Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:29 am

Amongst the best C of all time?

I'm gonna be honest, outside of Jabbar, i think if i could pick any C in history, i would take Hakeem. To me, he's the most complete C the game has ever seen. There was not one thing he couldn't do on either end. He could face up and hit the 15-17 footer or simply drive by you and his back to the basket game is legendary. His D was about as good as it gets. He could rebound, block shots, generate steals, etc. He possessed the footwork and agility of a guard. His ownage of the other top C of his era in the playoffs (Robinson, Ewing, Shaq) is legendary. And his PPG in the playoffs (25.9) is 4 points higher than his career average (21.8) in the regular season. And he averaged 28.9 and 33.0 during his two championship year runs.

Thoughts?
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby John3:16 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:17 am

I've got him at 5.

Kareem and Wilt are 1 and 2. Russell (who I never saw) has the rings. Shaq was more dominant then Hakeem. Even in the series that the Rockets swept Orlando, Shaq played great and wasn't even in his prime yet. I'd put Hakeem up there with Moses as "just outside the Big 4".

Great player, class act, and probably the best post footwork in NBA history.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Rooscooter on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:31 am

Hakeem took a while to develop. He was a raw athlete that could dunk and block a few shots when he came into the league. His vaunted defense didn't show up until his final 5 to 8 years. When he fully developed he was one of the top 5 I've ever seen play the game but only the second best that I saw play for Houston.

Kareem is the best at that position that I've seen and could dominate today just as easily as he did then. Hakeem had a big athletic advantage in the 80's that helped him tremendously but that advantage would be largely nullified in today's game. Don't get me wrong.... he'd still be dominant but not to the degree he was then IMO.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:32 am

John3:16 wrote:I've got him at 5.

Kareem and Wilt are 1 and 2. Russell (who I never saw) has the rings. Shaq was more dominant then Hakeem. Even in the series that the Rockets swept Orlando, Shaq played great and wasn't even in his prime yet. I'd put Hakeem up there with Moses as "just outside the Big 4".

Great player, class act, and probably the best post footwork in NBA history.


I consider Russell to be one of the most overrated and fortunate players in NBA history. He simply came along in a weak era where there were only 8 teams in the NBA for a good portion of his career. The talent pool was a joke and the Celtics simply had a monopoly of talent over anyone else. To me, he's a glorified Rodman. Great rebounder, great defense with no offenisve game. But you have to give him credit for winning but still, no way i have him over Olajuwon.

Shaq was more dominant offensively because of his size but he also had a ton of weaknesses. No outside shot, bad FT shooter, lazy on D at times, questionable work ethic.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:37 am

Rooscooter wrote:Hakeem took a while to develop. He was a raw athlete that could dunk and block a few shots when he came into the league. His vaunted defense didn't show up until his final 5 to 8 years. When he fully developed he was one of the top 5 I've ever seen play the game but only the second best that I saw play for Houston.

Kareem is the best at that position that I've seen and could dominate today just as easily as he did then. Hakeem had a big athletic advantage in the 80's that helped him tremendously but that advantage would be largely nullified in today's game. Don't get me wrong.... he'd still be dominant but not to the degree he was then IMO.


Huh? Hakeem was a star from his first year onward. He was a monster on both ends.

And your second sentence is contradictory. You said in many other posts that this era is a joke when it comes to centers to point out how weak Howard is at a C. And you mentioned centers of the past (including Olajuwon) and how complete they were. And here you are indicating that Olajuwon won't have as much success now as he did when he played? Which is it?
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby John3:16 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:46 am

Lets Go Lakers wrote:
John3:16 wrote:I've got him at 5.

Kareem and Wilt are 1 and 2. Russell (who I never saw) has the rings. Shaq was more dominant then Hakeem. Even in the series that the Rockets swept Orlando, Shaq played great and wasn't even in his prime yet. I'd put Hakeem up there with Moses as "just outside the Big 4".

Great player, class act, and probably the best post footwork in NBA history.


I consider Russell to be one of the most overrated and fortunate players in NBA history. He simply came along in a weak era where there were only 8 teams in the NBA for a good portion of his career. The talent pool was a joke and the Celtics simply had a monopoly of talent over anyone else. To me, he's a glorified Rodman. Great rebounder, great defense with no offenisve game. But you have to give him credit for winning but still, no way i have him over Olajuwon.

