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Thursday, December 13th, 2012 at 12:45 pm  |  17 responses

Portland Would Have Drafted Charles Barkley Instead of Michael Jordan


Sam Bowie told documentary filmmakers that he was less-than-forthcoming about the injuries he was suffering from when he was infamously drafted ahead of Michael Jordan in 1984. Bowie now denies it, of course. According to folks who worked for the Portland Trailblazers back then, the team would have chosen Charles Barkley instead of MJ if they didn’t take Bowie. Per the Oregonian: “Anybody that knows me, from the hierarchy in the Portland Trail Blazers during my playing days to my teammates to my friends and family, knows I would never deceive or trick or lie to anybody,’ Bowie said. ‘I wasn’t raised that way. You can call me a lot of things, but don’t look at me as though I deceived or tricked (the organization). I thought I would play 15 years and win a couple championships with the Blazers.’ [...] ‘I’m 51 years old now and my legs are broke down,’ he said in the documentary. ‘I’m very proud, don’t feel like I owe an apology to anyone. The bottom line is: Sam Bowie was drafted before Michael Jordan and you’re gonna have to accept that.’ To this point, even 28 years after the draft, Blazers fans have been willing to give Bowie a free pass. Injuries happen. Careers are derailed. In light of Bowie’s checkered past, the Blazers knew there were risks. Besides, his selection made sense in 1984. The Blazers had drafted Clyde Drexler one year earlier and had a talented roster that included Jim Paxson and Kiki Vandeweghe. The missing link was a center. In the weeks leading up to the 1984 NBA Draft, Jordan wasn’t even on the Blazers’ radar. As Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay noted in the ESPN documentary: ‘I don’t remember Michael Jordan’s name being mentioned.’ [...] ‘If you look back at the draft,’ Harry Glickman, the Blazers’ de facto team president at the time, said. ‘If we hadn’t selected (Bowie), we wouldn’t have selected Jordan. We probably would have gone with Charles Barkley.’”

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  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    hahahaha Portland is trolling their entire community.

  • robb

    Obviously. If you already have The Glide why would you draft MJ?

  • Dymez

    ……And it would’ve been a VERY good move if they did. Clyde, Terry, Kiki, and Mychal with Chuck? WOOOO!!! With Rome off the bench? The pieces all fit almost perfectly. Not sure if they would’ve got past Magic, though, but they damn sure would give him a run for his. If they did, I think they would have lost to Bird but definitely beaten Detroit.

  • bike

    So what? It’s not like Charles was a bust. People forget that MJ, coming out of college, was considered to be an excellant player but no one could foresee how much of a mega star he would eventually become.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Gilbert/100001749589586 Mike Gilbert

    and it would have been a lot better than drafting Bowie lol

  • http://twitter.com/DPisWill DePaul Williams

    The more Portland/Sam Bowie/Greg Oden/anybody with that organization speaks or makes headlines…. the worse it looks lol

  • danpowers

    bowie, roy, oden… they should send out athletic trainers and doctors to do their talent scouting

  • Dingo

    How could his name not be mentioned? He won a championship, played in the Olympics and was a coaches favorite player….not sure when he signed with Nike but I guess it was before his first NBA game, how could he not be discussed as an option just because you have Drexler.

  • Dingo

    Because you draft the best available

  • http://www.facebook.com/koombuy.pride Koombuy Pride

    Being from portland its hard to understand the luck that has happened. Dont make me bring up Bill Walton as well, even tho he did lead us to a championship.

  • coggie13

    Easy to say that now.. Charles Barkley gave huge props to Moses Malone.. He said Moses was the reason he got into shape and worked harder than he had ever before. Who is to say that would of happened in Portland. Hypothetically speaking it is a nice nice nice team.

  • Ugh

    What the..? Name a first round draft pick in ’84 who wasn’t their college coach’s favourite player.

  • Ugh

    And yet everyone hammers the Wolves for drafting 23 point guards a few years back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sean.bankston Sean Bankston

    Well in most cases two point guards will rarely share the court together. Michael Jordan/Clyde Drexler? Is that not Jordan-Pippen all over again, only happening 5 years earlier? Portland is dumb.

  • http://twitter.com/DPisWill DePaul Williams

    Yea I can imagine the doctor scouting at the game, “I gave him a physical and it looks like his knees are gonna hold up” lol

  • Ngoie Kafita

    What!? The Chukster was actualy in shape?

  • 1SLANDBOi

    Hey WE GOT DAMIAN LILLARD!!!!!

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