By Tim Tal
When the great Hakeem Olajuwon was 50 years old, a lot of people believed he could still play 10-15 minutes per game, along with other players, such as Michael Jordan.
A year later, it seems like some believe 51-year old Olajuwon could still do something on the court. One of these people is Clyde Drexler.
Drexler played in the NBA for 14 years, for Portland TrailBlazers and Houston Rockets. He 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.
Drexler believes that legendary center Olajuwon could still provide an NBA team with some 10 minutes per game.
At a recent NBA pre-season game where Houston Rockets was hosting the visiting Memphis Grizzlies, Drexler was doing the play-by-play commentary, and Olajuwon was in attendance.
“Hakeem could still give you 10 minutes a game…if you leave him in the back court,” Drexler said, jokingly. “What a great player he was.”
Olajuwon retired after the 2001-02 season and has remained connected with the NBA since then. He currently is the player development coach with the Houston Rockets.
Drexler also said running was what “killed the great players”, who couldn’t keep up with the young players. He also recalled the centers that played for the Houston Rockets.
“When you think of Rocket’s centers, they had some great ones, starting with Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, even though he’s a PF, he was phenomenal. And there was Ralph (Sampson), Hakeem, Yao (Ming),” Drexler said.
Drexler joined the Houston Rockets squad in 1994-95 season, and helped Olajuwon to lead the team to its second NBA Championship. Drexler got inducted in the NBA Hall of Fame in 2004, Olajuwon in 2008.
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. He 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.Follow @exnbadotcom
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