In only his third NBA season, 1985-86, Blazers 6’7” guard Clyde Drexler had one of those seasons to remember.
Although he continued to struggle from the outside, the problem he would eventually address in the off-season by working with his friend Kiki Vandeweghe, ‘The Glide’ played the majority of his minutes at the point guard position and thus averaged a career-high 8.0 assists per game for the team coached by the Hall-of-Famer Jack Ramsey.
That season Drexler had as many as four triple-doubles. But, one of the best rebounders at both guard spots ever had the capacity not only to play the small forward but only to accomplish triple-double on almost every night!
On January 10th, 1986, in Milwaukee, Clyde led the Blazers squad, which also featured rookies, Terry Porter and Jerome Kersey, with 26 points, to go along with 11 dimes, 10 steals, and 9 boards in a 6-point losing effort vs. Bucks.
On that particular night, Drexler was one just rebound shy from accomplishing quadruple-double and becoming the first player in the NBA history to record a quadruple-double in regulation time.
Just 39 days later, on February 18th, 1986, versatile San Antonio Spurs guard Alvin Robertson achieved the feat with 20 points, 11 boards, 10 dimes, 10 steals in a 6-point win over the visiting Phoenix Suns. As of today, only four players in the entire NBA history were able to accomplish this extremely rare statistical feat:
– Nate Thurmond 22 points, 13 assists, 14 rebounds, 12 blocks (October 18th, 1974)
– Alvin Robertson 20 points, 10 assists, 11 rebounds, 10 steals (February 18th, 1986)
– Hakeem Olajuwon 18 points, 10 assists, 16 rebounds, 11 blocks (March 29th, 1990)
– David Robinson 34 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds, 10 blocks (February 17th, 1994)
Also, what is very important to mention, in the entire NBA history there have been 8 additional games in which a player fell only 1-item short of accomplishing this. Clyde Drexler is one of them.
That year Blazers finished 2nd in the Atlantic Division with 40-42 record but were eliminated already in the 1986 NBA Playoffs first round from the Nuggets by 1-3. Interestingly enough, during that series, Drexler dished out a total of 26 assists while at the same time he turned the ball over 19 times.
Murray A. a.k.a. Marjan Crnogaj is a BN contributor and the co-author of the books ‘Drazen – The Years of the Dragon’ (‘Drazen – Godine Zmaja’) and ‘Bridging the Generations’ (‘Most Generacija’). He resides in Zagreb, Croatia, currently working on his third book which tells the untold story of the 1989 Green Card Five.