Michael Jordan Says He 'Took Offense' Being Compared to Clyde Drexler in 1992

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2020

The Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan (23) drives to the hoop against the Portland Trial Blazers Clyde Drexler during the fourth quarter of Sundays sixth and final game of the NBA Finals in Chicago on June 14, 1992. The Bulls beat the Trail Blazers 97-93 for their second consecutive championship. (AP Photo/Fred Jewell)
Fred Jewell/Associated Press

Michael Jordan shrugged away the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1992 NBA Finals, and he was particularly motivated to prove he was better than Clyde Drexler in their individual matchup.

ESPN released a preview for the next broadcast of its The Last Dance documentary, and Jordan shared his thoughts about the comparisons between himself and Drexler that served as the backdrop of the Finals series when it started.

"Clyde was a threat," Jordan said in the clip. "I'm not saying he wasn't a threat. But me being compared to him, I took offense to that."

ESPN @espn

Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler were considered two of the best players in the league during the 1992 NBA Finals. MJ wasn’t having that. Episodes 5 & 6 of #TheLastDance premiere Sunday at 9 PM ET on ESPN. https://t.co/sUnUiVl67Y

Dealing with His Airness with a championship on the line is difficult enough. Drexler had to deal with Jordan playing with that additional perceived slight, especially considering one of the earlier episodes of the documentary pointed out Portland passed on selecting him with the No. 2 pick of the 1984 NBA draft in part because it had Drexler on the roster.

All Jordan did was win NBA Finals MVP behind averages of 35.8 points, 6.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals a night.

He dropped 39 points and made six three-pointers in the first game alone, inspiring him to break out the famous shrug after his shots continuously found the bottom of the net.

Magic Johnson, who was covering the NBA Finals as a broadcaster at the time, revealed in the clip he was playing cards at Jordan's house before the Finals. "He said, 'You know what's going to happen tomorrow, I'm going to give it to this dude,'" Johnson said of Jordan.

"Michael didn't want anybody to have nothing over him."

The rest was history.