NBA Championships: 2
Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time, having won two NBA titles in his illustrious career. He was a part of the Houston Rockets team that won back–to–back championships in 1994 and 1995.
In the 1993–94 season, the Rockets finished with a 58–24 record and finished first in the NBA Midwest Division and second in the Western Conference. Olajuwon was a force inside, averaging 27.3 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks per game while grabbing the Defensive Player of the Year award and being named to the All–NBA First Team. The Rockets faced off against the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals and won the series in 7 games. Olajuwon was the series MVP, averaging 25.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 3.9 blocks per game.
To hoist his first title, he had to battle with his perennial nemesis, Patrick Ewing. Initially, the Rockets were up 2-1, but the Knicks entered Game 6 with a 3-2 lead. Knicks sharpshooter John Starks was going up for a game-winning three down 86-84, and Olajuwon soared to block the shot just as the clock was expiring. The following Game 7 was all Olajuwon — he had a double-double with a game-high 25 points and ten rebounds.
The Rockets followed up their championship season with increased pressure from other teams in their division. After a nine-game winning streak, the team decided to make a trade. On Valentine’s Day 1994, the Rockets traded Otis Thorpe to the Portland Trailblazers for Clyde “The Glide” Drexler and Tracy Murray. Drexler was a teammate with Olajuwon back at the University of Houston. The Rockets also signed Chucky Brown. The team was 29-17 at the All-Star break but faltered to .500 ball after, claiming sixth place in the Western Conference and third place in the NBA Midwest Division.
On the path to an almost insurmountable NBA Finals, the Rockets beat the third-seeded Utah Jazz in the first round, beat the Phoenix Suns in seven games after they were down three games to one, and headed into the NBA Finals against the Orlando Magic. There, Olajuwon and the Rockets swept the Magic in four straight games to capture their second consecutive NBA championship. Olajuwon was named Finals MVP once again. The Houston Rockets are the lowest-seeded team to win an NBA title.
The 1994 season was also a huge one for Olajuwon — he was the only player in NBA history to win MVP, a championship, Finals MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season.
See More Basketball Trivia & Questions