Michael Jordan Made Clyde Drexler a Huge Fan of His Despite the 2 Stars Being Rivals: ‘We Even Like to See Him Play When We’re Not Playing Against Him’

Michael Jordan was such an exciting player to watch during his Chicago Bulls days that Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler was a big fan of his despite the two superstars being rivals. Jordan and Drexler were widely viewed as the top two shooting guards in the NBA during the late ’80s and throughout the ’90s, so they were likely always trying to one-up each other.

However, since Drexler was a basketball fanatic, he couldn’t help but admit that Jordan was a special player who attracted everyone’s eyes.

Clyde Drexler on Michael Jordan: ‘He’s a pro’s pro’

In NBA Entertainment’s Michael Jordan’s Playground, Drexler was one of the All-Stars asked to talk about Jordan. The New Orleans native said guys around the NBA liked to watch MJ play when they weren’t facing the Bulls since he was such a magnificent talent.

“He’s a pro’s pro,” Drexler said about Jordan. “And we even like to see him play when we’re not playing against him.”

The Portland Trail Blazers could have drafted Jordan with the second overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. However, they selected Sam Bowie since they already had Drexler on the roster. Even though Clyde the Glide had a successful run in Rip City, Blazers fans probably wish Jordan ended up in Portland either with Drexler or as his replacement.

Michael Jordan won five MVPs, 10 scoring titles, six Finals MVPs

It’s difficult to find another player with a better NBA résumé than Jordan. The UNC product won five regular-season MVPs, 10 scoring titles, and six Finals MVPs with the Bulls. Chicago never lost in the Finals during the Jordan era and three-peated twice.

Jordan is the NBA’s all-time leader in points per game and player efficiency rating in the regular season and playoffs. He holds the record for most points scored in a postseason game. His Airness dropped 63 points on the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 1986 playoffs.

Hakeem Olajuwon, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jordan are the only three players in NBA history to win MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. The Bulls legend is also one of two players to win regular-season MVP, Finals MVP, and a gold medal in the same year. LeBron James is the other player.

Drexler made 10 All-Star and five All-NBA teams during his career with the Blazers and Houston Rockets. He was part of the 1994-95 Rockets team that won the championship over the Orlando Magic and made the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

However, Drexler didn’t get the best of Jordan when it mattered most.

Clyde Drexler lost to MJ in the 1992 Finals

The Bulls and Blazers faced off in the 1992 NBA Finals. Chicago had homecourt advantage in the series, and Jordan was motivated to prove that he was better than Drexler.

Chicago won Game 1 at home behind 39 points from Jordan. However, Portland responded by winning Game 2 and stealing homecourt advantage. Drexler led the Blazers with 26 points, and suddenly, the Bulls were under pressure.

The next three games were in Portland. Jordan scored 26 points in the Bulls’ Game 3 victory, 32 in the Game 4 loss, and 46 in the Game 5 win. Meanwhile, Drexler had 32 points in Game 3, 21 in Game 4, and 30 in Game 5. The Bulls reclaimed homecourt advantage and had a chance to wrap up the series at the Chicago Stadium.

Drexler seemed to run out of gas in Game 6. He shot 8-of-24 from the field and finished with 24 points. As for Jordan, he put up 33 points on 54.2% shooting from the field and helped Chicago win by four. The Bulls were champions for the second consecutive year, and there was no doubt that Jordan was the best player in the NBA.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference

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