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View Full Version : Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon.. Best NBA Center ever ?


thatKid
06-07-2009, 01:55 PM
Where would you rank him?

For me in order it's

Wilt.. Even though he was like Goliath
Hakeem "The Dream".. One of the best ever any position to me (Personal favorite at Center)
Bill Russell.. How many rings? I forgot
Kareem.. Based on what I've heard from NBA historians
Shaq.. Hate him, but was very dominant

Honestly, I really liked the Spurs "Twin Towers"

Where would you put Duncan (Top 10 Maybe?) and David Robinson

Ghost In The 'Lac
06-07-2009, 02:19 PM
had a poster of his on my wall for about 10 years lol, but theres only 3 in the debate.

1- Wilt.
2- Abdul Jabar
3- Shaq.


Shaq doesnt come anywhere near close to someone like K.A.J on any type of skill level. But hes gotta be 3rd because of his total dominance of the modern league in hs position for so many years.

spiggity_ace
06-07-2009, 02:59 PM
i think wilt then shaq then kareem, ill probably take flak for this but wutever, shaq wouldve ate kareem if they played against eachother, hakeem is sick too id probably put him 4th then come with bill russel.

Olive Oil Goombah
06-07-2009, 03:05 PM
Hakeem was great. There were a ton of great centers during his era....Robinson, Ewing, Daugherty etc.


He ate up Shaq in the Finals, so that alone makes me put him above Shaq. Plus he has so much more skill than Shaq.
All of those guys did. Shaq got by most of the time on sheer force, and got away with alot of fouls.

whitey
06-07-2009, 05:21 PM
^ that was a young shaq vs. hakeem in his prime.

i doubt he does that to the 99/early 2000's shaq.

check two
06-07-2009, 05:44 PM
Hakeem was definitely a more versatile and skilled player than Shaq. Hakeem could do it all. They were supposed to play each other one on one in that PPV, but it didn't happen.

Olive Oil Goombah
06-07-2009, 05:51 PM
^ that was a young shaq vs. hakeem in his prime.

i doubt he does that to the 99/early 2000's shaq.

SHaq never acquired any skills. He never developed a hook, or a jumper his whole career. Never got better at the free throw line.

Hakeem would have done the same thing to him. Only thing you could say is that Shaq would have been heavier and stronger.


My money would be on the Dream.

I was never a Shaq fan because of the fact that he really had no basketball skills.

Ghost In The 'Lac
06-07-2009, 06:04 PM
SHaq never acquired any skills. He never developed a hook, or a jumper his whole career. Never got better at the free throw line.

Hakeem would have done the same thing to him. Only thing you could say is that Shaq would have been heavier and stronger.


My money would be on the Dream.

I was never a Shaq fan because of the fact that he really had no basketball skills.

Shaq has improved his FT% steadily over the years.

And as for no skills, Shaq is actually a skilled passer. I think he has a certain level of skill through his amazing athletic abilty for a man of his size and weight. Compare him with someone like Yao, Shaq has alot of skilled body movements.

As NBA is a mostly non contact sport, you cant just say hes been so succesful only due to his physical strength. His moves amazingly well too, and rarely looks clumsy around the paint. This is a big feat for someone with his physical build. He can handle the and protect the ball well too.

Olive Oil Goombah
06-07-2009, 06:10 PM
im not saying he wasn't athletic for a big man...im just saying his actually basketball skills were not too good and didnt significantly improve.

His FT shooting?? LOL ....what did it go from 48% to 56%?

Rode Block
06-07-2009, 11:20 PM
I would put The dream at Second Kareem is my number 1...He was the most durable Center in NBA history...His averages went down because he played so long, but in his rookie year he has averages of 29 PPG, 14 board, and 4 assists. His Sky-Hook is the most reliable Go-To shot in the History of the NBA.

