NBA All-Star Legend Clyde “The Glide” Drexler lands in Manila, loves Filipino food and culture
Clyde “The Glide” Drexler arrived in the Philippines on Monday September 26, 2011. He brings with him the Orlando Magic Dancers and the Portland Trailblazers “BlazerDancers”. They will be staying for a week to celebrate NBA Madness 2011 with Filipino basketball fans.
Clyde impressed with Philippine weather, hospitality, and food
“I heard a lot of nice things about the Philippines, but when I arrived here I was greeted by a terrible storm!” says Clyde, referring to typhoon “Pedring”. It was his first time in the country, and he emphasized how much he enjoyed the warm reception and the hospitality of the Filipinos.
What does he think of Filipino dishes? Delicious! Apparently, he had some chicken dish with sauce in it. Unfortunately the name of the dish was foreign to him, and he could not say what it was called.
Words of wisdom from The Glide
When asked about his most memorable game, he goes all the way back to the day when he first joined NBA. “Making the team was my greatest memory”, recalls Mr. Drexler. “I was just happy to put on a uniform”, he added.
Any childhood heroes? Julius Erving! He proudly shares that he “copied moves” from basketball greats, learning by emulating them until eventually he found his own style.
Does Clyde have any non-sport related talents? He loves playing golf! He also runs marathons regularly.
Among the current NBA players, who would make Clyde Drexler’s top five?
- Kobe Bryant
- Lebron James
- Dwayne Wade
- Dwight Howard
- Chris Paul
- Steve Nash
Who gave him the monicker “The Glide”? Apparently, if you were good you needed a nickname. “The Glide” was the one that stuck that didn’t sound too corny.
Any interest in playing ball again? “Basketball is a young man’s game.” He adds that he can probably play well for a few minutes, after which he is going to need a stretcher!
Any words to aspiring young players out there? “Whatever you do, be the best that you could possibly be to the best of your ability”.
Philippines celebrates its eighth year of NBA Madness
NBA Madness features NBA’s interactive basketball lifestyle event. It is a fan free event which features hoops, dance performances and outreach programs. This year’s festival takes place from September 28 to October 2. It will culminate in a two-day mall event highlighted by two contests:
- Search for the Team Spirit School Cheerdance Champion
- The Clyde Drexler Challenge
A certified basketball loving country, this is the 8th year that NBA Madness is being celebrated in the Philippines. The group will be going around the SM Malls and will be covered on Basketball TV, Solar Sports, NBA Premium TV and Studio 23.
NBA Madness 2011 press conference photos (Manila, Philippines)
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Getting to Know NBA Legend Clyde Drexler
You’ve seen the highlight reels, read the stats, seen the games. Everyone knows of Clyde Drexler as the high-flying, scoring sensation. But what’s the legend like in person?
With his NBA championship, Olympic gold medal and status as basketball hall of famer, it’s a treat to find that NBA legend Clyde Drexler is as cheerful and friendly as your neighborhood basketball buddy. During his time with the Portland Trailblazers and Houston Rockets, the man nicknamed The Glide clocked-in some phenomenal hang-time. Amazing, then, that he’s so down-to-earth in person.
Thanks to Solar Entertainment and the NBA, local hoops fans will be able to see this class act in person. Clyde, along with the Portland Trailblazers and Orlando Magic dancers, will be taking part in NBA Madness, an interactive series of basketball-themed events taking place in SM Malls and various colleges.
And the man is psyched to finally meet us! “I think it’s phenomenal, the fact that the Philippines loves basketball!” he enthused. “You have some very good leagues of basketball here, and have had them for many, many years. Basketball is kinda like music. It crosses all genres. It brings people together, and I’m delighted to be a part of that. (It’s great to be) taking part in a sport that brings people together. It’s sort of like Manny Pacquiao, how much he’s loved (by everyone). That’s what sports are able to do. It crosses all boundaries.”
During the press conference for NBA Madness, the legend mingled with with the gusto and excitement of a rookie. He also recalled his time in the 1992 Olympic team as if the Barcelona games happened yesterday. “The Dream Team of ’92… we had Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, John Stockton, Scotty Pippen, Michael Jordan. All these guys in the same team,” Clyde enumerated, almost swooning. “While you’re still young enough to compete? That just makes it better! I was lucky enough to be on that team and what a pleasure.”
Clyde then took the time to explain why being in the Dream Team was such an important part of his career: “That was the first time that (professional) American athletes were able to participate in the sport of basketball in the Olympics. Before the Dream Team, our collegiate players played in the Olympics. But the European players got so good that they were just beating them down. So we got professional players to play in the Olympics. It was such an honor, it was great to be on that team. We were a pretty good team. And I had a great experience.”
The NBA legend is secure enough in his legacy and achievements that he often jokes about his age and physical condition. When asked whether he can still slam dunk, he laughs and jests: “It hurts It hurts when you land. I can still do it, but I’d need a hospital bed!” It’s all slight exaggeration in the name of humor, of course. At 49, Clyde is as sprightly as people decades younger.
Clyde even talked about his stint at Dancing with the Stars. “It was a lot of fun!” he insisted. “But I realized right away I was not a good dancer. You can’t be afraid to do things you’re not good at… you gotta participate.” When asked whether his time in the show was as significant as his basketball achievements, Clyde breaks down laughing. “Whooo, that’s a tough question! Dancing with the stars is in third place, I can tell you that. The Olympic gold medal is special because you have the eyes of the world watching you. But that NBA championship is something that you’ve dreamed about for many, many years. It’s a toss-up. I’d like to have all three. But I know one of them is not possible. So I’d settle with two, the world (NBA) championship and a gold medal.
“Dancing with the Stars… I might need some help from my friends over there,” Clyde said,
motioning to the Portland Trailblazers and Orlando Magic dancers in attendance. “And it still might not happen!”
Yup, it’s fair to say Manila will be having one heck of a time playing host to the man they call The Glide!
NBA Madness heads to Arellano University and PCU
After visiting St Dominic College of Asia on September 28, NBA Madness will head on to two schools today. NBA legend Clyde Drexler will be visiting Arellano University and Philippine Christian University for the NBA Madness Team Spirit School Tour.
This Friday, Drexler will first visit Arellano University and he will be with the Orlando Magic Dancers. They will be there from 9 to 11 in the morning. In the afternoon, the Drexler will be with the Portland Trailblazer Dancers to visit PCU.
The Hall-of-Famer who boasts of an NBA Championship and an Olympic Gold Medal on his résumé will be there to conduct inspirational talks with the schools’ basketball teams, sign autographs, and pose for pictures.
The Orlando Magic and Portland Trailblazer Dancers will be conducting dance clinics for campus dance teams in both schools and they will also participate in the Search for the Team Spirit School Champion which will culminate at the Team Spirit Festival on October 2 to be held at the SM Mall of Asia.
What is NBA Madness?
NBA Madness, the NBA’s interactive basketball lifestyle event, consists of hoops, dance
performances, an NBA Cares outreach program, and special appearances by NBA legend
Clyde “The Glide” Drexler and not one, but two NBA Dance Teams: the Orlando Magic
Dancers and the Portland Trailblazer Dancers.
NBA Madness is a free fan event that takes place from September 28 to October 2, and will provide fans a unique NBA experience.
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