On Monday, Houston all-America Clyde Drexler walked into Coach Guy Lewis' office and said, "I'm staying." On Tuesday, the Glide glided in and said, "Coach, I'm leaving." Wednesday, Drexler said, "One minute I'm in school, the next minute I'm out." Thursday, he said nothing.
Yesterday, Drexler announced he was passing up his senior year to turn professional and enter his name in the NBA's June 28 draft.
"I am going to fulfill a childhood dream to play in the NBA," Drexler said yesterday at the home of his lawyer, Jerry Bonney.
Of course, since the deadline for notifying the NBA isn't until midnight tonight, Drexler could change his mind again--as many times as he'd like. But, Drexler said, "It took me so long to come to a decision, I don't think I'll change."
Still no word yet from Houston 7-footer Akeem Olajuwon, who said on Tuesday he was staying in school, then on Thursday said he hadn't made up his mind.
Drexler was concerned that his decision would influence Olajuwon.
"I think he's confused," Drexler said. "He is scared about what will happen when he leaves college. He's basically looking for someone to trust. He said (my decision) wouldn't (affect Olajuwon's decision), but I know Akeem. He was in the middle. He was very indecisive . . . So I had to have a separate press conference. Anything I would have said would have made him make up his mind. But now, he can make up his own mind."
Drexler's decision was made more difficult because in each of the past two years, Houston advanced to the final four but failed to win the NCAA title. "It would have been very nice to leave going out a winner, but I knew I still had a decision to make," Drexler said.
When asked if he was harassed into making the decision, Drexler said, "When you know your market value, you don't get harassed."
Drexler, 6-6, has proven to be an incredibly smooth transition player. But several NBA scouts and knowledgeable sports attorneys interviewed this week have expressed doubt about Drexler's shooting ability. Even with Keith Lee having said he will return to Memphis State for his junior year, it is doubtful Drexler will be among the first five players drafted.