Hakeem Olajuwon is also among the top superstars of the league who put in a transfer request and saw it go to waste much like Kevin Durant might, in few days.
Even after a demoralising sweep by the Celtics in the first round of the Playoffs and Kevin Durant’s trade request, it doesn’t seem like he will be able to take his talents to another championship contender this season.
With the Nets not being able to come to terms with the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat, or a team out of KD’s preference like the Minnesota Timberwolves, it is getting certain each passing day that Durant will still be in Brooklyn for the 2022-23 season.
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) August 4, 2022
Now, how will it turn out for the Nets to have two volatile stars leading their team from the front? It will be a big question until the season starts. But this conundrum which started due to Kyrie Irving’s antics in the last season is not going as ugly as they have in the past.
And when we say past, we don’t mean the recent ones when Ben Simmons cited mental health issues to not play for the Sixers or when James Harden used his tricks to get out of Houston at the start of 2020-21 season. We are talking about some old-school smack talking in the media about your team management and ownership.
Hakeem Olajuwon once called Rocket’s owner a coward in a press conference
A year before the 1993-94 season which would make Hakeem one of the GOATs of the game and bring him two straight championships, the Houston legend had put forward a trade request in the 1992 off-season which wasn’t given any attention by Rockets ownership.
It started with Olajuwon missing the tail end of the 1991-92 season and his team missed a Playoffs spot by a small margin due to that. While “The Dream” insisted he wasn’t fit to play, Rocket’s medical staff cleared him to play, GM Steve Patterson accused him of faking an injury as a ploy in his attempts to renegotiate his contract.
— Lachard Binkley (@BinkleyHoops) January 2, 2022
Olajuwon had demanded an apology and a trade resulting from his feud with the Rockets over his injured hamstring and his refusal to suit up for a game. But he blasted owner Charlie Thomas and general manager Steve Patterson.
The future 2x NBA champ then said, “I don’t expect any apology because you are not dealing with classy people here. Charlie has been a coward, standing behind the organization. So, Steve Patterson is not even worth talking about.”
However, nothing much happened afterwards due to the Rockets’ not considering anything anyone had to offer for their #1 pick of 1984, whom they chose over Michael Jordan. And in the coming years, Olajuwon would not regret his stay at all after Thomas sold the team in 1993.
He would lead them to 2 championships, and win MVP, DPOY, Finals MVPs and several more individual accolades in just the next two seasons.
Let’s hope it turns out well for both Durant and the Nets as well wherever they go on from here. Otherwise, it would be a shame for both parties to have 3 of the NBA’s top players under one roof and make nothing out of it or afterwards.