Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 6/12/12
Prior to getting traded to the Rockets during the 1994 season Clyde Drexler had been a seven-time All-Star, he was the most important player on two Portland teams which had reached the NBA Finals yet lost and he finished second in MVP voting after the 1991-92 season. Drexler was an accomplished star and perhaps, for a short period, he was the second best player in the NBA behind a guy named Jordan. Yet Drexler heard the whispers. "I heard, 'You've gone two times to the Finals and you haven't won. Do you think your career will be validated if you don't win one?' said Drexler about his inability to win a championship in Portland. "I said it's a team game. You can win if your team is good enough and if it's not, you're not going to win." You see where this is going, right? There's a certain player in these NBA Finals who's been critiqued heavily for lapses on the biggest stage at the most critical time and for the lack of an NBA title. Drexler finally got his in 1995 with the Rockets. LeBron James is 0-2, just as Clyde was prior to 1995. Drexler said James has been critiqued too harshly. "That's so unfair for anybody to ever single out one guy and say you can't win a championship," Drexler said. "That's ridiculously stupid in a team concept. It's not tennis or golf. It's not one guy. I viewed that as unfair when I played and now, as a fifty year-old, it's grossly unfair." The list of elite players without a championship ring includes Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and John Stockton. Yet some choose to exclude names like these in discussing the greatest in the history of the game due to the lack of a title. "I've never bought into that one guy theory," said Drexler. "It's a team game. It takes a team to win. The knock on (James) is that he hasn't done it in the fourth quarter. But he's the reason they're there. They expect him to be Superman every single night and that's hard to do. But, this guy, you can almost put him down for 30 points, seven rebounds and seven assists every night. And he plays great defense, blocks shots. He's a phenomenal player in every aspect of the game." Drexler gets genuinely angry when he hears the career of a great player get diminished because that player didn't reach the pinnacle. "If it was on one guy," Drexler concluded. "Wilt Chamberlain would have 30 championships."
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