Walter Ray Allen Jr. is an American former professional basketball player. He played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2018. Allen began his basketball career as a collegiate athlete for the Connecticut Huskies, where he played for three seasons, gaining a reputation as an efficient and deadly long-range shooter, he entered the NBA in 1996 as the fifth overall selection. In the NBA, he developed into a prolific scorer for the Milwaukee Bucks, featuring alongside Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell as the team achieved playoff success. However, the trio were unable to capture a championship, Allen was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics. In Seattle, Allen's reputation as a scorer was solidified. Despite this, a title still eluded Allen, he was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007. In Boston and new teammates Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce formed a "Big Three" and had immediate success, winning an NBA championship in 2008.
He remained with the franchise for five seasons, before departing in free agency to join the Miami Heat for two seasons. In Miami, Allen accepted a reserve role, emphasizing spot-up and clutch shooting, which allowed him to capture another championship in 2013, his clutch three-pointer to tie Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals with 5.2 seconds remaining is regarded as one of the most memorable plays in NBA history. Allen's list of individual accolades are extensive, he is considered one of the best shooters of all-time. In September 2018, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. During his NBA career, Allen acted during some offseasons, he is best known for his role. Allen's performance as Shuttlesworth was praised by critics, the name was borrowed as Allen's basketball nickname; the third of five children, Allen was born at Castle Air Force Base near Merced, the son of Walter Sr. and Flora Allen. A military child, he spent time growing up in Saxmundham, England, in Altus, Oklahoma, at Edwards Air Force Base in California, in Germany.
After years of traveling and continual moving, his family settled in Dalzell, South Carolina for the next four years, where he would attend high school. When he first arrived, the young Allen was made the odd-man-out, whom kids picked on, due to the accent acquired during his formative years in Britain. Although never fitting in with the other kids, Allen's natural athletic gifts, his obsession with hard work, allowed him to excel in every sport he played; when a growth spurt left him with a natural advantage in basketball, he decided to dedicate his free time to becoming the best basketball player he could. Fueled by his desire to become the top player on the military base where he lived, Allen practiced at length daily, so long as it didn't interfere with his studies. By the age of fifteen, he was playing for Hillcrest High School's varsity team, would lead them to their first state championship game. In that game, Allen showed his NBA potential by posting an impressive 25 points, to go along with 12 rebounds, in a blowout victory for Hillcrest Wildcats.
Amid the resulting attention from colleges from the University of Kentucky, Allen accepted an offer from the University of Connecticut. Allen attended the University of Connecticut from 1993 to 1996 after being recruited by assistant coach Karl Hobbs. While at UConn, he was named USA Basketball's Male Athlete of the Year in 1995. In 1995–96, his final college season, Allen was a first-team All-American and won the Big East Player of the Year award. Allen finished his UConn career third on the Huskies' career scoring list with 1,922 points and set a single-season school record by connecting on 115 three-pointers in 1995–96. In 2001, Allen was named honorary captain of the 25-member UConn All-Century Basketball Team. On February 5, 2007, his name and number were honored at Connecticut's Gampel Pavilion during the "Huskies of Honor" ceremony at halftime of the men's basketball game against the Syracuse Orange. On December 7, 2018, the University of Connecticut announced that Allen would be the first player to have his number retired by the school.
The retirement ceremony took place in March 2019. Allen was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fifth pick of the 1996 NBA draft. After his selection and Andrew Lang were traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to fourth pick Stephon Marbury. Allen made his NBA debut on November 1, 1996, where he started and played 28 minutes and scored 13 points in a win against fellow rookie Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers. On January 12, 1997, Allen put in one of his strongest efforts of the season in a win against the Golden State Warriors, contributing 22 points, 6 assists, 3 steals and a new career high of 9 rebounds. In February 1997, Allen competed in the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend, where he finished fourth. Continuing his strong rookie season, on March 25, 1997, Allen scored a new career high of 32 points in a loss to the Phoenix Suns. Allen was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. In the 1997 -- 98 season, Allen started all 82 games for the Bucks. In the season opener, he put up 29 points, including 6 three-pointers in a win against the 76ers.
