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[real history] Clyde Drexler trade

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by tinman, May 27, 2011.

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Drexler trade

  1. I knew the real story already

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  1. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    apparently 'newer' fans have their facts incredibly wrong about why the Drexler trade happened and how it happened.

    Specifically this is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, like LeBron and the "decision". Drexler was a Houston legend before he went to the NBA.
    The Rockets were the defending champions when he got traded there.

    Clutchfans don't let Clutchfans be wrong about Clutch City.


    <iframe width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/yo4PY_FVK7A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=1995_1256822


    The Trade/CLYDE GLIDES HOME/O.T. heads to Blazers for Drexler
    EDDIE SEFKO Staff
    WED 02/15/1995 HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Section Sports, Page 1, 3 STAR Edition

    Nearly 12 years after leaving, one of the greatest basketball players ever to come off the Houston playgrounds is coming home.

    Clyde Drexler was acquired by the Rockets from Portland on Tuesday evening in exchange for Otis Thorpe, a vital piece of the 1994 championship team. In addition, the Rockets get 3-point shooter Tracy Murray from the Trail Blazers. They also send the rights to 1993 second-round pick Marcelo Nicola and a conditional first-round draft pick to Portland.

    Drexler, who learned to glide on the blacktops near Sterling High School and teamed with Hakeem Olajuwon to lead the University of Houston to national recognition, was reunited with his college buddy after spending 11 1/2 seasons in the Pacific Northwest.

    "An eight-time All-Star, a member of the Dream Team -- which is maybe the greatest team of all time -- a definite future Hall of Famer and a hometown son is coming home," Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said. "We had to give up one of our great players to get him. But it's hard to turn down a trade when you can get a guy of Clyde Drexler's ability.

    "This is an exciting day for the city of Houston and the Houston Rockets."

    Making the trade -- which is contingent on all players passing physical examinations today -- was not easy. Drexler will earn $9.75 million next season, including a balloon payment in the final year of a long-term contract. The Blazers had to pick up a percentage of the balloon payment, although none of the participating parties would divulge how much.

    Drexler, chosen 13th in the 1983 draft, has career averages of 20.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.7 assists. While many in the league think his skills have tapered off in the past three seasons, he is averaging 22 points, 5.5 rebounds and five assists this season.

    He had played in 41 of Portland's 45 games before Tuesday.

    "I couldn't be happier," Drexler said. "This is the one place that I'd rather be than anywhere else (in the league). I was raised here, and I've got all my family here. I talked to my mom when I got here, and she was so ecstatic, she started to cry.

    "It's a tremendous feeling. Playing with Hakeem again is going to be great. He's the best player in the league, and I'm just going to try to fit in."

    Said Olajuwon, who teamed with Drexler on two Final Four teams: "I still can't believe it. In my wildest dreams, I never thought it would happen. It's too good to be true."

    Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said that, given the Rockets' current situation with Vernon Maxwell on the suspended list and Robert Horry and Carl Herrera on the injured list, he felt blessed to make a trade of this magnitude.

    "You look at trades and the salary cap, and it's hard to make things happen," he said. "It's almost a miracle situation that we can get something done like this.

    "Obviously, we feel like this will make us a better team. But whenever you make a trade, it's tough. I wanted to give these guys a chance to do it again. But you look at things like this and you feel like you're improving.

    "I respect Otis. And I thank him from the bottom of my heart.

    "But my strongest loyalty has to be to this team. Otis was very classy and professional about it."

    Thorpe earns $2.6 million this season. According to NBA salary-cap guidelines, players involved in a two-for-one trade must have combined salaries within 15 percent of each other. Drexler is a base-year-compensation player, meaning he is worth only $1.5 million for trade purposes. Murray, a 6-7 forward, makes about $1.1 million, making the deal a perfect fit under terms of the cap.

    Rockets sources said the club attempted to get 6-9 power forward Mark Bryant involved in the deal but that the Blazers balked at the suggestion.

    As it is, the Rockets are trading their starting power forward for a starter at shooting guard and a backup small forward.

    In Drexler, the Rockets have landed the sort of creative, slashing player they have never had before. Traditionally built around centers, the Rockets haven't had any player of Drexler's caliber and capability to assist their big men.

