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Olajuwon spun counterclockwise and faked a jump shot.

[53] Olajuwon averaged career lows of 7.1 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in what would be his final season in the NBA, as he decided to retire in the fall of 2002, due to a back injury. Olajuwon was ineligible for selection to the "Dream Team" as he hadn't become a US citizen.[56]. [6] As in 1994, Olajuwon was the only Rockets All-Star.[48]. All-NBA Second Team Team. He is considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Career Summaries of the First 56 Final Four Most Outstanding Players, Milwaukee Bucks at Houston Rockets, March 29, 1990, Rockets return Kite to Orlando – Heart problem causes center to fail physical, Olajuwon's salary short of fair market value, Olajuwon, Rockets trade shots/Club accuses star of feigning injury, Agent: Olajuwon remains firm on leaving Rockets, One more piece of bad news comes to the Rockets, Sun's Sir Charles tips MVP crown to Hakeem, Hakeem Olajuwon: The NBA's Best In The Mid ’90s, nba.com/history player summary-Hakeem Olajuwon, "Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Box Score, December 1, 1994", 1995 N.B.A. When you jump, you turn as you land.

Olajuwon was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2008. On defense, the big man can rebound and block shots. [77][78] In September 2009, he also worked with Kobe Bryant on the post moves and the Dream Shake.

[39] In Game 7, Olajuwon posted a game–high 25 points and 10 rebounds, which helped defeat the Knicks, bringing the first professional sports championship to Houston since the Houston Oilers won the American Football League championship in 1961. Are you a Stathead, too? Do you have a blog? When he called the staff, they told him to take a taxi out to the university. [52][54] Olajuwon retired as the all–time league leader in total blocked shots with 3,830, although shot blocking did not become an official statistic until the 1973–74 NBA season.

Olajuwon attended the 2013 NBA Draft to bid farewell to retiring commissioner David Stern as Stern made his announcement for the final pick of the first round. In his autobiography, Living the Dream, Olajuwon mentions an intriguing draft trade offered to the Rockets that would have sent Clyde Drexler and the number two pick in the 1984 NBA draft from Portland in exchange for Ralph Sampson. "[6] Olajuwon himself traced the move back to the soccer-playing days of his youth. The Rockets had immediate success during Olajuwon's rookie season, as their win-loss record improved from 29–53 in 1983–84 to 48–34 in 1984–85. When asked whether the league was becoming more guard-oriented and big men were being de-emphasized, Olajuwon responded, "For a big man who is just big, maybe. He was a prolific scorer, averaging 21.8 points per game for his career,[6] and an above average offensive rebounder, averaging 3.3 offensive rebounds per game. They finished 42–40,[19] and missed the playoffs for the first time in Olajuwon's career. The Dream Shake is you dribble and then you jump; now you don't have a pivot foot. Olajuwon and his sons, Abdul and Abdullah Image Source Complicated Romance with Lita Spencer. Other vital statistics like weight, shoe or bra size measurements have been sourced from newspapers, books, resumes or social media. [6] Additionally, Olajuwon became a skilled dribbler with an ability to score in "face-up" situations like a perimeter player. [55], In 1980, before arriving in the US, Olajuwon played for a Nigerian junior team in the All-Africa Games. [9] Olajuwon did not play basketball until the age of 15 in high school, when he entered a local tournament while at the Muslim Teachers College in Lagos, Nigeria. In his first game with the Raptors, he scored 11 points in just 22 minutes of playing time against the Magic.

DR34M, Position: January 21,

[12] He later recalled that when he originally arrived at the airport in 1980 for the visit, no representative of the school was there to greet him. On April 10, 2008, the Rockets unveiled a sculpture in honor of him outside the Toyota Center.

With David Robinson guarding him, Olajuwon performed a cross-over, drove to the basket and faked a layup.

He finished second in the MVP race to Charles Barkley with 22 votes to Barkley's 59.

"[13] His intuition proved correct, and a lucky toss placed Houston ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers. Question, Comment, Feedback, or Correction? Play-by-play data available for the 1996-97 through 2019-20 seasons. In 1998–99 the Rockets acquired veteran All-Star Scottie Pippen and finished 31–19 in the lockout-shortened regular season. [79] More recently he has been working with Dwight Howard, helping him diversify his post moves and encouraging more mental focus. Olajuwon dominated Ewing in their head–to–head match-up, outscoring him in every game of the series and averaging 26.9 points per game on 50% shooting, compared to Ewing's 18.9 and 36.3%. He played alongside Ralph Sampson who was 7ft 4in tall and together the two were known as the “Twin Towers.” He weighs …

[61] The couple have four children together; two daughters, Rahmah and Aisha and two sons, Abdullah and Abdul. "[8], During his youth, Olajuwon was a soccer goalkeeper, which helped give him the footwork and agility to balance his size and strength in basketball, and also contributed to his shot-blocking ability. Malone, who was then a center on the NBA's Houston Rockets, played games every off season with several NBA players at the Fonde Recreation Center. The defender can't react because he's waiting for you to come down to defend you. We put four bodies on him. During his college days in Houston, Olajuwon met and commenced a relationship with a high school senior, named Lita Spencer, in 1982.