Hakeem's post game was amazing...He destroyed David Robinson in his prime...He's the most graceful Center EVER. I think he would've dominated a prime Shaq. No Center was quick enough to guard Hakeem in the post. Ewing couldn't, Robinson couldn't, I doubt prime Shaq would've been able too. I know Shaq was a freak of nature, but Hakeem just has too much skill.

In short Hakeem had the Speed, Foot Work, Post SKills, Power, and Quickness to dominate Shaq, IMO.

p-rok73
06-09-2009, 04:53 PM
Hakeem was one of the best centers no doubt, but not THE best IMO. I would have liked to see him play against the Bulls (with MJ), instead of the other teams they beat in the NBA Finals when the Rockets won.

Rode Block
06-09-2009, 06:56 PM
^It wasn't Hakeem's fault Jordan lost to Shaq...You can't knock him for that. Not to mention the Rockets always owned the Bulls in the regular season.

p-rok73
06-10-2009, 09:08 PM
^^ In the regular season yes, but the Bulls never were defeated in their six trips to the Finals. Keep in mind that Jordan was still rusty from his retirement when the Bulls faced the Magic.

Rode Block
06-10-2009, 10:28 PM
I don't think that Bulls team would've been able to handle Hakeem. They had no Center that was even close the being as good defensively as Robinson...And Hakeem absolutlely embarrassed Robinson that year. Plus Vernon Maxwell guarded MJ better than anyone...He had his worst game vs. the Rockets...If the Bulls-Rockets would've met in the 1994 finals I think the Rockets would have won that series in 5 games. Easily. That's such a shitty match-up for Jordan.

hectis
06-10-2009, 10:48 PM
he is the best center of all time

he is the Only player in NBA history to have won MVP, Finals MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards in the same season

All-time leader in blocked shots

has the most steals ever for a center

top ten in blocks, scoring , rebounding, and steals. He is the only player in NBA history placed in the top ten for all four categories

most blocks in the playoffs

owned shaq in the finals

if he was on Boston win they were winning all those rings they never would have lost to the lakers

THE W
06-11-2009, 05:21 PM
^It wasn't Hakeem's fault Jordan lost to Shaq...You can't knock him for that. Not to mention the Rockets always owned the Bulls in the regular season.

the regular season means absolutely nothing in the playoffs. look how the lakers are handling a magic team that dominated them in the regular season.

^^ In the regular season yes, but the Bulls never were defeated in their six trips to the Finals. Keep in mind that Jordan was still rusty from his retirement when the Bulls faced the Magic.

he came back very late that season. he only played 17 games. the following 2 years the bulls damn near had two 70 win seasons in a row and 2 NBA titles.

Olive Oil Goombah
06-11-2009, 05:37 PM
the Bulls would have definately been in the Finals had Jordan not retired.

Those Bulls/Rockets Finals would have been classics, especially that Rockets team that had Drexler.

I think the Rockets could have won in 95 but not in 94. Still, I would guess that the Bulls probably would have won both because they were unbeatable during that time, and that would have been during the prime of their prime.
'
imagine that...8 in a row.

Rode Block
06-12-2009, 02:59 AM
the regular season means absolutely nothing in the playoffs. look how the lakers are handling a magic team that dominated them in the regular season.


They BARELY beat the Lakers in the regular season...

Jameer Nelson went off on the Lakers BOTH games...and he obviously can't do too much in the finals.

Again, there is nothing that anyone can show that says the Bulls would have been able to beat the Rockets in the Finals...While Hakeem holds a 5-1 record vs. Jordan in the regular season, so you may say that the regular season doesn't mean much, but it still means a hell of a lot more than saying "I think Jordan would have beat Hakeem because Jordan never lost". Which is bullshit because Jordan did lose and there was NO ONE on the Bulls team that would have been able to even come close to containing Olajuwon...If Robinson couldn't do it no way in hell would Longley or Cartwright be able to.


Basketball is all about match ups and the Rockets were a bad match up for the Bulls.

