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Vernon Maxwell once tried to stab Hakeem Olajuwon with a broken bottle at halftime


One of the hottest headlines over the past few days in the NBA world has been the halftime locker room drama in Houston. While getting blown out by the Denver Nuggets, tempers would flare with Kevin Porter Jr. throwing an object at an assistant coach and leaving the arena, while Christian Wood refused to enter the game in the second half. Safe to say things got wild, but this story is nothing compared to a similar incident that happened back in the '90s between Hakeem Olajuwon and Vernon Maxwell, also Rockets players.

The rebuilding Rockets

It's never easy to go into rebuilding mode, and that is precisely showing with this year's Rockets. A team full of young talent with guys like Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr., Christian Wood, and Alperen Şengün has a bright future, but right now, they are struggling, sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference with a 10-27 record.

Nobody is expecting the young Rockets to win much, but these guys have pride and strong characters, as all the losing has led to tempers rising. The other day, things escalated while getting blown out by the mediocre Nuggets. 

Kevin Porter Jr., who was traded out of Cleveland because of these kinds of problems, left the arena at halftime after throwing an object at assistant coach John Lucas. To add insult to injury, Christian Wood refused to enter the game in the second half, frustrated by the fact he came off the bench due to missing his mandatory pre-game testing. 

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Mad Max goes after The Dream

While this situation is nowhere near pretty, it's hardly even close to an incident that happened in a Rockets locker room back in the 90s'. Back then, the Rockets were one of the best teams in the decade, winning back-to-back rings in an era dominated by Jordan's Bulls. Hakeem Olajuwon, who many would label as one of the greatest centers and players ever, was the center-piece surrounded by a cast of great role players. One of those guys was Vernon Maxwell.

Rightfully nicknamed "Mad Max," Vernon was a great player but much more known for his hot temper and toughness. But that was just what those Rockets team needed. On the other hand, Hakeem was a very calm personality, but on one night, these two polar opposites got into a heated altercation.

Maxwell got slapped by Hakeem in a middle of a road game because Olajuwon didn't like Max spitting on the floor, calling it disrespectful. Apparently, Vernon would break a bottle and try to stab Hakeem at halftime, only to be stopped and separated before eventually hashing things out. A fan on Twitter reminisced that night after seeing the news about Porter Jr. and Wood. The man himself, Vernon Maxwell, even responded.

No matter how crazy Mad Max was, I seriously doubt he was trying to stab Hakeem. It was a classic scuffle between two competitors who both wanted to win. Hakeem slapping Maxwell didn't help stop the nervousness, but it was needed. Teammates are brothers, and brothers sometimes fight. That's just the nature of sport and basketball. I just find it hilarious Maxwell didn't even wholly deny it, but he instead embraced it and said he did it out of love. Classic stuff from Vernon Maxwell. 

So if Rockets fans want to have another perspective on how their team is in shambles chemistry-wise, remember it was much worse back in the '90s, and it resulted in back-to-back championships—just saying.

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