Hakeem ‘The Dream' Olajuwon is undoubtedly one of the greatest NBA players of all time. Olajuwon must have been a nightmare for his opponents to defend against and he established himself in the history of the sport.
Today we remember Olajuwon’s legacy and how he broke records in the NBA that are still yet to be broken.
From Nigeria to the NBA
Hakeem was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and came from humble beginnings. He travelled from Nigeria as a young man to play for the University of Houston, where he would set up home for many years.
He became the number one pick in the 1984 NBA draft, which was arguably the most outstanding draft of all time.
To show you how highly he was regarded, look at some of the names he was selected in front of Michael Jordan, John Stockton, and Charles Barkley.
Two years after joining the Rockets, he helped lead them to the 1986 NBA finals, but they missed out against the Boston Celtics.
Olajuwon’s stats record
The Rockets had a few stuttering years to follow, but Olajuwon’s stats did not decline; he still kept winning award after award and continued to break many records.
In 1990 he had arguably the most incredible playing month of any NBA player when he posted a quadruple-double against the Golden State Warriors and then the Bucks. This is one of the hardest things to achieve, and only three others in NBA history have managed it.
To see who else has made the list visit website of TwinSpires Edge and check it out. At the end of the 91-92 season, Hakeem had enough of being second best and requested to be traded.
He loved the Rockets and the city of Houston, but he felt that they didn't match his ambitions. However, he stayed loyal to them under the new guidance of head coach Rudy Tomjanovich.
In 1994 the dream of the dream became a reality, and he led the Rockets to the NBA championship finals, where they beat the Knicks in a seven-game thriller.
They trailed throughout the series, 2-1 and 3-2, but they never gave up hope and battled back to bring the first professional sports trophy to the city since the Oilers won the AFC Championship in 1961. This season was the pinnacle of Olajuwon's career as he became the only player in NBA history to win the MVP award, Defensive Player of the Year, and the finals MVP.
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Overcoming the obstacles
Despite suffering from some health problems, Hakeem did not rest on his laurels, and he wanted to show the world that their win was no fluke and that the Rockets were the real deal.
The team started slowly, but they picked up around the same time that they acquired Olajuwon's former university teammate Clyde Drexler.
‘The Dream’ set out to achieve what he wanted when the Rockets reached the playoff finals and retained the trophy. Hakeem had many critical battles on route to the championships against the likes of David Robinson of the Spurs and Shaquille O'Neal of the Orlando Magic.
Olajuwon could retire a happy man, and that's precisely what he did in 2002 when he had been plagued with a back injury throughout the season.
He finished his career as the all-time league leader for blocked shots as he made 3830. Now you know why he was a nightmare to play against but a dream to coach.Back to the NBA Newsfeed