When Michael Jordan Revealed Reason Behind Hakeem Olajuwon's Impressive Defense

Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan are considered two of the best-ever defensive players in the history of the NBA.

Published on Jun 27, 2024  |  08:45 PM IST |  106.5K
Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon

Not only was Michael Jordan a gifted offensive player, but The legendary Chicago Bulls player was also well-known for his defensive prowess; in 1988, he was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year.

Jordan was undoubtedly aware of the subtleties on both sides of the court. When it came to defense, Michael knew that big players had a higher block percentage and smaller players had a higher steal percentage.

Michael Jordan

What did Michael Jordan say about Hakeem Olajuwon?

The greatest player of all time could only give Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets appreciation when he learned that he was a master at both.

Jordan said, "Olajuwon, he was in the top 10 in five categories: steals, rebounds, blocked shots, scoring, and shooting percentage. To have a big guy of his size to be in the top 10 in steals, you would assume that he would be in blocks, which to me showed versatility and what type of guy he really was."

Olajuwon was a perfect two-way player

Olajuwon's defensive prowess impressed more people than just Michael. The African center's play amazed the entire league, and in 1993 and 1994, Hakeem was named Defensive Player of the Year.

In 1994, 'The Dream' was also named league MVP for his leadership and all-around play. These days, the phrase "two-way player" is often used. But in Olajuwon's day, two-way players could back up their claims with hardware and the respect of their peers.


Jordan feared Hakeem, Robert Horry

The Rockets and Olajuwon are unique in that no other team has stolen two championships during the Chicago Bulls' historic double three-peat. Many even think Houston would have prevailed if Houston and Chicago had faced off in the NBA Finals.

We can never be certain of what might occur. We do know that Olajuwon's talents were appreciated by Jordan. Robert Horry claims that Hakeem also instilled fear in Michael's mind.

ALSO READ: Michael Jordan Once Revealed the Only Player in NBA He Couldn’t Dominate; Details Inside

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