Blazers legend Clyde Drexler reveals reason he orchestrated trade to Rockets
Clyde Drexler is widely considered as one of the greatest players in Portland Trail Blazers history. This is exactly why it came as a bit of a surprise when he forced a move away from Portland towards the latter part of his career, orchestrating a trade to the Houston Rockets.
In a recent appearance on the The Posecast James Posey Podcast, Drexler provided some insight on what made him decide to turn his back on his beloved Blazers:
“The only reason I left Portland,” Drexler stated,” they were starting to rebuild. Because after all those great years, I had some injury on my knee, and they kinda gave up a little bit too soon. And so they started rebuilding.”
The Blazers traded Drexler to the Rockets in the middle of the 1994-95 season. At that time, he was already 32, and as he described above, he’d already sustained a number of key injuries. Nevertheless, Drexler believed that he still had a lot of gas left in the tank, and if Portland did not have enough confidence in him, then he would rather play elsewhere.
Drexler then described the tipping point of what was a very difficult decision for him at that time:
“They got rid of Kevin Duckworth, and I was like ‘Hold up guys, we don’t have a center,'” he said. “And then they started saying, ‘We need to rebuild. We need to trade some of these veterans while they can still play so that we can get something for them.’ And that’s when I orchestrated the trade to Houston. But if they had not done that, I would have finished my career there.”
True enough, Drexler helped the Rockets to a championship that same year. He also made two more All-Star appearances while playing for the Rockets, which only proves that he was right in thinking that the Blazers had given up on him a bit too early.