THE W
06-12-2009, 10:41 AM
yet they beat the patrick ewing knicks every year and the karl malone utah jazz twice in the finals. the bulls won 6 titles with a mediocre front court.

dominated, barely, whatever. they beat the lakers 3 of their 4 regular season meetings and despite that they will more than likely not make it back to LA in this finals series.

all your doing is speculating on what might happen. teams play different in the playoffs. strategies and preparation for opponents are different in the playoffs. so what if the rockets beat them 5 times in the regular season where teams arent devising elaborate strategies to beat one team.

on many occasions a team that lost the regular season series to another team met that same team in the playoffs and won(ie the jazz sweeping the bulls in the '98 regular season).

maybe if the rockets were good enough to make it to the finals in those years the bulls won titles we would find out who would win but they didnt. so all anyone is left with are "shoulda, coulda, wouldas" and speculation.

Rode Block
06-12-2009, 11:45 AM
Neither Patrick Ewing nor Karl Malone are traditional Centers. Ewing loved playing on the perimeter/High Post and Karl Malone wasn't even a Center! It was Rodman who was guarding Malone when they met in the finals.

And you're right, I wish the Rockets could have gotten to the finals when Jordan got there, but he was stuck with a real shitty supporting cast. Hakeem is the only player I can think of that was able to win a title without a legitimate All-Star by his side. That's saying a lot.

THE W
06-12-2009, 02:30 PM
tim duncan isnt a center either. so...? those were bigs that the bulls were able to handle.

hakeem didnt have a scotty pippen type sidekick but he did have a host of quality role players with sam cassel, robert horry, vernon maxwell, and kenny smith. he had clyde drexler for his second title. so yeah he had quality support too.

bad supporting cast? dude had charles barkley and clyde drexler in those 3 years the bulls were winning.

p-rok73
06-12-2009, 06:18 PM
Hakeem would be a problem for the Bulls then, but who was going to stop MJ? The Bulls losing 4 out of 7? With MJ in his prime, I doubt it. I also like Phil Jackson over Rudy T. A lot of people say that Phil always has great players to coach but how many other great coaches have won titles with great players? (Jerry Sloan for example) Phil's close to getting his 10th ring as a coach.

THE W
06-12-2009, 08:27 PM
the only coach i can think of who won a title without superstar players was larry brown with the pistons. ben wallace was an all-star but he was nowhere near as great as a kobe, lebron, or a Dwade. hell, he was barely better than tracy mcgrady.

the pistons should never have let larry brown leave.

Wutang36
06-12-2009, 08:50 PM
the only coach i can think of who won a title without superstar players was larry brown with the pistons. ben wallace was an all-star but he was nowhere near as great as a kobe, lebron, or a Dwade. hell, he was barely better than tracy mcgrady.

the pistons should never have let larry brown leave.


Yeah, I agree with you on this one; the Pistons should've never let Larry go.
Larry Brown helped the likes of Wallace 2x, Billups, RIP & Prince get their rings, something other coaches didn't realise. It was very painfull to see how the Pistons go down this season with Mike "Mr UUUhhhh" Curry as a rookie head coach of the GREAT Pistons. Plus Joe D made a mistake trading Billups to Nuggets, which means we lost a great player and great leader.
I hope something will happen in the summer to get the Pistons to their known style of basketball.

Olive Oil Goombah
06-12-2009, 11:27 PM
The Bulls were a fucking machine.

They had a good front court with Horace Grant and then they got fucking Rodman and they always had big physical centers or brawlers who would put people down.

Dont forget Kukoc either.

I just cant see that Bulls team losing. But like I said, t he Rockets would have given them the best match.

Rode Block
06-15-2009, 04:45 AM
tim duncan isnt a center either. so...? those were bigs that the bulls were able to handle.

Tim Duncan is a Center. He plays the majority of his minutes at Center. The only reason he was a 4 earlier in his career was because the Spurs had 2 legit Centers. I remember when the Spurs and Lakers would meet in the playoffs Duncan would guard Shaq for a majority of the time. And he has always played the majority of his minutes at Center.

