Kevin Garnett could never win a trash-talking battle against Tim Duncan. Why? Because Timmy never spoke. Other than the occasional "subtle sh*t," The Big Fundamental never allowed KG to get into his head, depriving him of one thing that fueled him the most.
Drexler's welcome to the NBA moment
Then-21-year-old Drexler was tasked with guarding the Celtics legend in one of the toughest matchups an NBA player could've faced during the 80s. But at some point in the game, Clyde decided to make things even tougher for him.
"I was guarding him my rookie year," Drexler said. "He looks at me and he goes, 'You can't stop me.' I looked at him and I said, 'Gosh. Boy you're so confident.' He goes, 'Confident? You're a rookie. You don't know anything.'"
Bird talked the talk. And to no one's surprise -- except maybe for Drexler -- he was able to walk the walk.
"He proceeded to score like 10 straight points on me," Clyde said. "Coach took me out the game, and he walks by and he's laughing at me."
Bird vs. Drexler
Drexler faced Bird two times as a rookie.
On December 2, 1983, in a 115-106 loss on the road, he played 14 minutes and finished with 4 points and 2 rebounds. Bird dropped 41, along with 14 rebounds and 7 assists.
Three months later, the Trail Blazers faced the Celtics at the Boston Garden. They lost 107-101, once again thanks to an incredible outing by Larry Legend, who put up 34 points, 18 rebounds, and 9 assists on 14-for-20 from the floor. Drexler played 12 minutes off the bench and put up 6 points and 2 assists.
It's unknown what game exactly Clyde is referring to in this story. Regardless, the lesson was learned. From that moment on, Drexler never allowed himself to be mouthy when facing Larry, even though, as time went on, he developed skills to back his words up.
Older Clyde knew that Bird would always come out on top in the war of trash-talking. Rookie Drexler, unfortunately, had to learn that lesson the hard way.