Hakeem Olajuwon reached the heights of his NBA career in the mid-1990s. He won several awards in that period, for example, the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1992–93 and 1993–94 NBA season. He was also named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1993–94.
His MVP season was crowned in a seventh game of the NBA Finals against the New York Knicks led by Pat Ewing. In this series, he led his team and was named finals MVP. In the following season, he was again a key player who led the Houston Rockets to a second consecutive NBA championship ring and won the finals MVP award as well.
On this date in 1998 Olajuwon became the eighth player in NBA history to play 1,000 or more games with the same team. The game was played in the Washington D.C. Rockets lost the game against Wizards led by Chris Webber and Rod Strickland. There is also one interesting fact, that was the first game in which Hakeem Olajuwon and Ben Wallace played against each other. Olajuwon finished the game with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists and Big Ben had only 3 points and 6 rebounds. But Webber and Strickland had an excellent game, C-Webb had 36 points and 13 rebounds and Hot Rod 31 points, 15 assists and 5 rebounds. John Stockton is still the all-time leader, he played his entire career in the jersey of Utah Jazz, in more than 1,300 games.
In the late 90s, Hakeem’s stats were not so great as before, due to the injuries and his age. In 2001 he was traded to the Toronto Raptors, where he played only one season before retiring in 2002. In that period, when the Dream retired, he ranked 7th in career points in the NBA and 11th in career rebounds. He finished basketball career as the league’s all-time leader in blocks. Olajuwon was a pioneer, the first player from Africa to play in the NBA, and was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players in 1996. His Hall of Fame induction at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame was in 2008.