#1 Clyde Drexler vs. #2 Buck Williams
No. 22 Clyde Drexler | Shooting Guard | 6-7 | 222 lbs
Career Stats As A Trail Blazer:
34.1 mpg, 20.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.7 apg, 2.1 spg, 1.46 bpg .478 FG %, .303 3 PT %, .789 FT %
Clyde Drexler – the name most synonymous with the Portland Trail Blazers – is still to this day a true icon in the Rose City. His impact on the Trail Blazers runs much deeper than the countless accolades and statistical achievements he’s garnered over the years. Take myself for example. As a child, it was Clyde “The Glide” who enthralled me with the Portland Trail Blazers, whose glides to the basket captivated my imagination, and who I owe my love of the Trail Blazers to. Of course I wanted to shoot 3’s like Terry, finish on the break like Jerome, wear headbands like Cliff or rebound like Buck, but it was Clyde I wanted to be like most. Not even MJ could compete.
Although he constantly dribbled with his head down and rarely used his left hand, you would be hard pressed to find a better open-court player in the NBA. Able to go around, through or over defenders, Clyde was a highlight reel waiting to happen. But it wasn’t just in-your-face slams Drex was pulling off. One of the most versatile and well-rounded superstars the game has seen, Clyde loved to draw the double team, only to find an open man for the bucket. His unselfish approach to the game not only made Clyde a more dynamic player – able to beat the defense in a plethora of ways – but was able to simultaneously raise his teammates’ level of play; a true measure of a franchise player.
"THE best. Could do it all. He was outstanding in all phases of the game. An NBA all-star."
Photo Gallery: Clyde Drexler Through The Years
No. 52 Buck Williams | Power Forward | 6-8 | 225 lbs
Career Stats As A Trail Blazer:
30.8 mpg, 10.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 1.1 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.6 bpg, .550 FG%, .375 3PT%, .695 FT%
As evidenced by the video above, Buck Williams’s game was not flashy. It wasn’t particularly cute either. And it certainly wouldn’t win any beauty pageants. But in the eyes of his Trail Blazers teammates, coaches, and fans, it was gorgeous. When I asked former General Manager Bucky Buckwalter what his greatest trade was while he was in office, there was no hesitation – Sam Bowie for Buck Williams. Coming from a man who helped architect arguably the greatest three-year run this franchise has ever witnessed, this is very high praise for No. 52.
While Buck was an efficient scorer, elite post-defender and a terror on glass, it was his intangibles which proved to be so vital in getting this team out of mediocrity. For years and years in the 80’s, the Trail Blazers had immense levels of talent but could never put it all together for deep runs into the playoffs. Clyde Drexler, Kevin Duckworth, Jerome Kersey, and Terry Porter were all in place for three seasons together, yet they had nothing but a slew of first-round exits to their name. But along came Williams with the skillset of a prototypical power forward who brought a blue-collar worth ethic day in and day out as well as a mental toughness that benefited everyone on the team, including his competition in this bracket, Clyde Drexler. And, as they say, the rest is history.
"Everybody's favorite. Tough as nails and gentle as a giant. But he could flat out play."
Photo Gallery: Buck Williams Through The Years
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Bracket: The Greatest Trail Blazer Of All-Time