So, who’s better, still-active German Dirk Nowitzki, or retired Hall of Famer from Nigeria Hakeem Olajuwon? Former NBA player Eddie Johnson spoke to USA Today, comparing the two great players:
“Both of them came here from foreign lands, and they’ve made an imprint on the history of the NBA,” Johnson said.
“Dirk Nowitzki has gone on not only to win a championship, but he’s also a 12-time All-NBA player, he won the MVP award in 2006-2007. He has changed the way the game was played,” Johnson said. “He’s one of the better shooters to ever play the game of basketball.”
Now, let’s move on to Hakeem Olajuwon.
“One of the most dominant defensive players in the history of the league, he was a 9-time All-Defensive team, 12 times All-NBA team, he retired as the All-Time leader in career block shots in the NBA, and he scored over 26,000 points,” said Johnson, who played with Olajuwon in Houston.
Johnson said that what separates Dirk and Hakeem is their “dominance and control of the game”.
“Dirk controlled the game with his offense. He would get hot, get on a roll and destroy your confidence,” Johnson said. “Olajuwon would destroy you on the offensive end, and then destroy you on the defensive end with his shot-blocking ability.”
Johnson, who himself played in 1199 NBA games, averaging 16 ppg during his career, went on to add that both Olajuwon and Nowitzki came with their own signature moves.
“Dirk came in with this one-legged fade-away jumper, while Olajuwon had his legendary dream shake,” Johnson said. “Olajuwon would shake his defender and make him feel he was in a night club.”
According to Johnson, Olajuwon is obviously better, as he won two back-to-back NBA championships with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995. Nowitzki has won one NBA title with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011.
While Olajuwon has nothing left to prove to the NBA universe, Nowitzki shows that he has still some fuel left in the tank, and once he’s retired, he will long be remembered as one of the greats.
It should be noted that on Nov. 11, Nowitzki drained a jumper that allowed him to pass Olajuwon on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.Follow @exnbadotcom
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