    "We know this is going to change the team," Tomjanovich said. "I would hope it does alter the team's chemistry because it was like we were running in mud."


    Bringing in Drexler clearly provides two positive elements: leadership and scoring ability.

    Since starting the season 9-0, the Rockets have been barely a .500 team and overall leadership has come into question. In addition, the team has gone through long stretches when it had trouble putting points on the board.

    "I think we're going to be able to score points a little easier,"
    Tomjanovich said. "Clyde is the kind of player who can create situations for himself, can make things happen in the open court and can make things easier for other players on the court."

    On the downside, no player of Drexler's quality can be obtained without paying a price. By losing Thorpe, the Rockets also lose almost 10 rebounds per game. In last year's playoff run, Thorpe confronted Portland's Buck Williams, Phoenix's Charles Barkley, Utah's Karl Malone and New York's Charles Oakley and acquitted himself nicely against all of them.

    Without him, the Rockets will have to find someone to pick up the rebounding slack.

    "Rebounding is always a problem, but I'd like to remind everybody that we won the NBA title last season despite being the worst offensive rebounding team in the league," Tomjanovich said.

    The first-round pick involved in the trade is conditional on how well the Rockets do in the playoffs this season. It is believed they will lose this season's first-round pick if they reach the conference finals.
     
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  2. ThaShark316_28

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    I remember where I was when I heard it...

    I was in the back seat of the car and the radio was on 97.9 The Box and the Madd Hatta mentioned it. I was like...:eek:
     
  3. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl?id=1995_1266813

    Drexler returns to scene of his prime/Rocket glad to be ex-Blazer
    EDDIE SEFKO Staff
    FRI 04/07/1995 HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Section Sports, Page 1, 2 STAR Edition

    OAKLAND, Calif. -- For a week, Clyde Drexler has tried not to think about it, tried to concentrate on matters at hand and not look ahead.

    But it was always there in the back of his mind. Occasionally, it would jump to the front, even though Drexler didn't want it to. Going home -- and Portland is like home for Drexler, even though he still calls himself a Houstonian -- will do that to a guy.

    "I spent 11 1/2 seasons in Portland," Drexler said. "Of course there are going to be some emotions when I go back. It's going to be tough. I'm not an emotional guy. But there's going to be too much emotion. I have a lot of good memories (from) up there."

    Tonight, that emotion and those memories will come rushing to him. Drexler and the Rockets visit the Portland Trail Blazers for the first time since he was acquired Feb. 14 for Otis Thorpe.

    This is a game that was supposed to have even more emotion dripping from it. Vernon Maxwell would be going back to the scene of the crime, where he charged 11 rows into the stands to confront a heckler, which earned him a 10-game suspension. Thorpe would get his first opportunity to post up the Rockets, the team he helped lead to the 1994 world championship but who traded him midway through the following season.

    But Maxwell is back in Houston recovering from tired blood and Thorpe suffered a death in the family and won't be there.

    Drexler is the last remaining sideshow.

    For 11 1/2 years, Drexler became a part of Portland. He was someone with whom the community could identify and who helped elevate the Trail Blazers from an ordinary team to an elite one in the early '90s.

    But by the time they opened this season, Drexler could see he no longer belonged in his adopted home.

    "They needed to make a change and I needed a change," Drexler said. "I'm a live-and-let-live kind of guy. I try to remember the good things about Portland. I don't ever want to be bitter about it.

    "But I wanted a change so bad, I wouldn't even have thought twice about it. If it were the Nets or the Clippers, I don't care who. I still would have said, "Yes, get me out.' "

    The root of the problem, oddly enough, wasn't money, which is almost a given in today's NBA. What peeved Drexler is that he watched Portland owner Paul Allen and vice-chairman Bert Kolde methodically tear apart the organization. One by one, Drexler's friends, coaches, confidants and associates were fired.

    "Changes occurred," he said. "Some really good people got hurt. Those people have moved on. I felt like it was time for me to move on, too."

    The firing of coach Rick Adelman was the final straw that convinced Drexler it was time for a change.
    He asked to be traded, and while he is thrilled he got shipped to his hometown, he would have gone anywhere.

