Olajuwon, Drexler say they both could play in NBA at age 50


drexler-olajuwon-1Since Michael Jordan once said he might come back to the NBA at the age of 50, it became a trend – what other NBA greats could have played at this age?

Jordan is turning 50 on Sunday, when the next 62-nd NBA All-Star Game in Houston is set to be hosted.

A lot of people believe Jordan could still play the league, and even give the team some productive minutes.

Fran Blinebury on Feb. 9 posted on his NBA.com blog, that he previously talked to two former NBA legends, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.

Both superstars were asked the same question – if they could still play in the NBA at age 50.

“Not full-time. But for a few minutes, yes,” Hakeem Olajuwon insisted. “I’m in shape.”

Olajuwon established himself as an unusually skilled offensive player for a big man, perfecting a set of fakes and spin moves that became known as his trademark Dream Shake.

He led the Houston Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In 2008, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Olajuwon is a 12-time NBA All-Star, and has been named the 1994 NBA MVP.

Olajuwon is considered one of the greatest centers ever to play the game. Some say, he was the best.

drexler-olajuwon-2He played in 1238 NBA games (1186 started), averaging 21.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 2.5 apg and 3.1 bpg in 35.7 minutes of action.

Speaking of another NBA legend, 10-time NBA All-Star, Clyde Drexler, he did not take the question quite seriously.

When a 50-year-old Clyde Drexler was asked the same question, he nodded his head.

“Absolutely. I could go out there and run up and down the floor with those guys one night,” he said laughing. “Then the next day I’d be in traction.”

Drexler played in the NBA for 14 years, for Portland TrailBlazers and Houston Rockets.

“The Glyde” helped the Houston Rockets and Hakeem Olajuwon to win an NBA Championship in 1995.

Drexler appeared in 1086 NBA games (950 started), averaging 20.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 5.6 apg in 34.6 minutes on the court.

Another NBA player, Kevin Willis played professionally much longer than most others in his sport. His career with the NBA stretched into his 40s. But he still didn’t want to retire.

“If it wasn’t for the simple fact that I’m older, I would (still) be playing,” he said. He finally stopped because he says he didn’t want to wear out his welcome.

Willis played in 1424 NBA games (891 started), averaging 12.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg in 26.9 minutes on the court.

Throughout his career, Willi played for Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, Denver Nuggers, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks.

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