Courtside stories: when Olajuwon was “out of control” before religion


rockets-93-94There’s always a lot going on at NBA teams’ practices. There are jokes, trash talking and more.

Former NBA player Kenny Smith, has recalled his “practice times” with the Houston Rockets on Inside the NBA.

In particular, Smith recalled that the Rockets practices were always intense.

“So here’s a scenario. We’re going into practice. I am going for a layup, and get fouled hard. So you get up and go like ‘oh you didn’t do that last night, you want to be a tough guy up in here today’. And last night you were letting Tony Parker, or Jason Kidd or Gary Payton rise up, and here you want to be a tough guy,” Smith said.

“That kind of talk was at our practice every day,” he said to Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal on Inside the NBA.

Then Smith went on to say that some of the Houston Rockets players were “out of control” at practices.

“We had Mad Max (Vernon Maxwell), me, and I was a talker. Max was out of control, Otis Thorpe was out of control,” Smith recalled. “The Dream (Hakeem Olajuwon), before he went into religion – was out of control too.”

Smith played his first season with Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets in 1990-91, and went on to spend six seasons in Houston, helping the team win two back to back NBA titles in 1993 and 1994.

Smith spent his time in the NBA, playing for Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets. He appeared in 737 NBA games (650 started), averaging 12.8 ppg and 5.5 apg in 30.1 mpg for the career.

This post is part of EXNBA’s “Courtside Stories” series. Check out our other series below:
How adopted kids helped ex-NBA center to play in playoffs
1992 New Jersey Nets and Cleveland Cavs set records
Pippen, Grant never believed Bulls could win 70 games
Tracy McGrady recalls moment when his NBA career was over
Courtside stories: Did NBA force Jordan to leave after gambling issues?

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