Again, though this doesn't really matter because none of those players were nearly as quick as Hakeem in his prime. Even if the Bulls were physical they wouldn't be able to stop him...He was too quick for any Bulls defender.

hakeem didnt have a scotty pippen type sidekick but he did have a host of quality role players with sam cassel, robert horry, vernon maxwell, and kenny smith. he had clyde drexler for his second title. so yeah he had quality support too.

But how many players have been able to win titles with just "quality" players? Most superstars have to play with atleast another All-Star(Bird, Magic, and Jordan all had other TOP 50 PLAYERS ALL-TIME as sidekicks). The Closest All-Star on that Rockets team was Otis Thorpe who was able to average a whole 11 ppg and 10 rpg in the '94 playoffs. Vernon Maxwell was the second leading scorer for the Rockets in those playoffs and he was averaging 14 PPG on 37% shooting! That's a shitty supporting cast.

bad supporting cast? dude had charles barkley and clyde drexler in those 3 years the bulls were winning.

Hakeem didn't get to play with the 33 year old Barkley until the '97 season and Barkley was over the hill by then. His scoring dipped to below 20 PPG that year. That was the first time since Barkley's rookie year that he couldn't average 20 ppg.
Drexler was past his prime, but still good in '95 when the Rockets got him, but by '97 he was also a shell of his former self.

And Hakeem was in his mid 30's when the Bulls had there second 3-peat. Centers like Hakeem, Duncan, Shaq, Etc. ALWAYS decline after about 32...The only real exception to that rule is Kareem Abdul-Jabaar.

THE W
06-15-2009, 09:07 PM
you have no way to prove that they wouldnt be able to devise a strategy to stop hakeem. again, you're just speculating. the pistons were able to nutralize both shaq and kobe in the 04 finals and ben didnt gaurd shaq all by himself, that would've been impossible. the bulls wouldnt use one defender to guard hakeem. its called help defense.

clyde drexler was the same age as jordan and was on that team with hakeem during the bulls 3peat run. hakeem got 1, jordan got 3, plus the 3 he got before. so he won without another superstar but to say he was playing with bunch of scrubs is rediculous. its not all about stats. its guys around you being able to play a role. clutch shooting, rebounding, defense. thats what those guys did. i remember robert horry hitting that clutch 3 to send game 1 into OT after those missed FTs by the magic.

michaels jordan was 33 when the bulls started their "repeat 3peat" so age is no excuse. if Kareem and jordan could still be effective in their older age why couldnt barkley, hakeem, and drexler do the same? karl malone and john stockston went to the finals back to back times in their mid 30s with malone being league MVP in '97 and again in 99.

i guess hakeem didnt want to win as badly as jordan in his older age.

check two
06-15-2009, 09:53 PM
That would have been a solid team that season when Hakeem, Barkley, and Pippen were together, if Barkley wasn't battling injuries.

5hundred&one
06-16-2009, 04:42 PM
^ Hakeem wasn't much help either at that point, if I remember. Was that not his last season?

The team I wanted to see Pippen do well with was Portland. Game 7 against the Lakers is still a huge upset.

Rode Block
06-17-2009, 03:20 AM
Again, if a PRIME Robinson or Ewing couldn't stop him how would the Bulls front court be able to? It's damn near impossible to devise an effective scheme to stop a Center with an actual post game. Especially when that team doesn't have the right players to stop a Center like Hakeem.

If you re-read my post you can see that I was talking strictly CENTERS. Everyone knows a PG can play for a real long time and Power Fowards who have a PG to give them the ball can do the same. Center's who rely on a post game to get their points usually burn out by the time their 32...When you're body begins to break down physically. Losing a step or two is fine if you can shoot mid-range jumpers or if you're a distributor, but playing in the low post is a different story.


BTW during the second 3-peat of the Bulls the Rockets were not the same team. In '96 Drexler was injured constantly ( he missed 30 games) and past his prime(he couldn't average 20 PPG that year and his FG% dropped to 43%)

They didn't get barkley till '97 and he missed 30+ games that same year and Drexler missed 20...

and in '98 Hakeem missed half the season and he was never the same after that.

