Clyde Drexler is a basketball legend. He’s enshrined in the Hall of Fame twice, has an NBA championship, and is universally considered one of the best swingmen to ever play the game. Now, Drexler is ready to take on a new challenge, as he’s the commissioner of the BIG3 as the league enters its second season.
Before things tip off on June 22, we caught up with Drexler to discuss his new role leading the upstart 3-on-3 basketball league. And because he’s Clyde Drexler, we had to ask about how the two teams he suited up for during his NBA career — the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers — will do as they enter the postseason.
Uproxx Sports: First off I wanna ask, when did you get the call about becoming BIG3 commissioner and what was it that made you want to take on this role?
Clyde Drexler: First of all, it was a tremendous call. Jeff Kwatinetz called me and we talked about the BIG3 and he asked me if I’d like to become commissioner, of course. And I said, “Well, let me talk to my wife and think about it.” And it was an easy decision actually, but only because I had so much fun as the coach the previous summer.
Being a part of the BIG3, because I believe in Jeff’s and Ice Cube’s vision of what the BIG3 can become. And it’s already a pretty phenomenal league and it’s a league where our players are skilled and highly talented, and also a league that people love to see; 3-on-3 is at the core of every basketball fundamental. So to be able to have a professional 3-on-3 league and be a part of that, that’s been a ton of fun, ton of fun. The fans love it, the players love playing it and it’s just a lot of fun to be around.
Was there anything that surprised you in the first year as a coach about the league that maybe you weren’t sure about coming in and you were pleasantly surprised to see?
First of all, I was surprised to see how organized the BIG3 management team was, how well they did the lottery, the draft, the combine and how well they treat their players, coaches, the media and the people surrounding the BIG3. So the organization was strong. And two, I’m around guys like Julius Erving, George Gervin, Gary Payton, Rick Barry, guys I’ve known all my life, basically. The key ingredient is, we love basketball. And now we’re all coaches in the BIG3 and it was a ton of fun, to try to beat their teams and it is the most competitive league outside of the NBA in the world.