After a dozen seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Drexler left Portland with his name all over the franchise's record books. A perennial All-Star and a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic Dream Team, Drexler twice led the Blazers to the NBA Finals. It wasn't until he joined the Houston Rockets midway through his 12th campaign, however, that he finally earned a championship ring.
It was fitting that Drexler achieved the ultimate NBA success while in Houston. A native of the city, he attended the University of Houston and starred on the "Phi Slamma Jamma" teams of the early 1980s. A forward in college, Drexler teamed with Hakeem Olajuwon and Larry Micheaux to form a front line that took the team on two straight trips to the NCAA Final Four. In his junior season Drexler averaged 15.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists while shooting .536 from the floor.
A quiet star in a city removed from intense media attention, Drexler didn't always receive the acclaim that his stellar statistics should have earned him.
In 1990-91 he earned All-NBA Second Team honors. The following season was one of Drexler's most memorable. He averaged 25.0 points (fourth in the league), became the second player in Portland history to make the All-NBA First Team, finished second to Michael Jordan in MVP balloting and took the Blazers to the NBA Finals against Jordan and the Bulls. He then capped the season by earning a gold medal with the 1992 Dream Team at the Barcelona Olympics.
Drexler left Portland as the team's all-time leader in scoring, games, minutes, field goals, free throws, rebounds and steals.
The Houston trade reunited him with college teammate Olajuwon, and the two powered the Rockets from the sixth seed in the playoffs to the 1995 NBA Championship. Drexler was sensational in the 1995 postseason, averaging 20.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 22 games.
He finished his final NBA season by leading the Rockets in scoring (18.4 ppg) and assists (5.5 apg). He ended his illustrious career as one of only three players in NBA history to top 20,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 3,000 assists.