Clyde Drexler maligns Magic Johnson in Dream Team bio

Magic Johnson celebrates with fans after the Lakers win the championship in 1987.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press)

In Jack McCallum’s biography of the Dream Team, Clyde Drexler rips Magic Johnson.

Drexler, who played for the Portland Trail Blazers (1983-94) and Rockets (1994-98), says that everybody was “waiting for Magic to die” because of the Laker superstar’s HIV diagnosis.

Drexler says that because people felt sorry for Magic, who had retired from the NBA in 1991, he undeservedly won the MVP award in the 1992 All-Star game and made the Olympics.

Below is a snippet from the book, which will be released July 10.

“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.”

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.”



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