Shaq was more dominant offensively because of his size but he also had a ton of weaknesses. No outside shot, bad FT shooter, lazy on D at times, questionable work ethic.


As I said, I never saw Russell play. And I doubt he could survive at his size at the center position today.

But I did see Kareem and remember Hakeem when he was just "Akeem" trying to go up against him. Kareem was better. By a mile.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:51 am

John3:16 wrote:
Lets Go Lakers wrote:
John3:16 wrote:I've got him at 5.

Kareem and Wilt are 1 and 2. Russell (who I never saw) has the rings. Shaq was more dominant then Hakeem. Even in the series that the Rockets swept Orlando, Shaq played great and wasn't even in his prime yet. I'd put Hakeem up there with Moses as "just outside the Big 4".

Great player, class act, and probably the best post footwork in NBA history.


I consider Russell to be one of the most overrated and fortunate players in NBA history. He simply came along in a weak era where there were only 8 teams in the NBA for a good portion of his career. The talent pool was a joke and the Celtics simply had a monopoly of talent over anyone else. To me, he's a glorified Rodman. Great rebounder, great defense with no offenisve game. But you have to give him credit for winning but still, no way i have him over Olajuwon.

Shaq was more dominant offensively because of his size but he also had a ton of weaknesses. No outside shot, bad FT shooter, lazy on D at times, questionable work ethic.


As I said, I never saw Russell play. And I doubt he could survive at his size at the center position today.

But I did see Kareem and remember Hakeem when he was just "Akeem" trying to go up against him. Kareem was better. By a mile.


I already stated that i would take Kareem 1st. But when Akeem was facing Kareem, he was just a young pup. He was not yet in his prime. But he was still pretty darn dominant against the Lakers in the 1986 playoffs when they eliminated the Lakers.

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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby John3:16 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:57 am

^^^ He was. Entering his prime vs a 39 year old.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby 432J on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:28 pm

i'd put hakeem at #2 behind kareem

i agree that russell is very overrated. great player but he dominated in an era where his only competition was wilt, who i would put at #3

hakeem's post game was just beautiful and fun to watch. i hate how people put russell or shaq over him
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:03 pm

John3:16 wrote:^^^ He was. Entering his prime vs a 39 year old.


Akeem was only 23 and in his 2nd year when he went to the finals. I was simply arguing your point that old Kareem was miles better than a young Akeem. I rate young Akeem higher than the Kareem of 1987+. If you say Kareem, i have no problem with that. I do have a problem with saying Kareem was miles better.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Juronimo on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:25 pm

I find it difficult to rate big men that played in different eras. I didn't get a chance to watch Wilt or Russel. I missed Kareem's prime and saw him towards the end of his career. I missed Bill Walton's prime and vaguely recall watching Moses Malone.

Compared to big men I've seen, including older Kareem, the Dream is the best center I've seen personally. He was absolutely dominant at his peak, and his championship runs in '94 and '95 is the stuff of legend. Those were the most completely dominant performance I've ever seen. His game was like poetry in motion.

Hakeem is my favorite non Laker ever. Where he rates with the other great big men? I don't know but he's definitely in the top 5.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:08 am

Shaq picked Hakeem as the best ever. I guess he knows from experience how good he was.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby LTLakerFan on Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:15 am

Companies need to stop paying Shaq to open his big mouth and give his worthless opinions.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lakerjones on Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:05 am

Top 5. Kareem, Wilt, Russell, and then it's a toss up for me between Shaq and Hakeem. Shaq was more dominating physically but Hakeem was more dominant skill wise. Incredible D. Incredible footwork and moves.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby 432J on Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:23 am

i'd put him at #4 on my top 5

1. kareem
2. russell
3. wilt
4. hakeem
5. shaq

his fundamentals were just amazing and fun to watch. shaq was the stronger big man but hakeem was more skilled
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby gcclaker on Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:59 am

1. Abdul-Jabbar
2. Chamberlain
3. Russell
4. Olajuwon
5. O'Neal
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby therealdeal on Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:13 am

Lakerjones wrote:Top 5. Kareem, Wilt, Russell, and then it's a toss up for me between Shaq and Hakeem. Shaq was more dominating physically but Hakeem was more dominant skill wise. Incredible D. Incredible footwork and moves.

