Clyde Drexler has denied making any negative comments after a book released quoted the player as disregarding Magic Johnson over his health condition.
- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
Clyde Drexler has been quoted in Jack McCallum's new book as questioning Magic Johnson's position on the team. McCallum's book aspires to tell how the 1992 Olympic Men's basketball team was the best ever assembled and rekindled America's love for the sport.
However, according to McCallum, Drexler stated that Johnson's spot on the team was not warranted and rather a pity position was offered to the player because he was newly diagnosed with HIV.
"He couldn't play much by that time. He couldn't guard his shadow," Drexler allegedly states in the book. "But you have to understand what was going on then. Everybody kept waiting for Magic to die. Every time he'd run up the court everybody would feel sorry for the guy, and he'd get all that benefit of the doubt."
Drexler, though, has denied making any such statements referring to the quotes as "totally ludicrous." The player claimed to have "no idea" where the quotes had been obtained but that he himself considered Johnson a great, long time friend.
"Magic and I have a friendship that goes back more than 28 years and I would never say such hurtful things," Drexler said in a statement released through the Houston Rockets. "I have reached out to Magic to assure him that I did not say those things and to apologize to him and his family for even having to respond to something as baseless as this."
While McCallum insisted on his own site that the quote was factual, he also suggested that it had been taken out of context. In the excerpt that ran with the quote, Drexler had been stating other's opinions and not his own, McCallum explained. Drexler still denied saying anything close to what the quote revealed.
"I have nothing but love and respect for Magic Johnson and all that he has accomplished in basketball and in life. I always took pride in being a great teammate throughout my career and I would never have made the statements that were reported in Jack McCallum's book," the player affirmed.