On December 20, 1997, Allen set a new career high of 35 points aga
Louis Dampier is an American retired professional basketball player. A 6-foot-tall guard, Dampier is one of only a handful of men to play all nine seasons in the American Basketball Association, all with the Kentucky Colonels, he was one of just two players to play all nine ABA seasons with the same team. After the ABA–NBA merger in 1976 Dampier played three seasons in the National Basketball Association with the San Antonio Spurs. Dampier was inducted as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. Dampier was played at Southport High School in the suburb of Southport, he played in an annual all-star game featuring top high-school players from Indiana and Kentucky. Dampier was a two-sport athlete at the University of Kentucky, playing baseball as well as basketball. Playing under the legendary coach Adolph Rupp, Tommy Kron and Pat Riley led Rupp's Runts to the 1966 NCAA championship game, where they lost to Texas Western College in a watershed game for college basketball.
This game spearheaded the end of racial segregation in college basketball. During his three years at Kentucky, Dampier was a two-time All-American and three-time All-Southeastern Conference selection, he was named Academic All-SEC twice and Academic All-American once. Upon graduation from Kentucky in 1967, Dampier scored 1,575 points, at the time third-most in school history behind only Cotton Nash and Alex Groza. In 1967 the Cincinnati Royals selected Dampier in the fourth round of the NBA Draft and the Kentucky Colonels selected him in the ABA draft. Dampier signed with the Kentucky Colonels of the fledgling ABA and teamed with Darel Carrier to form the most explosive backcourt duo in the league. In each of the ABA's first three seasons, both Dampier and Carrier averaged at least 20 points per game. Both were three-point field goal specialists, but Dampier who made 500 during a three-year stretch: a record 199 during the 1968–69 season, 198 in 1969–70 and 103 in 1970–71. At the conclusion of the ABA's history, Dampier made a career-record 794 3-point field goals.
He finished first all-time in the ABA in games played, minutes played, points scored, assists. During the 1970–71 season, he hit 57 consecutive free throws for what was a pro record. Seven times, he was named an ABA All-Star, he was a unanimous choice for the ABA Top 30 team. He played on the Colonels' 1975 ABA championship team, which featured a Kentucky standout, Dan Issel, as well as 7'2" center Artis Gilmore. After the 1976 season, the ABA ceased operations with two other teams folding. Dampier was selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1976 ABA Dispersal Draft. Playing as a role player behind George Gervin, Dampier averaged 6.7 points in 232 NBA games. Dampier served as an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets. Several divisions in the 21st century semi-pro ABA were named after stars of the old ABA, including Dampier; the league was divided into the Red and Blue Divisions—the colors of the balls used in both the old and new ABA. Today, the league is divided into 12 regions based geographically.
Dampier was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2015. Basketball-Reference.com statistics Louie Dampier's profile at Remember the ABA
Melvin Joe Daniels was an American professional basketball player. He played in the American Basketball Association for the Minnesota Muskies, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Sounds, in the National Basketball Association for the New York Nets. Daniels was a seven-time ABA All-Star, he was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. Daniels attended Pershing High School in Detroit, which produced players like Spencer Haywood, Ralph Simpson, Kevin Willis and Steve Smith. Daniels played for the University of New Mexico Lobos basketball team, where he averaged 20 points per game and was named an all-American. Daniels was the ninth pick of the 1967 NBA draft, selected by the Cincinnati Royals, was drafted by the Minnesota Muskies of the American Basketball Association, he chose to play in the fledgling ABA. Daniels was the ABA Rookie of the Year for the 1967–68 season before being traded to the Indiana Pacers of the ABA and now in the NBA. Daniels was the ABA Most Valuable Player in both 1969 and 1971 and led the Pacers to three ABA championships in 1970, 1972 and 1973.
Daniels played in seven ABA All-Star Games, was named the ABA All-Star Game MVP in the 1971 game. Daniels led the ABA in rebounding average in three different seasons, is the ABA's all-time leader in total rebounds and second in ABA career average rebounds per game behind Artis Gilmore of the Kentucky Colonels. Daniels had 1,608 career postseason rebounds. Daniels played for the NBA's New York Nets during the 1976–77 season. Overall, in his ABA/NBA career, Daniels averaged a double-double of 18.4 points and 14.9 rebounds in 639 career games. After retiring as a player, Daniels joined the coaching staff of his college coach, Bob King, at Indiana State. There he coached future Hall of Famer Larry Bird. Daniels joined the Indiana Pacers front office in 1986 and was the team's Director of Player Personnel until October 2009. Daniels died on October 30, 2015, from complications after heart surgery, he was survived by his wife, CeCe Daniels, son Mel Daniels Jr. two granddaughters, two sisters. Daniels was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts in 2012.
