Hall of Famer checks in from NBA China Games 2004
Bloggin' From China: Clyde Drexler
|Rockets, Blazers legend; Hall of Famer|
He won a title with the Houston Rockets, and he was recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He's Clyde "the Glide" Drexler, and he checked in from China at the conclusion of the China Games to give his thoughts on the Rockets, the Kings and the expansion of the global game.
Posted on Oct. 18, 2004 at 2:35 p.m. ET
Thank you, China
What we have witnessed this past week was the globalization of the game and these two games were confirmation of that. Opening the doors to China, playing in Shanghai and Beijing and seeing the enthusiasm for the NBA was something truly to behold. It was fun to be part of this pioneering trip. It has been a phenomenal experience for me.
I thought Sundayís game was really well played where both teams played hard. There is a little more sense of urgency as the regular season approaches. Both teams are trying to get their rotations set, develop chemistry while some guys are fighting for jobs. Tracy and Yao looked good together but I think they still need to get a better feel for one another and that will come with time.
Drexler, third from the right, was part of a legends group that went to China, including (from L-R) Bill Russell, Patrick Ewing, Kenny Smith, Drexler, Bill Walton and Bob Lanier.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
I was impressed with how well Sacramento moved the ball and made the game seem so easy. Although, I do believe that the Kings will have trouble with their second unit. They need to find a way to get some offensive production from those guys. It was great seeing Bobby Jackson come through in the clutch, including a crucial three to tie the game. Here is a player the Kings sorely missed last season due to injury and if they are to contend for the Western Conference title, theyíll need him in the line up. He brings so much to the table for that team.
In watching Chris Webber, you can tell he isnít quite there with his game. He didnít demonstrate any power moves, where heíll actually plant and dunk in traffic or grab a tough rebound under the boards. Once he does that with consistency, then Iíll be convinced that he is back. You can tell heís still a little timid on that knee. He played well but heís still not the Chris Webber weíre accustomed to seeing.
Watching the game in Capital Indoor Stadium brought back a lot of memories for me. I actually played in this arena with members of the Retired NBA Players Association in the summer of 2000. Buck Williams, Tim Kempton, Danny Schayes, Rolando Blackman, Eddie Johnson were all on the same team. We played the Chinese National team as they were preparing for the Sydney Olympics. We won two out of the three games. I remember the fans were responsive during those tune-up games but nothing like they were on Sunday.
The games featured an NBA atmosphere because they had a full show, they had a sell out, it was phenomenal. They responded really well because traditionally crowds in Asia are really quiet during timeouts in the break and they were really pumped up and screaming like NBA fans back in the United States.
All week, you could sense the excitement for not only the current game but about the unlimited possibilities down the road. The future looks bright for continued growth, not only here but around the world. I donít know if Iíll ever see it in my lifetime but the NBA can one day be the global basketball league where you have teams in every country. That would be something to see and something the world would really benefit from because the NBA represents the best basketball in the world.