Ranking the 50 greatest NBA players of all time

The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, LeBron James (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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Photo by Brian Drake/NBAE via Getty Images /

41. Clyde Drexler

  • Resume: 15 seasons, 1 NBA championship, 5-time All-NBA selection, 10-time NBA All-Star, Portland Trail Blazers’ all-time leading scorer, member of the Dream Team, Hall-of-Famer
  • Stats: 20.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.6 APG, 2.0 SPG, .472/.318/.788 shooting splits, 21.1 career PER, 135.6 win shares

There are few dunkers in NBA history as graceful as Clyde “The Glide” Drexler. Despite having a hairline that made LeBron James’ hair look like Dr. J’s afro, Drexler was undeniably smooth in all facets of the game other than his 3-point shot. His in-game dunks were among the best in the league, he posted well-balanced stat lines and there was a time where “Michael Jordan or Clyde Drexler?” was a legitimate question.

He could never bring Rip City a title and didn’t win a championship until joining Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets, but Drexler led the Portland Trail Blazers to two NBA Finals appearances. They fell to the Bad Boys Pistons in 1990 and Michael Jordan’s Bulls in 1992, but against Jordan, Drexler averaged 24.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists over the six-game series.

Like Dominique Wilkins, Drexler was electrifying to watch in transition. Also like Dominique Wilkins, what might have been for The Glide was overshadowed by MJ’s accomplishments, leading many to criticize him for not being more assertive and trying to take over games in the Finals.

However, Drexler remains one of the greatest shooting guards of all time. His lone title came when Jordan was off playing baseball, but between his gliding dunks, his silky smooth finger roll and his unselfish team-first attitude, Drexler is the greatest Portland Trail Blazer ever (for now).