He formally joined former ABA players Connie Hawkins, Dan Issel, David Thompson and Artis Gilmore in the Hall on September 7, 2012. In 1997, Daniels was selected as a member of the ABA All-Time Team by a panel of ABA sports media and executives. Daniels' jersey is retired by the Pacers, he is one of four players to have his jersey retired by the Pacers. Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com ABA Records Archived September 11, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division; the Pacers were first established in 1967 as a member of the American Basketball Association and became a member of the NBA in 1976 as a result of the ABA–NBA merger. They play their home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse; the team is named after Indiana's history with the Indianapolis 500's pace cars and with the harness racing industry. The Pacers have won three championships, all in the ABA; the Pacers were NBA Eastern Conference champions in 2000. The team has won nine division titles. Six Hall of Fame players – Reggie Miller, Chris Mullin, Alex English, Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, George McGinnis – played with the Pacers for multiple seasons. In early 1967, a group of six investors pooled their resources to purchase a franchise in the proposed American Basketball Association.
For their first seven years, they played in the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum. In 1974, they moved to the plush new Market Square Arena in downtown Indianapolis, where they played for 25 years. Early in the Pacers' second season, former Indiana Hoosiers standout Bob "Slick" Leonard became the team's head coach, replacing Larry Staverman. Leonard turned the Pacers into a juggernaut, his teams were buoyed by the great play of superstars such as Mel Daniels, George McGinnis, Bob Netolicky, Rick Mount, Freddie Lewis and Roger Brown. The Pacers were – and ended – as the most successful team in ABA history, winning three ABA Championships in four years. In all, they appeared in the ABA Finals five times in the league's nine-year history, an ABA record; the Pacers were one of four ABA teams that joined the NBA in the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. For the 1976–77 season the Pacers were joined in the merged league by the Denver Nuggets, New York Nets, San Antonio Spurs; the league charged a $3.2 million entry fee for each former ABA team.
Since the NBA would only agree to accept four ABA teams in the ABA–NBA merger, the Pacers and the three other surviving ABA teams had to compensate the two remaining ABA franchises which were not a part of the merger, the Spirits of St. Louis and Kentucky Colonels; as a result of the merger, the four teams dealt with financial troubles. Additionally, the Pacers had some financial troubles which dated back to their waning days in the ABA; the new NBA teams were barred from sharing in national TV revenues for four years. The Pacers finished their inaugural NBA season with a record of 36–46. Billy Knight and Don Buse represented Indiana in the NBA All-Star Game. However, this was one of the few bright spots of the Pacers' first 13 years in the NBA. During this time, they had only two playoff appearances. A lack of continuity became the norm for most of the next decade, as they traded away Knight and Buse before the 1977–78 season started, they acquired Adrian Dantley in exchange for Knight, but Dantley was traded in December, while the Pacers' second-leading scorer, John Williamson, was dealt in January.
The early Pacers came out on the short end of two of the most one-sided trades in NBA history. In 1980, they traded Alex English to the Nuggets in order to reacquire former ABA star George McGinnis. McGinnis was long past his prime, contributed little during his two-year return. English, in contrast, went on to become one of the greatest scorers in NBA history; the next year, they traded a 1984 draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for center Tom Owens, who had played for the Pacers during their last ABA season. Owens played one year for the Pacers with little impact, was out of the league altogether a year later. In 1983–84, the Pacers finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, which would have given the Pacers the second overall pick in the draft—the pick that the Blazers used to select Sam Bowie while Michael Jordan was still available; as a result of the Owens trade, they were left as bystanders in the midst of one of the deepest drafts in NBA history—including such future stars as Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Sam Perkins, Charles Barkley, John Stockton.
Clark Kellogg was drafted by the Pacers in the 1982 and finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting, but the Pacers finished the 1982–83 season with their all-time worst record of 20–62, won only 26 games the following season. After winning 22 games in 1984–85 and 26 games in 1985–86, Jack Ramsay replaced George Irvine as coach and led the Pacers to a 41–41 record in 1986–87 and their second playoff appearance as an NBA team. Chuck Person, nicknamed "The Rifleman" for his renowned long-range shooting, led the team in scoring as a rookie and won NBA Rookie of the Year honors, their first playoff win in NBA franchise history was earned in Game 3 of their first-round, best-of-five series against the Atlanta Hawks, but it was their only victory in that series, as the Hawks defeated them in four games. Reggie Miller from UCLA was drafted by the Pacers in 1987, beginning his career as a backup to John Long. Many fans at the time disagreed with Miller's selection over Indiana Hoosiers' standout Steve Alford.
