Hakeem Olajuwon once dropped 32 points and grabbed 16 rebounds against Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s Chicago Bulls.
It’s quite a shame that Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon never met one another in the Playoffs a single time during their lengthy career. It’s quite obvious that the former dominated the 1990s with his six championships but the moment he left the NBA, Hakeem’s Houston Rockets stepped forth as the de facto ‘best team in the league’.
Though there is a lack of truly meaningful games that were played between Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon, it didn’t mean that they didn’t have some exciting matchups in the regular season.
The number 1 and number 3 overall picks from the 1984 NBA Draft faced off 23 times against one another, with the former, Hakeem, winning 13 of those games.
Michael Jordan averaged 30.8 points on 46.8% shooting from the field against Hakeem Olajuwon while the latter put up 21.9 points and grabbed 11.2 boards against the Bulls legend.
Hakeem Olajuwon took Michael Jordan and the Bulls to work.
Hakeem Olajuwon has always been one of the most versatile players the league has ever seen. At nearly 7 feet tall, he could take his opponent off the dribble from the perimeter or post-up and get a bucket nearly every single time. This is exactly what happened when he went up against Michael Jordan and the Bulls on January 19th, 1997.
As seen in the video, Hakeem did everything from cut to the basket for an easy layup to hit long distance twos a step inside of the perimeter. Considering the fact that Luc Longley and Bill Wennington weren’t exactly All-Defensive centers, Olajuwon had a field day feasting on the inside and drawing them out of the paint.
Hakeem did it all on both offense and defense as, not only did he drop 32 points and grab 16 rebounds, but he also snagged 4 steals and blocked an absurd 5 shots on the night.
Funnily enough, eight days prior to this matchup, the Bulls would get matched up against the Rockets on the 11th of January and Michael Jordan would be the one dropping 32 points on the Rockets.