Hakeem Olajuwon was a center I hated (because I was such a huge Patrick Ewing fan) and respected at the same time, and eventually one that I would grow to love and probably begin my franchise with if I actually owned one. But, instead my imaginary NBA franchise remains just that, a thing of make believe, but at least it has a solid foundation of Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon jumping ball at center court for it.
The video below is from some DVD that I couldn’t find information on on Google. At least nothing solid. Apparently, it’s called “It Changed Everything” and it’s an edited version, which is how the video is described by the respective YouTube user. It’s an excellent account of Olajuwon as he discovered basketball, came to the United States to play for the University of Houston, and eventually his Hall of Fame NBA career. Enjoy the video as it’s a little over forty minutes long and full of Hakeem Olajuwon’s ridiculous moves, including the famous “Dream Shake.”
The video obviously ends with the Houston Rockets winning the 1994 NBA championship versus the New York Knicks. So, we can assume that the DVD, whichever one it is, came out in 1994 because the following season, the Rockets won their second NBA title in a row, which again obviously, isn’t mentioned in the video.
As an older NBA fan, it was an excellent trip down memory lane to see all of the older highlights of Hakeem when he was actually known as Akeem, minus the H. During his prime, Hakeem Olajuwon destroyed every other center during the time of the “big man” – the aforementioned Ewing, David Robinson, Robert Parish, and Shaquille O’Neal, youngsters on the come-up with Shaq, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo, and even old-timers on their way to the Hall of Fame, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone.
The Dream was incredible because he had amazing footwork and balance. He was hard to stick if he was your man on defense because he’d be in one place for a split-second and the total opposite side of a defender the next split-second. And, even though a player like Wilt Chamberlain was stronger and could be more devastating because of his raw strength, I’d select Hakeem Olajuwon as my franchise center.
If you look at it from a numbers perspective, it’s crazy because Wilt clearly wins on stats. However, I think I’m a tad biased because I actually saw Olajuwon play regularly. And, another point of my subjectivity to admit, I just watched an amazing video about Hakeem Olajuwon.