It's not that Hakeem didn't wanna win, he just never got the chance to win in his older age because of injuries to him and his supporting cast.

THE W
06-17-2009, 10:38 AM
again, its called help defense. you dont have to have one player who has to play the guy all by himself. the pistons were able stop shaq and did it by committee. both shaq and hakeem couldnt be gaurded one on one so no one did. and keep in mind that ben wallace was smaller than ewing and the same size as robinson yet the pistons neutralized shaq€(notice how i say the pistons and not ben wallace).

its not jordans fault those guys didnt take care of themselves or could no longer be productive. and i guess you'll use that to speculate that if they were healthy there's no way the bulls could beat them. how can you prove that? i think if jordan didnt leave to play baseball the bulls win 8 in a row, but thats just speculation.



you continue to speak in absolutes that you have no way of proving.

THE W
06-17-2009, 07:27 PM
plus despite all the regular season injuries the rockets made the playoffs in those years and clyde, charles and hakeem played every playoff game.

shaq missed nearly 20 games in the '02 season due to injuries but played every playoff game and they still went on to win the NBA title. he missed more than 20 in '06 with the heat and went on to win another one.

i guess you'll counter this with shaq playing with kobe and Dwade. understand that drexler and barkley werent traditional centers so the "at 32 they break down" excuse doesnt work. also scottie pippen missed almost half the season in 98 and still battled back problems while in the playoffs. he was still effective and the bulls still went on to win. when the playoffs came around everyone was ready to go. its the players own fault they couldnt cash in.

hectis
06-17-2009, 07:32 PM
I dont think shaq is better then the dream

p-rok73
06-17-2009, 07:44 PM
MJ gave Steve Kerr a black eye during a practice. And it wasn't by accident. To me that was what separated the MJ led Bull's over a lot of teams. They had a strong will to win. It's true that some teams "owned the Bulls" during the season ( especially during their annual Texas Triangle of San Antonio, Houston , Dallas), but I doubt any of those teams would of beaten them during their dynasty years. Including Hakeem's Rockets during their title seasons assuming MJ never retired. The Bulls learned from one of the best ( The Bad Boys Detroit Pistons). They were a different team once they finally beat them.

Rode Block
06-17-2009, 10:33 PM
again, its called help defense. you dont have to have one player who has to play the guy all by himself. the pistons were able stop shaq and did it by committee. both shaq and hakeem couldnt be gaurded one on one so no one did. and keep in mind that ben wallace was smaller than ewing and the same size as robinson yet the pistons neutralized shaq€(notice how i say the pistons and not ben wallace).

When the fuck did the Pistons shut down Shaq? In '04 he dominated the Pistons front line. He scored atleast 29 points in 4 of the five games and he even had acouple games where he grabbed 20 boards...And not ONCE did he shoot below 50%. How is that stopping Shaq? You talking out your ass right here.

The reason the Lakers lost that year was because Tayshaun Prince shut Kobe down and everyone on that team forgot how to play defense....It had nothing to do with them "shutting Shaq down"

its not jordans fault those guys didnt take care of themselves or could no longer be productive. and i guess you'll use that to speculate that if they were healthy there's no way the bulls could beat them. how can you prove that?

The fuck are you talking about? I never said any of that?


i think if jordan didnt leave to play baseball the bulls win 8 in a row, but thats just speculation.

Most people do, but I enjoy being the Devil's Advocate.



you continue to speak in absolutes that you have no way of proving.

I didn't say any "absolutes" in my last post. I just said stopping a center with a true post game is hard to do. What's absolute about that?

Rode Block
06-17-2009, 10:48 PM
plus despite all the regular season injuries the rockets made the playoffs in those years and clyde, charles and hakeem played every playoff game.