The Pacers missed the playoffs in 1987–88, drafted Rik Smits in the 1988 NBA draft, suffered through a disastrous 1988–89 season in which coach Jack Ramsay stepped down following an 0–7 start. Mel Daniels and George Irvine filled in on an interim basis before Dick Versace took over the 6–23 team on the way to a 28
The Utah Stars were an American Basketball Association team based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Under head coach Bill Sharman the Stars were the first major professional basketball team to use a pre-game shootaround; the team was founded as the Anaheim Amigos, a charter member of the ABA based in Anaheim, California. They played at the Anaheim Convention Center; the team's colors were black. The Anaheim Amigos were founded by Art Kim, a Hawaii native who had long been active in basketball as a player, Amateur Athletic Union administrator and owner; the Amigos lost the first ABA game to Oakland, 132-129. They finished their first season with 25 wins and 53 losses, good for fifth place in the Western Division but not good enough to make the playoffs; the Amigos lost $500,000 in their first season due to poor attendance. Kim realized he did not have the resources to keep going and sold the team to construction company owner Jim Kirst, who moved the team as the Los Angeles Stars in 1968 and played at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, The franchise made an attempt to sign legendary center Wilt Chamberlain.
Chamberlain did not sign with the Stars. With 33 wins and 45 losses, the Stars improved from their first season but again finished fifth in the Western Division and did not make the playoffs. In October 1969 the Stars signed Zelmo Beaty away from the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, but Beaty had to sit out the season due to a one-year option held by the Hawks, which the Stars would not buy out for $75,000. First year players Mack Willie Wise signed with the Stars; the Stars finished fourth in the Western Division with a record of 43-41, earning the first winning season in franchise history and a playoff berth. The Stars defeated the Dallas Chaparrals 4 games to 2 in the Western Division semifinals and bested the Denver Rockets 4 games to 1 in the semifinals before losing the ABA championship series 4 games to 2 to the Indiana Pacers. Kirst had not anticipated the fast turnaround, did not book the Sports Arena for several dates, they had to play several first and second-round games in their old home in Anaheim, as well as at the Long Beach Sports Arena in Long Beach.
This turned out to be their final game as the Los Angeles Stars. Despite a promising young roster, the Stars were more or less an afterthought in a market whose first choices were the Los Angeles Lakers and UCLA Bruins. In June 1970, Kirst sold the team to Colorado cable TV pioneer Bill Daniels, who moved the team to Salt Lake City as the Utah Stars. Zelmo Beaty suited up for the team and the Stars finished second in the Western Division with their best record yet, 57 wins and 27 losses; the Stars defeated the Texas Chaparrals 4 games to none in the first round of the playoffs, beat the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 3 in a fiercely contested semifinal series, edged out the Kentucky Colonels 4 games to 3 in another fiercely contested series, this time for the ABA championship. The Stars won their first division championship, winning the Western Division with a record of 60-24; the Stars defeated the Dallas Chaparrals 4 games to none in the Western Division semifinals before falling to the Indiana Pacers in the Western Division finals, 4 games to 3.
The Stars hosted the ABA All Star Game and again won the Western Division with a record of 55-29. The Stars defeated the San Diego Conquistadors 4 games to none in the Western Division semifinals but lost in the Western Division finals 4 games to 2 to the Indiana Pacers. In 1973–74 the Stars finished with a record of 51-33 and won first place in the ABA's Western Division for the third straight year under new coach Joe Mullaney, it was the Stars' third straight Western Division title. In the playoffs the Stars again defeated the San Diego Conquistadors in the Western Division semifinals, this time 4 games to 2, went on to defeat the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 3 in the Western Division finals to reach the ABA Finals for the 2nd time in four seasons; the Stars lost the championship to the New York Nets 4 games to 1. This was the Stars' final full ABA season. Daniels was broke due to a series of failed business ventures and an unsuccessful run for governor of Colorado. One of the casualties of the team's financial woes was Mullaney, who resigned after being told the team could not afford to meet his contract.
Daniels sold the team to Salt Lake City businessman James A. Collier in August 1974, but Collier was forced to relinquish the team to Daniels two weeks after missing a payment; the Stars made a high-profile personnel move that season by signing high school player Moses Malone to play for them. The Stars finished the season in fourth place in the Western Division and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Denver Nuggets, 4 games to 1. Despite averaging over 8,500 fans per game that season, the Stars entered the following year on shaky financial footing. During the preseason, the Stars failed to make payments required as a guarantee for hosting the NBA's Chicago Bulls in one of the common ABA vs. NBA preseason exhibition games. Daniels sold the team again to Snellen and Lyle Johnson in May, but ownership reverted to Daniels just before the season when the Johnsons missed several payments. However, Daniels was completely broke by this time; as a result, on December 2, 1975, the league canceled the Stars franchise for missing payroll.
