Arguably the best player in Houston Rockets history, Hakeem Olajuwon racked up numerous awards in his 17-season tenure with the team. On top of that, the Hall of Fame player’s number was retired in Houston and even had an offensive maneuver – The Dream Shake – named after him. Now, Olajuwon receives an entirely new honor with the naming of an NBA award.
Hakeem Olajuwon is a two-time NBA Champion, Finals MVP, and Defensive Player of the Year. Furthermore, the 12-time All-Star holds the record for games, minutes, offensive rebounds, steals, and points for the Rockets team.
In the wake of an NBA rebrand Tuesday, the All Star will be the namesake of the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award – one that Olajuwon won twice, back-to-back, in his career.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to celebrate the league’s best defensive player each year,” Olajuwon said in a press release.
“Great basketball teams are defined by their ability to defend, with every great team connected by an elite defensive anchor.”
The press release also points out that Olajuwon is the all-time NBA leader in blocks, the ninth in steals, and the 14th in rebounding.
In 1996, Olajuwon was named of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. In addition to the Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy, the NBA renamed four other awards including the Michael Jordan Trophy (formerly the Most Valuable Player) and Wilt Chamberlain Trophy (formerly the Rookie of the Year).