Sitting home sick prior to the Holiday weekend, I find myself doing what I usually do when I'm not sick...reading anything Blazer oriented I can find (sad but true). During the Rip City orgy, I ran across a youtube of Clyde's greatest dunks and it brought back so many fond memories of his amazing gifts.
I've gone through the current roster in my mind looking for a glimmer of what Clyde possesed in one of them and though I can see his glimmer his essence is missing. Travis has the wicked jam potential, but Clyde was so much more than the final dunk. He was the epitome of the flight to the hoop. From the head fake to create the opening drive to the launch with the outstreched arm holding the ball high, to the lift off with the trademark tucking of the heels as he becomes airborne, to the oh so long glide through the air toward the hoop, and finally with the landing gear being deployed as the ball is jammed through the hoop and he comes in with a smooth touchdown already headed back on defense. He seemed so smooth and effortless, and though MJ got the song "Be like Mike", it was Drexler's grace and flight that I always dreamed I could imitate. Many nights I've dreamt that I could take flight from the free throw line and rise high into the air, effortlessly flying toward the rim and just as most mortals would begin to fall back to earth, I would get an extra lift continuing my jouney just a little further, allowing me to strech forth my hand and do what has always illuded me in my waking state...jam. The years and pounds have caught up with me, but the dream goes on.
Thanks, Clyde. It was never MJ that I dreamed of being.