While Olajuwon never expressed an interest in coaching a team, he wishes to give back to the game by helping younger players. You don't solve Hakeem. He credits his parents with instilling virtues of hard work and discipline into him and his siblings; "They taught us to be honest, work hard, respect our elders, and believe in ourselves". "[5] From 1984 to 2002, he played the center position in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors. Ewing was arguably 6'11" in his prime at least an inch taller than admitted 6'10" Hakeem Olajuwon who does indeed look 6'10" next to 6'9" Dwight Howard. It is probably likely by now, but not a huge amount, maybe an inch is possible. It leaves out Wilt Chamberlain. Later, Olajuwon took an active interest in spirituality,[69] becoming a more devout Muslim.

[45] In the series-clinching game, Olajuwon recorded 39 points, 17 rebounds and 5 blocks.

[24] Nevertheless, the Rockets were eliminated in the first round by the Seattle SuperSonics, 3 games to 1.

He was noted for both his outstanding shot-blocking ability and his unique talent (for a frontcourt player) for stealing the ball.

[23] This willingness to pass the ball increased his scoring, making it more difficult for opposing teams to double and triple-team him.

It's not just his scoring, not just his rebounding or not just his blocked shots.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: 5 (1970, 1978-1979, 1983, 1985) Hakeem Olajuwon: 3 (1986, 1990, 1996) On August 2, 2001,[52] after refusing a $13 million deal with the Rockets, Olajuwon was traded to the Toronto Raptors for draft picks (the highest of which was used by Houston to draft Boštjan Nachbar at #15 in the 2002 NBA draft), with the player having a three-year contract that would give him $18 million. After averaging 26.9 and 23.2 points in 1995–96 and 1996–97 respectively, Olajuwon's point production dipped to 16.4 in 1997–98. [2] He outplayed centers such as Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, and Dikembe Mutombo, and other defensive stalwarts such as Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone. His college career for the Cougars included three trips to the Final Four. People don't realize he was in the top seven [in NBA history] in steals. He also averaged a league-leading 3.95 blocks per game. They finished the season with a 41–41 record,[19] and though they made the playoffs, were eliminated in four games by Los Angeles. Houston began to rebuild, bringing in young guards Cuttino Mobley and 2000 NBA co-Rookie of the Year Steve Francis. [28] Despite his usual strong numbers, he could not lift his team out of mediocrity. [Editor Rob: if I get time, but maybe if someone reads this and could help mamun beforehand it'd be great. Before I come down, I make my move. [62][63] Olajuwon also has an older daughter, Abisola from a previous relationship with Lita Spencer, whom he met in college. All the other sports just become obsolete. "[60], Olajuwon married his current wife, Dalia Asafi, on August 8, 1996, in Houston.

[41] He was also the first foreign-born player to win the league's MVP award.

You put him in the mix and you jump stop and now you have choice of pivot foot. Despite very nearly being traded during a bitter contract dispute before the 1992–93 season, he remained in Houston where in 1993–94, he became the only player in NBA history to win the NBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP awards in the same season. The Rockets were defending an 86–84 lead when in the last second, Knicks guard John Starks (who had already scored 27 points) went up for what would have been a Finals-winning three. Hakeem Olajuwon was born to Salim and Abike Olajuwon, working class Yoruba owners of a cement business in Lagos, Nigeria.

Olajuwon pulled off a clutch play by blocking the shot as time expired. He's just a great player. Olajuwon scored 75 points in victories in games three and four, and after the series Lakers coach Pat Riley remarked "We tried everything.

Shoots: He led the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995.

He won the NBA rebounding crown (14.0 per game) again, this time by an even larger margin; a full two rebounds per game over David Robinson, and led the league in blocks by averaging 4.6 per game. [56] For the 1996 Olympics, he received a FIBA exemption and was eligible to play for Dream Team II. Twitter: Olajuwon averaged 8.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, shooting 60% from the field in 18 minutes per game. Drexler departed for the NBA in 1983, leaving Olajuwon the lone star on the team. In the NBA Finals, the Rockets swept the Orlando Magic, who were led by a young Shaquille O'Neal.

Olajuwon was at the pinnacle of his career. This created some problems when he tried to play for the United States men's national basketball team initially. Olajuwon averaged 20.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.68 blocks in his rookie season.

He can add so much, make it easier for the entire team." The Rockets ended the regular season with a record of 45–37,[19] and Olajuwon finished the season as the league leader in rebounds (13.5 per game) by a full rebound per game over Charles Barkley. At that time (before the NBA Draft Lottery was introduced in 1985), the first pick was awarded by coin flip. We have tools and resources that can help you use sports data. [24] Olajuwon also recorded a quadruple-double during the season,[25] becoming only the third player in NBA history to do so. Olajuwon gained a reputation as a clutch performer and also as one of the top centers in history based on his performances in the 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons.

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