    Drexler doesn't like to harp on the ill will between him and the Blazers' brass, although he recently told the Oregonian newspaper he has no appreciation for the way Allen and Kolde do business.

    "They dumped on a lot of people," Drexler said. "I go back to when he (Allen) first bought the team. He was talking about how quickly they make changes at Asymetrix (Allen's computer software firm). I remember him saying, "If somebody doesn't do the job, we fire them right on the spot. Bert is the hatchet man.' They were bragging about it.

    "And sure enough, they brought that same mentality to the organization the moment we didn't have a very successful season. It tells you a lot about them."

    And about the NBA. And while Drexler has learned a lot about the league and how the people who run it operate, it's nothing more than Thorpe has learned, albeit from a different perspective.

    Imagine being a 14-point, 10.5-rebound producer for a world champion, then being told halfway through the next season you're expendable.

    "This is a business and a job," Drexler said. "Any player who thinks differently is wrong. It's hard to find loyalty in this league."

    Thorpe didn't find it in Houston. Neither did Drexler in Portland, although both were success stories while they were with their respective former teams.

    Drexler led the Blazers to two appearances in the NBA Finals, losing first to Detroit in 1990, then to Chicago in 1992.

    Since the trade nearly two months ago, neither the Rockets nor the Blazers have benefited. Portland has been erratic and the Rockets, wracked with injuries, have been a confounding .500 team.

    The injuries have been the only negative thing for Drexler regarding his return to Houston. Carl Herrera, Robert Horry, Hakeem Olajuwon and Vernon Maxwell all have been lost for extended periods. It has made his homecoming a lot tougher than the days when he and Olajuwon were leading the Houston Cougars to collegiate greatness.

    "If we're healthy, I think we've got a chance to do a lot of things," Drexler said. "If we get everybody back, all of a sudden, we're going to be a serious contender to win it all."


    And it is going to have to be all of a sudden, Drexler says. With only nine games left in the season, the Rockets are going to have to build chemistry on the fly.

    "We need to have a little time to jell," he said. "You can't just throw five guys on the court and say, "Play.' But I don't know if we're going to have that time that we need."

    Despite the way he views the Blazers organization, Drexler says he intends to keep his wife, Gaynell, and their three children in Portland -- at least for part of the year.

    "Portland is special in my heart," he said. "I love the area. But I'll always be a Houstonian, too. Maybe we'll live in Portland in the summers and in Houston during the winter."

    But even as a part-time Houstonian, Drexler is far happier now than he was as a full-time Portlander. And even though the first two months of his career with the Rockets have been rocky, he sees better times ahead.

    "The trade was made, and I'm happy it worked out," Drexler said. "My motives are simple. I just want to do whatever I can to help us win a championship."
     
  4. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Let's also not forget. . . . The Rockets were not doing well when he came.
    i.e. leading the division or anything. . . .
    He ADDED alot to that team.

    Rocket River
     
  5. T-Slack

    T-Slack Member

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    Wondered who was the conditional first-round draft pick we gave up turned out to be
     
  6. conundrum

    conundrum Rookie

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    So Thorpe>Drexler?
     
  7. getsmartnow

    getsmartnow Contributing Member

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    Happy Valentines Day, Houston :)
     
  8. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    I love Otis Thorpe,
    we traded away low post presence and defense for increased offense and play making.

    The Rockets got too predictable with OT/Dream. However, when we had OT, he played spectacular D on other players like Malone. you can check Karl Malone's average vs OT and without OT.

    The Rockets being the worst offensive rebounding team was deceiving because they jacked up tons of 3s, which doesn't allow for our bigs to rebound.

    Moving Mario to the 3 and Horry to the 4 worked for that year because that forced the other team's 4 to either double Dream or guard Horry.

    Since Horry was out at the 3 point line, it freed up the middle for Dream to work.
     
  9. infinitidoug

    infinitidoug Member

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    1. Classic Kenny Smith antics
    2. Houston still has a rebounding problem (mentioned in the article, towards the end)
     
  10. IBTL

    IBTL Member

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    great move by les to step to the plate and make the move. This was one of the first real indicators for me that the new ownership was interested in winning.

