What I’m Listening to: USA TODAY Sports activities’ Note Medina breaks down the NBA’s alternatives for resuming the season and whether the league can also aloof proceed the popular season or dawdle straight to the playoffs.


An moderate of nearly about 5.6 million other folks watched “The Last Dance” documentary on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Former NBA star Clyde Drexler used to be no longer no doubt one of them.

“I did no longer study about it. I lived it,” Drexler told USA TODAY Sports activities with a chortle. “With quite of luck down the aspect road, I’ll discover some alternatives to construct that.”

When that will seemingly be? Who knows. Drexler joked he has a handful of books and Netflix shows to be pleased first. Drexler furthermore has his possess documentary to study about.

NBA TV will premier “Rip City Revival” on Sunday at 8 ET, an hour-prolonged documentary on how the Portland Toddle Blazers seemed in two NBA Finals and three consecutive Western Conference finals from 1989-92.

“I loved taking half in with these guys,” Drexler acknowledged. “They don’t discover sufficient credit score. That’s why I love ‘Rip City Revival.’ It talks about them and their contributions to the crew. We were an precise crew.”

That crew did no longer end any of its seasons by dousing every numerous with champagne. Portland misplaced to the Detroit Pistons in five games within the 1990 NBA Finals, to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games within the 1991 West finals and to the Bulls in six games within the 1992 NBA Finals.

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That hardly ever diminishes what the Toddle Blazers accomplished though. They averaged 60 wins real by means of that three-year window, alongside with a league-simplest 63-19 story within the 1990-91 season. Portland cemented this résumé in opposition to the Bulls, Pistons, Lakers and Boston Celtics, all of whom had future Hall-of-Famers.

“To discover it to the Finals wait on then, you needed to be no doubt, no doubt stunning,” Drexler acknowledged. “We were lucky always to be within the combine in these three years and own probability to play for a title. Ought to you’re in crew sports, that’s all it is doubtless you’ll per chance ask for. Right here’s no longer an person sport be pleased tennis or golf.”

Most steadily the NBA can transform an person sport, no no longer as much as to the unusual public.

In “The Last Dance,” Jordan conceded he “took offense” to comparisons to Drexler, despite brooding about him “a possibility.” Former Lakers star Magic Johnson recalled that Jordan told him the night time earlier than Game 1 in 1992: “I would possibly present it to this dude.” Jordan then scored 39 capabilities, alongside with six 3-pointers within the first half of, which ended in his necessary shrug.

Virtually 28 years later, Drexler respectfully declined to soak up any trash mumble. He laughed and expressed foggy memory of joking with venerable NBA on NBC reporter Ahmed Rashad that Jordan “stole all of my moves.” Drexler acknowledged the Blazers challenged Chicago in a six-sport sequence that he called “ultra competitive.”

“Everyone has a healthy respect for every numerous at this stage of their existence,” Drexler acknowledged. “That that you just would possibly perhaps well also wish to take it in perspective. We were the truth is competitive. I haven’t considered (the documentary). So I don’t know how one can answer to your predict. However I the truth is own numerous respect for Michael and Magic. I wish them nothing however effectively.”

Drexler furthermore has numerous respect for his Toddle Blazers coaches, teammates and fans.

He called venerable coach Rick Adelman “a low-key gamers’ coach” for the formulation he listened, motivated and happy gamers to include their roles. He expressed condolences on the passing of Jerome Kersey, Kevin Duckworth and Drazen Petrovic, all of whom Drexler called “my brothers.”

Drexler singled out Kersey for his vitality, defense, rebounding and physicality. He regarded as Buck Williams “no doubt one of many splendid offensive centers within the league” attributable to his put up presence, mid-differ sport and athleticism. He labeled Terry Porter “no doubt one of many splendid 3-point shooters within the game” after shooting 38.6% from deep in 17 seasons. It helped obviously that Drexler grew to transform a 10-time All-Star and no doubt one of many league’s simplest scorers.

Drexler believed these qualities helped the Blazers compete in opposition to numerous NBA stars, alongside with Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Dominique Wilkins, Karl Malone, George Gervin and David Robinson. But, the Bulls, Lakers and Celtics attracted more nationwide consideration than the Toddle Blazers. That’s okay. Drexler acknowledged the Blazers embraced turning into a “blue-collar crew” in a metropolis that resembled what he called “a college ambiance.” He acknowledged the crew remained alive to with numerous community initiative with native hospitals and homeless safe haven.

“I enjoyed it because there just isn’t any longer any longer a numerous sport in Portland. You discover all of the honour,” Drexler acknowledged. “That’s stunning and rude. Exact while you happen to’re successful and rude while you happen to’re losing. However they loved it. They were serious about their Blazers.”

Portland’s identification fashioned gradually. After selecting Drexler at No. 14 in 1983, the Blazers regretfully drafted Sam Bowie over Jordan the following year at No. 2. Portland chanced on unhurried gem stones in Kersey (No. 46 in 1984) and Porter (No. 24 in 1985). Sooner than the 1989 draft, Portland bought Williams from the Unusual Jersey Nets for Bowie and the No. 12 take care of.

“When we bought Buck Williams, let me expose you, I knew we would discover it to the Finals. I knew it,” Drexler acknowledged. “We had every on hand express we desired to beat the stunning teams.”

That could even no longer had been sufficient for the Toddle Blazers to take an NBA title. Drexler experienced that in 1995 after getting traded to the Houston Rockets. However Drexler hopes viewers delight in Portland’s impact after staring at “Rip City Revival.”

“It provides them some whisper material. Everyone is ravenous for whisper material moral now,” acknowledged Drexler, who offered sympathy for these plagued by the pandemic. “This nation needs sports, trust me. However splendid when it’s stable.”

Educate USA TODAY NBA author Note Medina on Twitter, Fb and Instagram.


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