. crab2323 - Aug 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Clyde averaged 20 points a game, lol sure he was equal to Jordan.

  16. davidly - Aug 3, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Well, sh*t, for his first three finals MVPs, Jordan beat Magic, Drexler, and Barkley, respectively. All three of them were phenomenal players, but Clyde had the least depth on his team.

    Regarding the summer of ’92, imagine busting your tail guarding MJ only to have Drexler sub for him. You can talk about how much better Jordan is than anybody else, but playing against the Glide was in no way shape or form a breather.

  17. pxeeks - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    There is one Jordan. Let it rest. No one comes close. No one.

  18. prestigious1 - Aug 4, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    “Clyde was trying to play like it was Game 7 against Michael, and that’s probably not a good idea. When Michael is driving his kids to school, he thinks it’s Game 7.”

    That sums it up right there. Clyde went head to head with Jordan in the finals and got slaughtered. Same thing in Dream Team practice. Plus the only reason Clyde has a ring is because Jordan was just coming off retirement. Deep down Clyde knows all of that and it eats him alive.

  19. bigmack305 - Aug 4, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. Hey, has anyone noticed how much Clyde looks like MJ? Take the picture in this article and cover his “hair” with your finger. It’s uncanny!

  20. 21stnprime - Aug 4, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Jordan never even got to play in a game 7. Series weren’t even that close

  21. hudgeliberal - May 27, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    Only one close to MJ is/was Kobe. Still,I can’t fault Clyde for thinking that he is/was the best or at least equal to MJ,if you don’t think you are the best player on the court you do NOT need to be in the NBA..plain and simple. If you polled most NBA players and they were truthful,they all feel that they are much better than they are and most would believe they are the best or would be if given the time and the ball enough. If they didn’t believe that they would not have made it to the NBA in the first place. I want guys who believe that they are the best…that competitiveness is what wins titles. Though Cly

  22. hudgeliberal - May 27, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    Only one close to MJ is/was Kobe. Still,I can’t fault Clyde for thinking that he is/was the best or at least equal to MJ,if you don’t think you are the best player on the court you do NOT need to be in the NBA..plain and simple. If you polled most NBA players and they were truthful,they all feel that they are much better than they are and most would believe they are the best or would be if given the time and the ball enough. If they didn’t believe that they would not have made it to the NBA in the first place. I want guys who believe that they are the best…that competitiveness is what wins titles. Though Cly

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