The Dream Team might have been the best team in the history of basketball, but that doesn’t mean everything was smooth in the locker room as it was on the court.
Magic Johnson was a beloved player and teammate throughout his career and one of the leaders of the USA Team in 1992. But his teammate Clyde Drexler thought he was on that team, only because he was pitied because he had HIV, as this was his statement from the book called “Dream Team” by Jack McCallum:
Magic was always…” And Drexler goes into a decent Magic impression: “‘Come on, Clyde, come on, Clyde, get with me, get with me,’ and making all that noise. And, really, he couldn’t play much by that time. He couldn’t guard his shadow.”
“But you have to have to understand what was going on then. Everybody kept waiting for Magic to die. Every time he’d run up the court everybody would feel sorry for the guy, and he’d get all that benefit of the doubt. Magic came across like, ‘All this is my stuff.’ Really? Get outta here, dude. He was on the declining end of his career.”Clyde Drexler, via ‘Dream Team’
A really strong and harsh statement from Clyde, as Magic was obviously in the last years of his NBA career and out of his best days after battling HIV, but still he was a legend and player that can help any team.
Drexler also reflected on the 1992 All-Star Game:
Drexler had played exquisitely in the 1992 All-Star Game in Orlando, although the MVP award eventually went to Magic, who had been added by Commissioner Stern as a special thirteenth player to the Western Conference roster. “If we all knew Magic was going to live this long, I would’ve gotten the MVP of that game, and Magic probably wouldn’t have made the Olympic team.”Clyde Drexler, via ‘Dream Team’
Magic Johnson replied to those comments in an interview with The Washington Post, as he didn’t blast back at him, but just simply said: “You Had a Chance to Say These Things to Me”
He still poked at him a bit saying: “It’s funny to talk about MVPs. He’s not talking about championships.”
Eventually, Clyde spoke about the situation and denied everything:
“Magic and I have a friendship that goes back more than 28 years and I would never say such hurtful things,” Drexler’s statement said. “I have reached out to Magic to assure him that I did not say those things and to apologize to him and his family for even having to respond to something as baseless as this.”Clyde Drexler, via Houston Rockets
So did Clyde really say this about Magic, was it taken out of context, or was it just a stunt by Jack McCallum to get more publicity on his book, as both have their sides of the story.