Clyde Drexler wants it to be known his 1995-96 Houston Rockets squad consisting of himself, Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley was not the first superteam, regardless of what LeBron James said.
“You know, I love LeBron and anything he says is gold,” Drexler told Coley Harvey of ESPN.com Sunday. “But I’d really like to give you a different opinion. The Big Three was Kareem, Worthy and Magic, way before Bird, Parish, Maxwell and McHale and D.J. Those great teams always had four, five great players. Not only three, they had four to five great players.”
Drexler continued, “The early Celtics from the ’60s with Bill Russell, Havlicek, Cousy and Sam Jones, that was the first Big Three. So it goes further back from that.”
Harvey noted Drexler’s comments came after James said on the Road Trippin’ podcast the 1995-96 Rockets and 2002-03 Los Angeles Lakers with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton and Karl Malone were the first superteams.
The offseason quibbling regarding the origin of the NBA superteam began when Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green said James started the practice during his team’s championship celebration after the King insisted he had never played for one:
It is not difficult to argue James had a hand in the “superteam” era of today’s game since he left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat from 2010-14. Miami reached four straight NBA Finals and won two titles before James returned to Cleveland to play alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love on another type of superteam.
The notion of superteams has entered the spotlight this offseason after a star-studded NBA Finals, but Drexler wanted basketball fans to remember the formidable teams of the past before pinning the idea of loaded squads on his Rockets.
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