Capping A Spectacular Weekend
Clyde Drexler: Sun., Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m. ET
Thank you for coming to Houston.
John Hareas/NBA Photos
Itís been a spectacular weekend, capped by the slam dunk performance on Saturday night. That was just an incredible array of creativity and talent on part of those young men, Andre Iguodala
and Nate Robinson
and made for an exciting evening. Their performance last night ranks among the top three dunk contests in NBA history, right along side the Dominique-MJ showdown in 1988 in Chicago and Spudís unforgettable performance in Dallas in 1986.
Last nightís performance couldnít have happened if the rules hadnít been tweaked over the years. When I participated, if you missed one or two dunk attempts, that was it and the judges had to grade you. Now, the participants keep going until you make the dunk. That would have changed a lot of things back in the day because you can try more difficult dunks so it really gives it a new perspective and I like the current rules because when you are doing things that are uniquely creative and never been done before, sometimes you need to try it three or four times to get it done right.
In what seemed just a few short hours after the dunk contest ended, I was among seven honorees at the seventh annual NBA Legends Brunch, hosted by TNTís Ernie Johnson and well attended by the likes of Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Bill Walton along with Shaquille OíNeal among 1,200 invited guests. I received the Mr. Houston Rocket Award from my adopted big brother Julius Erving. It was a special morning as Cynthia Cooper, Marques Haynes, Calvin Murphy, Kenny Smith and Hakeem Olajuwon were also honored.
It was a great privilege to receive such an award because I have such found memories of my time with the Rockets. The whole thing evolved for me with the decision by Rockets owner Les Alexander to bring me to the city of Houston. Les will be forever endeared in my heart because he made a major change at a time when they had won an NBA championship. And so to do that under the gun and then to pull that off, I have a lot of respect and admiration and I owe it all to Les Alexander.
As the weekend draws to a close, once again the city of Houston should be proud of its efforts this past week. This weekend has been extra special to me since Houston is my hometown city, I was raised here. Iím proud of the way the city has evolved. Itís the fourth largest city in the country and has shown that it is more than capable of successfully hosting world class sporting events such as the NBA All-Star Game along with the Super Bowl and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and did so with relative ease. The reason this city gets it done is because of its great citizens and politicians who really love sports and the NBA. Although it may be a week before I see them again because after tonightís game, Iím going on vacation. Serving as Clyde the Guide has been a lot of work this past week but also so much fun.
After tonightís All-Star Game, Iím going to go on vacation for about a week and get some rest. Being 'Clyde the Guide' is a lot of hard work.
Welcome to Houston
Clyde Drexler: Fri., Feb. 17 at 9:45 a.m. ET
Even though he no longer suits up for the Rockets, Houston fans still love Drexler.
Gregory Shamus/NBAE/Getty Images
Welcome to the great city of Houston, one of the finest in the world and a place I am proud to call my home. Iím Clyde the Guide, your official NBA navigator for NBA All-Star 2006 as we crisscross this magnificent city for the next few days in sampling all that is has to offer and believe me there is a lot to experience.
First, a little background: Did you know that Houston was founded in 1836 by brothers Augustus and John Allen yet is named after General Sam Houston who earned the honor after leading the Texas Army to victory in the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto. The next year, Houston joined the Republic of Texas in 1837 and even served as the stateís capital for three years.
Today, the city boasts a population of more than four million people and offers something for everyone. Houston is a city with great emphasis on cultural arts, antiques and its Museum District is one of the finest in the country. There are no less than 30 different places to enjoy art, culture, science and nature appreciation. Some of my favorites include the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Museum of Fine Arts. Located near Rice University, the Harvard of the South, be sure to check out the Rice University Art Gallery, which features some of the most beautiful contemporary art youíll ever see.
Houston is also known for its fine restaurants and live entertainment and venues, thereís always something to do. You have great restaurants in the Restaurant District near Minute Maid Park. Personally, my two favorites are Pesce, the place to go for seafood, and Vic and Anthonyís, a wonderful place to grab the best steak around. Both wonít disappoint. Aside from Drexlerís BBQ, which is also downtown, Houston is known for its Southern hospitality as well so there are a lot of jazz cafes in the downtown area.
Houston is also the birthplace of NASA, which served as inspiration for the cityís professional sports' nicknames, Rockets and Astros. Located in Clear Lake City, NASA is 25 miles south from downtown and offers tours during the week and weekends.
Orbiting back to earth, Houston is also home to some of the most beautiful park areas, so if youíre looking to get a good workout in, Memorial Park is the place for you. Located near downtown, itís about a six to 10 mile jog. Itís also a phenomenal place to bike or simply relax and enjoy the natural beauty.
Need a place to stay? Some of the cityís finest hotels include the Four Seasons, Icon Hotel and the Hilton. All wonderful places and all centrally located in the downtown area.
Weíre just getting started. The official NBA All-Star festivities tipped off on Thursday at Jam Session at the George R. Brown Convention Center where I joined NBA Commissioner David Stern, Houston Mayor Pro-Tem Carol Alvarado among others to officially welcome fans. It was a wonderful beginning to what will truly be a spectacular weekend.