Is it just me, or does being the leader of an NBA Championship team go a long way toward establishing your importance?
From the time he first suited up with the Houston Rockets in 1984 until 1996, Hakeem Olajuwon was the top win-share generator in all but one season. As the anchor for the Rudy Tomjanovich era Rockets, “The Dream” led his team to two back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. He was 1994’s league MVP as well as an honoree to multiple all-NBA teams. Three-time blocks leader and two-time rebounding leader and a two-time Defensive Player of the Year.
In modern-day basketball (especially during the Golden State “Death Star” phase), James Harden winning one title as the Rockets point man would open up the discussion on whether he deserves to be the face of the Rockets. Imagine the argument between Hakeem and Harden if the latter had lived up to his potential. But after showing up to training out of shape and pushing for a trade after the team had been designed around him (again), I am not sure if Harden even qualifies to be in the top 5 all-time Rockets.
What do you think, Pounders? Is Olajuwon the obvious choice? Maybe Rudy T, since he was a star player and a great head coach? Yao Ming never played for another team and made a significant impact during his time in Houston. And Ralph Sampson was another top draft pick, in addition to Hakeem.
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