Four of their players were sold to the Spirits of St. Louis, with Daniels getting a 10% minority stake in the Spirits as well. A fifth player was sold to the Virginia Squires. Daniels paid back all of the season tic
Indianapolis shortened to Indy, is the state capital and most populous city of the U. S. state of Indiana and the seat of Marion County. According to 2017 estimates from the U. S. Census Bureau, the consolidated population of Indianapolis and Marion County was 872,680; the "balance" population, which excludes semi-autonomous municipalities in Marion County, was 863,002. It is the 16th most populous city in the U. S; the Indianapolis metropolitan area is the 34th most populous metropolitan statistical area in the U. S. with 2,028,614 residents. Its combined statistical area ranks 27th, with a population of 2,411,086. Indianapolis covers 368 square miles, making it the 16th largest city by land area in the U. S. Indigenous peoples inhabited the area dating to 2000 BC. In 1818, the Delaware relinquished their tribal lands in the Treaty of St. Mary's. In 1821, Indianapolis was founded as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government; the city was platted by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham on a 1 square mile grid next to the White River.
Completion of the National and Michigan roads and arrival of rail solidified the city's position as a manufacturing and transportation hub. Two of the city's nicknames reflect its historical ties to transportation—the "Crossroads of America" and "Railroad City". Since the 1970 city-county consolidation, known as Unigov, local government administration operates under the direction of an elected 25-member city-county council headed by the mayor. Indianapolis anchors the 27th largest economic region in the U. S. based on the sectors of finance and insurance, manufacturing and business services and health care and wholesale trade. The city has notable niche markets in auto racing; the Fortune 500 companies of Anthem, Eli Lilly and Company and Simon Property Group are headquartered in Indianapolis. The city has hosted international multi-sport events, such as the 1987 Pan American Games and 2001 World Police and Fire Games, but is best known for annually hosting the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.
Indianapolis is home to two major league sports clubs, the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. It is home to a number of educational institutions, such as the University of Indianapolis, Butler University, Marian University, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis; the city's robust philanthropic community has supported several cultural assets, including the world's largest children's museum, one of the nation's largest funded zoos, historic buildings and sites, public art. The city is home to the largest collection of monuments dedicated to veterans and war casualties in the U. S. outside of Washington, D. C; the name Indianapolis is derived from the state's name and polis, the Greek word for city. Jeremiah Sullivan, justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, is credited with coining the name. Other names considered were Concord and Tecumseh. In 1816, the year Indiana gained statehood, the U. S. Congress donated four sections of federal land to establish a permanent seat of state government.
Two years under the Treaty of St. Mary's, the Delaware relinquished title to their tribal lands in central Indiana, agreeing to leave the area by 1821; this tract of land, called the New Purchase, included the site selected for the new state capital in 1820. The availability of new federal lands for purchase in central Indiana attracted settlers, many of them descendants of families from northwestern Europe. Although many of these first European and American settlers were Protestants, a large proportion of the early Irish and German immigrants were Catholics. Few African Americans lived in central Indiana before 1840; the first European Americans to permanently settle in the area that became Indianapolis were either the McCormick or Pogue families. The McCormicks are considered to be the first permanent settlers. Other historians have argued as early as 1822 that John Wesley McCormick, his family, employees became the area's first European American settlers, settling near the White River in February 1820.
On January 11, 1820, the Indiana General Assembly authorized a committee to select a site in central Indiana for the new state capital. The state legislature approved the site, adopting the name Indianapolis on January 6, 1821. In April, Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham were appointed to survey and design a town plan for the new settlement. Indianapolis became a seat of county government on December 31, 1821, when Marion County, was established. A combined county and town government continued until 1832. Indianapolis became an incorporated city effective March 30, 1847. Samuel Henderson, the city's first mayor, led the new city government, which included a seven-member city council. In 1853, voters approved a new city charter that provided for an elected mayor and a fourteen-member city council; the city charter continued to be revised. Effective January 1, 1825, the seat of state government moved to Indianapolis from Indiana. In addition to state government offices, a U. S. district court was established at Indianapolis in 1825.
