To pull out an old writing trick… Webster’s Dictionary defines “glide” as the following:
: to move smoothly, continuously, and effortlessly
: to go or pass imperceptibly
It’s a term that connotes ease, that signifies freedom from agitation. Clyde Drexler as a basketball player encapsulated these attitudes and mores. Despite being one of the more exciting players in the NBA during the 1980s and 1990s, it was quite often an understated excitement, if possible.
His dunks came about in such a gliding ease. He rose majestically and flowed seamlessly through the atmospheric fluid flushing home the jam. Seemingly lacking even less effort was the way Drexler could extend and wind his way into gorgeous finger rolls and scooping layups that no man should ever have any business of taking, let alone making.
Well, after viewing Drexler’s highlight package, it’s kind of clear that not all of his dunks were done devoid of invigorating passion. The man could throw down a hammer on opponents.
There was so much more to Drexler’s game than the dunks and flashy layups though. He was an extraordinary passer from the big guard spot, was great on cleaning up the defensive glass and was magnificent at anticipating woeful passes to steal. Combining all of those traits with his flair for dunking and Drexler became perhaps the most feared player on the fastbreak during his era.
He possessed great handles for a man 6’7″ tall, even if he dribbled with his head down. The tunnel vision drive, though, just made the ultimate outcome of his forays even less in doubt. He was going to glide in stride and leave you embarrassed at the end of the occasion.
His assortment of abilities led him to play in the NBA Finals three different times (twice in Portland, once in Houston) and delivered a membership on the Dream Team in 1992. However, when it comes to naming great shooting guards in the NBA’s history, Drexler’s name can often glide by without notice.
Well, let this serve as a reminder to always remember the magnificent ride of Clyde the Glide.
Seasons Played: 1984 – 1998
All-NBA 1st Team (1992)
2x All-NBA 2nd Team (1988, 1991)
2x All-NBA 3rd Team (1990, 1995)
10x All-Star (1986, 1988-’94, 1996-’97)
NBA – 1086 Games
20.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.6 APG, 2.0 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 47.2% FG, 78.8% FT
7th All-Time in Steals, 10th All-Time in SPG
27th All-Time in Assists, 28th All-Time in Points
26th All-Time in FGs Made, 37th All-Time in FTs Made