If you're looking for longevity probably go with Hakeem.

If you're looking for prime dominance, you have to go with Shaq. No one could defend him in his prime, he was unstoppable. But before and after the years of his prime he was pretty pedestrian. Especially after. He aged horribly.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby gcclaker on Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:31 am

therealdeal wrote:
Lakerjones wrote:Top 5. Kareem, Wilt, Russell, and then it's a toss up for me between Shaq and Hakeem. Shaq was more dominating physically but Hakeem was more dominant skill wise. Incredible D. Incredible footwork and moves.

If you're looking for longevity probably go with Hakeem.

If you're looking for prime dominance, you have to go with Shaq. No one could defend him in his prime, he was unstoppable. But before and after the years of his prime he was pretty pedestrian. Especially after. He aged horribly.

Agree. O'Neal was a freight train during his dominant years on the scoring end and was just a physical, brute force on the block. However on an even field, I'd take Olajuwon whose game was more balanced IMHO given his rebounding and shot-blocking not to mention a better percentage at the charity stripe.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby gcclaker on Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:38 am

OK...I'll go with the "I've seen" scenario:

1. Abdul-Jabbar
2. Olajuwon
3. O'Neal
4. Parish
5. Gilmore
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:51 pm

I still don't see the love for Russell. Head to head, does anyone doubt that Hakeem would utterly destroy him on both ends? Russell was a glorified Rodman. Great defender, great rebounder with little offense. I'm sure he was a great leader and all and he won a bunch of rings but this is about talent and what you can do for my team. Give me Hakeem any day of the week over Russell heading into the playoffs. He does so much more for me than Russell.

Russell just happened to come along at the right time with the perfect circumstances imo. Talent pool a joke, the Celtics had a monopoly on talent and a good chunk of his career, there were only 8 teams in the league. His talent doesn't translate eras imo. His talent wasn't as obvious as say, a Wilt Chamberlain, who would've been great in any era. I'm not so sure about Russell.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lakerjones on Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:49 pm

^^ Very hard to say I think comparing such different eras and players. I didn't see Russell play so it's nearly impossible for me to imagine how it would go if he and Hakeem went against each other. I just know that Russell went up against some great players himself like Wilt and he came out with 11 championships while being the undisputed team leader and even player coach at the end of his career, right? It's not always about talent as much as that will to win. Who knows?

What about the Admiral, David Robinson? Where does he stack up in the list? I think he's a drop off from these top 5 that most of us have mentioned for sure. But how much down from them? And what about Moses Malone?

I think I'd put Moses in 6th. He was a monster, himself!! Maybe 7th for the Admiral. He was no slouch either.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby TIME on Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:04 pm

I love these kinds of discussions.

Kareem
...
...
...
...
The rest

Dream is for sure one of the best ever. I will argue with anyone that rates him above Shaq though. Put the best version of Hakeem against 2000-2001 Shaq with Phil firmly in Shaq's head and Shaq would demolish Hakeem in a playoff series. I also think Shaq's 4 rings outweigh Hakeem's 2.

I would probably go with this list:

1. Kareem
2. Wilt
3. Russell
4. Shaq
5. Hakeem
6. Moses
7. The Admiral
8. Bill Walton
9. Nate Thurmond
10. Pick-em: Ewing, Parish, Reed, Gilmore
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lakerjones on Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:21 pm

^^ Killer list TIME.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby gcclaker on Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:28 pm

Lakerjones wrote:^^Killer list TIME.

I'd take Parish for the last spot. He really was an unsung hero on those teams. Every pivotman who played against Thurmond lauded him as THE best defensive center they ever played against.
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Re: Where do you rate Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon?

Postby Lakerjones on Tue Jun 18, 2013 3:32 pm

^^ I didn't know a whole lot about Artis Gilmore and had to read up him on after your post, gcclaker. Seems like he had an impressive career in the ABA. Always remembered his name but I didn't really know his game. I have to admit a soft spot for Ewing.
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