The Portland Tribune’s Kerry Eggars interviews the no. 2 overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft, Sam Bowie.

Chicago selected a guard from North Carolina at No. 3, who went on to have a nice little career.

œI still follow the game. It bothers me when I see contracts worth $60 million, $70 million, $80 million, yet I read about incidents occurring at like 2:38 in the morning. And players complaining about practicing two hours, and disrespecting the coach. I™ll be looking at these kids, and they disrespect the game.

œPeople can call me an old-timer and say I™m jealous of the money, but it™s not jealousy. When I played, I felt guilty. I wondered what the Wilts and Kareems thought about what Sam Bowie was making, and he hadn™t proved anything.

The topic that never dies

The talk turns to Jordan ” when people chat up Bowie, it always does ” and how the Blazers passed on the man who became the greatest player who ever lived for a player who had missed two years of ball in college due to leg injuries.

œWhen you think of Sam Bowie, the Jordan name comes up, he says with a shrug. œAnd I kind of lighten up when it does. I start beaming. It™s a huge compliment to know you were drafted in front of a talent like that. Whenever I used to see Michael, I would joke with him that if he had never become the player he was, I wouldn™t have been subject to the ridicule.

People are usually respectful, but curious, when they broach the topic today.

œI don™t feel defensive at all when that subject comes up, he says. œIt™s unfortunate I had some physical setbacks and wasn™t able to perform to the expectations and goals I had set for myself. But the Blazers™ organization did what anybody would have done. They had two all-star shooting guards in Clyde Drexler and Jim Paxson. They needed a center. And no one really knew what Michael was to become.