25 years ago, Clyde Drexler delivered the greatest performance ever by a Portland Trail Blazer in an All-Star Game. We will never forget. Neither will the White House.
Full Transcript of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer lashing out about the 1992 All-Star Game:
On February 9 of 1992, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of the NBA All-Star Most Valuable Player Award from Magic Johnson, who won in 1991, to Clyde Drexler of the Portland Trail Blazers, some members of the voting committee were engaged in deliberate emotional bias, voting once again for Magic over a clearly better performance by Drexler. For all the talk about the proper use of issuing an MVP award, two instances stand out.
One particular egregious example is that Magic had seven turnovers. After it was pointed out that this was just plain wrong, voters casually tried to claim that it was because Magic had been away from the game for too long and was a little rusty. If this was true, this was irresponsible and reckless.
Secondly, video of Magic’s highlights was intentionally framed in a way as to not mention that most of his scoring outburst was during the last four minutes of the game, when the game itself was well out of hand.
This was obviously done to minimize the enormous support gathered the whole game for Drexler, who deservedly should have won the MVP. This was the first time in our nation’s history that the best player on the court did not win the MVP. Highlighting only the final few minutes of a game usually means the game was close. Clearly, this one was not the case, with the West beating the East 153-113. This was also the first time that a player started in an All-Star Game after not playing a single game during the regular season. While we all felt sympathy for Magic, who retired in 1991 after declaring he was HIV positive, it denied thousands of people from being able to reasonably see Drexler as the true MVP of the ‘92 All-Star Game.
Inaccurate numbers involving how many points Magic scored may have also been recorded. No one had numbers, because the NBA, which controls how scoring is done, did not keep track of totals during an All-Star game way back in 1992 because there was no HDTV, making it harder to review scoring plays. I mean, how did people even watch basketball on TV back then?
We do know a few things, so let’s go through the facts. We know that Drexler played a better game from start to finish. We know that Drexler had more rebounds, nine to Magic’s six. We know that Clyde played one fewer minute and coincidently had three fewer points. And, we know that Drexler had only one turnover to Magic’s awful seven. From the first quarter, up to the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, Drexler was the man. This was the largest audience to ever witness a Blazer dominating an All-Star game — period — both in person and around the globe.
These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm for Drexler’s 1992 All-Star performance are shameful and wrong. Other players on the team were ecstatic that Clyde was going to be the MVP, and he delivered to them a powerful and important game. He had their back, and they were grateful for that. They gave him a five-minute standing ovation in the locker room in display of their gratitude and enthusiasm for his basketball skills
It’s a shame that the voters voted for someone who blatantly used Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan in the final minutes just to make himself look better. That’s what you guys should have written and covered, instead of sowing division between those who think Magic should have won the MVP and those who know Drexler should have won MVP.
This kind of dishonesty in the media, the challenging of who really was MVP — that bringing about our nation together is making it more difficult.
There’s been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility of holding sports accountable. And I’m here to tell you that it goes two ways. We’re going to hold the press accountable, as well. The American people and the NBA deserve better. And as long as the NBA serves as a messenger for delivering fair MVPs, notwithstanding any time anyone has won an MVP over LeBron James, we will take this message directly to the American people where the focus will always be for ratings.
Thank you, guys, for being here tonight. I will see you tomorrow when we will talk about how the Golden State Warriors actually won the 2016 NBA Finals.