    Certainly it helped that drexler is from houston ,and olajuwon played in houston with all that history... Drexler was instrumental in our title that year ,and les was instrumental in making it happen. and cubans biggest move to date for a stud? jason kidd? caron butler? excuse me while I go throw up ,and laugh out loud for a minute straight! and why is there all this love for the almighty cuban? I'm not sure and just can't even put a joke on it when the list continues with other great names like barkley,pippen etc. I mean I'm just loco right tinman? I mean it wasn't don nelson and their hopes and dreams all pretty much are riding on a lucky #9 pick? Where is the great prognosticator, heavy duty wants to win owner? Reliant on a chance #9 lucky pick in dirk? a team of stoyavic,kidd,terry and marion wouldnt even win 20 games.

    With drexler on the team, it took a while to get it going , and that's why we ended up at 6th seed. I wish we could have played the bulls because by the time we made it to orlando we were absolutely 'unbeatable'
     
  11. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    As mentioned in the article, the Rockets weren't in great shape when he got here. Dream and Maxwell were both out due to injuries . A major factor on why our record wasn't so good.

    It takes time to learn a new system and teammates, so that's it was so amazing. Then that playoff team, it was destiny.
     
  12. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    If God ran into that 1995 Rockets team, He would have been cut.
     
  13. rpr52121

    rpr52121 Sober Fan
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    Because you asked...

    1995 No. 19 Randolph Childress, PG from Wake Forest. Played with Tim Duncan. One of the 50 greatest players in the ACC. Hit this shot to win the 1995 ACC Championship Tourney (Wake Forest's 1st in 40 yrs):

    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/bgsVItGvRQo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    He only played 51 games in 2 seasons with Portland & Detroit. In his best game he scored 18 pts with 3 assists and 3 rebounds. His NBA career ended because of an ACL injury and disagreement with P.J. Carlesimo. He went on to play in Turkey, Australia, and Italy.

    Interestingly he was trade once with Otis Thorpe and then later for Otis Thorpe.

    No. Drexler was a better player who could take over a game or series, but that in no way should minimize how good Thorpe was.

    Otis Thorpe is one of 20 players to collect 17000 pts and 10000 rebs in his career. He also was very good defensive player, and highly underrated as an outlet passer which was huge to helping that first Rockets title team establish their tempo and style on a game.
     
  14. rpr52121

    rpr52121 Sober Fan
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    He also got Jeff McInnis on this crossover in that same game.

    <iframe width="425" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sRJMsoIptQo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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  15. dmenacela

    dmenacela Contributing Member

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    I'm starting to notice and like your posts Tinman. Keepin it real. Thanks for sharing.

    Go Rockets
     
  16. KGdaBoss

    KGdaBoss Member

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    If I remember correctly, didn't Chucky Brown start numerous games for the Rockets after the Drexler trade? I believe Horry started at the 3 and moved to the 4 once Elie checked in. I do remember Horry guarding Rodman, Barkley, Malone, and Ho Grant. I might be mistaken though.

    Either way, That was an amazing playoff run. I still remember the Kiss of Death shot Elie hit from the corner against the Suns. That was the birth of "Clutch City"
     
  17. rocketfan21

    rocketfan21 Member

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    Since I'm so young (was like 7 when the trade occurred) and tinman usually posts amazing info I expected to learn somehting new here. I'm so drunk right now. And I was let down.
     
  18. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    It's not like they found something like a secret chamber in the pyramids, its that certain people got the situation wrong.

    They think it was like the LeBron - Dwade pairing. It was absolutely nothing like that. It was a mid season trade. Portland was blowing up that old team, the Rockets were battling through a season where Dream/Maxwell were hurt and needed a new offensive spark.

    Plus Drexler was coming home to Houston where he was a star in college/high school.
     
  19. roslolian

    roslolian Rockets Only Fan
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    Drexler asked Portland to trade him to Houston so they could win a ring. Houston was in bad shape, and him going there made the team great. LBJ was a FA and chose to sign with Miami so they could win rings. Miami was in terrible shape, and him going there obviously made the team really good.

    The intent was the same (pair together to win). Drexler already being a Houston native doesn't really do much to validate/invalidate this.
     
  20. Poloshirtbandit

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    Olajuwon also pushed for the trade to happen at the beginning of the year if I remember right.
     
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