What Are The Biggest “What Ifs” In NBA History
On Thursday’s episode of ESPN’s ‘The Jump,’ Rachel Nichols, Stephen Jackson and crew played the “What If” game: What if the Malice at the Palace didn’t happen? What if the NBA allowed the Chris Paul to the Lakers trade to happen? What if the Pistons fell in love with Melo instead of Darko? What if Derrick Rose wouldn’t have blown out his knee? And of course, what if the 2012 Thunder team with KD, Beastbrook and The Beard stayed together?
After the show, Rachel asked fans via Twitter to submit their favorite “what if” scenarios. Those responses, plus a few of my favorite NBA “What If” videos are featured below my personal pick: What if a rookie Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler ended up on the same team.
According to Hakeem in his biography, the Blazers offered the Rockets the #2 pick and Drexler for Ralph Sampson. The Rockets declined and the birth of the “Twin Towers” happened.
What if the Rockets would have accepted the trade and for some reason taken Jordan with that pick? Hakeem, Clyde Drexler and Michael Jordan on the same team! I’m not sure Air and Glide would have been able to co-exist back then but I’m sure it would have been pretty exciting to watch them try. And considering the success of each of the three legends, I don’t think any of them are looking back and complaining about what could have been.
In early 2016, I had the honor of interviewing The Dream and asked him about this trade. He smiled, downplayed it and just said “what if, what if?”