Growth occurred with the opening of the National Road through the town in 1827, the first major federally funded highway in the United States. A small segment of the failed Indiana Central
Clyde Austin Drexler is an American retired professional basketball player. Nicknamed "Clyde the Glide", he was a ten-time All-Star during his career, named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Drexler won an Olympic gold medal in 1992 as part of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team and an NBA Championship in 1995 with the Houston Rockets, he is a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. He serves as a color commentator for Houston Rockets home games. Born in New Orleans, Drexler lived in the South Park area in Houston and attended Ross Sterling High School in Houston, where he was a classmate of tennis player Zina Garrison; as a sophomore, he made the varsity baseball team, tried out for the basketball team but failed to make the cut. Drexler played as a 6 ft 6 in center as a senior, he began receiving attention from college coaches following a 34-point, 27-rebound performance against Sharpstown High School during a 1979 Christmas tournament. After graduating in 1980, he was recruited by New Mexico State University, Texas Tech University, the University of Houston, the latter after childhood friend Michael Young told an assistant to head coach Guy V. Lewis that Drexler was the best player he had faced in high school.
Drexler worked at a bank during the summer. Lewis recalled in 2003 that he received hate mail from Houston supporters and alumni for recruiting Drexler, as they felt that he was not good enough to play for the school. Drexler and Young, along with Larry Micheaux and new recruit Hakeem Olajuwon, comprised the "Phi Slama Jama" basketball fraternity that gained national attention for its acrobatic, above-the-rim play. New players were "initiated" into the fraternity by having to stand underneath the basket as Drexler drove in from halfcourt and threw down a tomahawk slam over them. Houston made the first of Drexler's two straight Final Four appearances in 1982, where they lost to eventual champions North Carolina, he averaged 15.2 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as a small forward as Houston finished 25–8. The 1982–83 campaign saw Houston return to the Final Four ranked No. 1. They were matched up against No. 2 Louisville and the "Doctors of Dunk" in the semifinals, which Houston won 94–81 following a brilliant dunking display by both sides, including a double-pump slam by Drexler that Sports Illustrated writer Curry Kirkpatrick called "your basic play of the century".
He finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists, but in the championship game against North Carolina State, Drexler failed to make an impact after picking up four fouls before halftime, scored only four points on one-of-five shooting and two free throws in NC State's upset victory. Drexler declared for the NBA draft as a junior, leaving Houston with career averages of 14.4 points, 3.3 assists and 9.9 rebounds in three seasons. In addition to being named the Southwestern Conference Player of the Year and a first-team All American his final season, he remains the only player in school history with combined totals of at least 1,000 career points, 900 rebounds and 300 assists, in addition to being Houston's all-time steals leader with 268. In the 1983 NBA draft Drexler was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 14th overall pick, he averaged 7.7 points in 17.2 minutes per game in his rookie season. His second season was his breakout season, in which he averaged 17.2 points, 6 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.2 steals per game.
In his third season, Drexler made his first All-Star team while averaging 18.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 8 assists and 2.6 steals. In the 1989–1990 season, Drexler led the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA Finals, averaging 26.4 points and 7.8 rebounds, but his team lost to the Detroit Pistons in five games. In the 1990–1991 season Drexler led Portland to a franchise best 63–19 record. Favored to win the West, the Los Angeles Lakers upset the Trail Blazers by winning the Western Conference Finals. In the 1991–92 season he made the All-NBA First Team and finished second to Michael Jordan in MVP voting, he met Jordan's Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals that same season only to fall short, as Jordan and the Bulls went on to win their second consecutive championship. In the six-game series against Chicago, Drexler averaged 24.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. In 1992, he was selected to the U. S. Olympic basketball team, nicknamed "The Dream Team". On February 14, 1995, with the Blazers out of serious contention for a championship, Portland honored Drexler's request to be traded to a contender and sent the Blazer great back home to the Houston Rockets, along with Tracy Murray in exchange for Otis Thorpe, the draft rights of Marcelo Nicola, a 1995 first round draft pick in mid-season, right before the trade deadline.
Despite finishing the regular season with a record of 47–35, which placed the Rockets 6th out of 8 playoff teams in the Western Conference and long-time friend Hakeem Olajuwon helped propel them to an improbable second consecutive championship in 1995, sweeping the Orlando Magic. In his third and final NBA Finals appearance, Drexler averaged 21.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. During the 1995 NBA Playoffs, Drexler was ejected during a game between the Rockets and the Phoenix Suns by referee Jake O'Donnell, which stemmed from a personal feud between the two at the time; this would turn out to be the last NBA game O'Donnell would referee, as he was n