Yesterday was Hakeem ‘The Dream’ Olajuwon’s 50th birthday and in honor of it, some athletes talked about their relationship with him. Shaq was one of them and told an interesting story. Happy 50th Hakeem Olajuwon! Check it out after the jump…
According to LBS:
Shaquille O’Neal was able to dominate every center whom he faced during his career except for one: Hakeem Olajuwon.
The Dream turned 50 on Monday, so TNT’s “Inside the NBA” ran a tribute to the Houston Rockets legend. Following the piece, which showed Olajuwon mentoring and training select big men, Shaq was full of praise for the man who outplayed him.
“Hakeem Olajuwon was the only guy that I couldn’t intimidate,” Shaq said of Hakeem. Shaq then talked about his intimidation tactics and how they didn’t work on Olajuwon. “When I would say something, if you say something back, I had you. If I [elbow] you and you complain, I had you,” Shaq explained.
“Right before the (1995) finals — we had beaten Houston twice that year in Houston and in Orlando — Hakeem was good, but I didn’t know that he was that good. I was in my own zone and wasn’t really worried about anybody else. First play of the game, I gave him the patented Shaq ‘bow, jump hook, 2-0. He just smiled at me. And then he came down and gave me [a move], shot a jumper and said, ‘right back at you, Big Fella.’
“So I came down and did it again, but I could never get to him. I could never intimidate him.”