Well the league was weak in those years, so it's not surprising they made the playoffs, but they still lost their touch by then and Jordan's Bulls hadn't. There's no one to blame right there. People's bodies are built differently and some can play longers than others. I don't think it has to do much with taking care of yourself, like you're trying to make it sound, those guys were just burned out while Jordan had just come off a year and a half rest and Pippen was still a very effective Small Foward (especially on defense).

shaq missed nearly 20 games in the '02 season due to injuries but played every playoff game and they still went on to win the NBA title. he missed more than 20 in '06 with the heat and went on to win another one.

Shaq played what 14 minutes in game 6 of the '06 finals? Shaq was a second fiddle that year. Wade carried that team to the title.

And in '02 Shaq missed the beginning of the season because he got surgery on his big toe. I remember him saying that he got hurt on company time so he'll recover on company time and waited until training camp to get the surgery. That surgery wasn't a big deal, and he was 100% by the time the playoffs rolled around.

i guess you'll counter this with shaq playing with kobe and Dwade.

Well Wade did carry Shaq to title, Shaq had a horrible series vs. the Mavericks.


understand that drexler and barkley werent traditional centers so the "at 32 they break down" excuse doesnt work. also scottie pippen missed almost half the season in 98 and still battled back problems while in the playoffs. he was still effective and the bulls still went on to win. when the playoffs came around everyone was ready to go. its the players own fault they couldnt cash in.

Scottie Pippen is probably the greatest defensive swginman of all time and he was one tough motherfucker. I guess Drexler and Barkley weren't.

And the at 32 they break down thing isn't an excuse, it's a fact. That's just how it goes with most Centers in the league.

THE W
06-17-2009, 11:33 PM
When the fuck did the Pistons shut down Shaq? In '04 he dominated the Pistons front line. He scored atleast 29 points in 4 of the five games and he even had acouple games where he grabbed 20 boards...And not ONCE did he shoot below 50%. How is that stopping Shaq? You talking out your ass right here.

The reason the Lakers lost that year was because Tayshaun Prince shut Kobe down and everyone on that team forgot how to play defense....It had nothing to do with them "shutting Shaq down"

well this blows your argument to hell because if a big time center was scoring that many points and grabbing that many boards yet they still got blown out 3 out of 5 games it shows that you can let the big man have his points and not only win but dominate a series. why wouldnt the bulls be able to this to the rockets?

thats why i think stats are overemphazised. its not a true measure of a players impact on a game.

bottomline, we can go back and forth forever on this subject but there's no way to prove who would come out on top. so all you can say is that bulls/rockets would be a hell of a series.

THE W
06-17-2009, 11:43 PM
I didn't say any "absolutes" in my last post. I just said stopping a center with a true post game is hard to do. What's absolute about that?

so you're backing off this statement?...

If the Bulls-Rockets would've met in the 1994 finals I think the Rockets would have won that series in 5 games. Easily.

Rode Block
06-17-2009, 11:55 PM
well this blows your argument to hell because if a big time center was scoring that many points and grabbing that many boards yet they still got blown out 3 out of 5 games it shows that you can let the big man have his points and not only win but dominate a series. why wouldnt the bulls be able to this to the rockets?

thats why i think stats are overemphazised. its not a true measure of a players impact on a game.

They can do that, but I don't think they would've been able to.

And I agree about the stats thing. Shaq didn't do much else except score and occasionally grab boards. That's great and everything, but he should've atleast tried to defend the pick and roll. Rip/Billups and Wallace/Sheed ran that to death and Rip and Billups got open shots almost everytime because Shaq would refuse to leave the paint.

bottomline, we can go back and forth forever on this subject but there's no way to prove who would come out on top. so all you can say is that bulls/rockets would be a hell of a series.

I can agree with that.

so you're backing off this statement?...

I think=absolute? I was stating what I think would've happened. Not saying that's what would've actually happened. It was my opinion and yours differs... I guess all we can do at this point is agree to disagree.

THE W
06-18-2009, 03:35 PM
fair enough big homie.

doesnt seem like shaq could ever defend the pick and roll.