A Houston Rockets legend, an MVP, a two-time NBA champion, a 12-time All-Star, and a consensus top-five GOAT player, that’s Hakeem Olajuwon. And if you think everybody in the NBA knows that, you are wrong. Shockingly, one New York Knicks player had no idea who “The Dream” was.
Never heard of Hakeem?
The player we are talking about here is Knicks center, Mitchell Robinson. The guy is 7 feet, athletic, and a proven shot-stopper. Olajuwon once watched a Knicks vs. Rockets game courtside, and he also noticed all the abovementioned things about Robinson.
“I love his game,” Olajuwon told The New York Post of Robinson after the game. “He has a presence in the middle. He can close down the middle with his energy, skill level, how he moves. Not too many players have that impact as a shotblocker. On the court you know he is there. Fantastic player.”
Of course, it’s not every day that a player gets such a sweet compliment from “The Dream.” So the outlet figured it was necessary to let Robinson know about it. However, the article read, “when the praise was relayed to Robinson,” he admitted “he never heard of Olajuwon.” How was that even possible?
When you think about it, Robinson was born in 1998, and Olajuwon retired in 2002. It’s safe to say that Olajuwon had long been retired when Robinson discovered his love for basketball. But still, it’s kind of hard to believe that a big man in the NBA never knew who “The Dream” was, not to mention that Olajuwon’s name would surely pop out whenever we type greatest centers of all time on any search engine out there.
A bright future
While we may never know why Robinson never heard of Olajuwon all these years, one thing certain is that he’s set to continue playing for the Knicks.
In July, the 23-year-old inked a four-year, $60 million extension deal with New York. Knicks president Leon Rose was pleased to announce Robinson’s contract extension in a statement released by New York’s official social media account.
“He’s our defensive anchor, our rim protector, and someone our organization has seen grow tremendously on and off the court over the last four seasons,” Rose said.
Last year, Robinson already revealed that his “personal goal” is to win the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. His numbers seem to back it up, as he averaged two blocks and one steal per game in his first four years in the league.
Whatever the future holds for Robinson, it will be interesting to know what Olajuwon will say about it for obvious reasons.