Michael Jordan, at His Peak, Was Scared of 7 Ft Legend Hakeem Olajuwon

Published 02/25/2022, 8:30 PM EST

Many consider Michael Jordan to be the greatest player ever. Thanks to his domination in the 90s, he is considered as one of the GOATs in basketball and beyond.

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During his prime, Jordan was one of the toughest players to guard. Although he might have dominated the entire league, there were certain players who gave MJ a run for his money.

Michael Jordan, forward for the Chicago Bulls, holding a basketball in the locker room. | Credits: Getty Images

One of them is Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon. He is widely considered as one of the best centers ever and stood at an incredible 7′ 0″. The Chicago Bulls found it incredibly difficult to defend Olajuwon as he posted insane numbers against the team. During an interview, legendary Rockets coach revealed that Jordan actually feared the Rockets.

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Was Michael Jordan scared of Hakeem Olajuwon?

The Chicago Bulls boast of having one of the best teams of all time. The team was comprised of stars like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, and more.

This insane team dominated the league for an entire decade and won 6 NBA titles in the process. While the Bulls dominated almost all the teams, some of the teams were a tough nut to crack.

They were the Detroit Pistons and the Houston Rockets. The two teams were known for their physicality. While Isiah Thomas led the Pistons, Hakeem Olajuwon spearheaded the Rockets.

Interestingly enough, Olajuwon always performed well against the Bulls. During an interview, former Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich revealed that Jordan talked about the team. According to MJ, he felt the Rockets gave him and the Bulls the most trouble.

Tomjanovich said, “He gave our team great respect. He didn’t feel that they could contain Hakeem. They just didn’t have the personnel to do it. And he said he thought we were the team that gave them the most trouble.”

That is some major praise coming from someone as great as Michael Jordan. Olajuwon posted 14 double-doubles during his encounters with Jordan which goes on to prove why His Airness found him so hard to play against.

Jordan vs Olajuwon: Head-to-head

The two are considered to be in the top tier of players who have played in the NBA. While Jordan has won 6 NBA titles, Olajuwon has 2 titles to his name.

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Interestingly enough, Olajuwon has the upper hand over Jordan. In the 23 games played between them, the Rockets legend has 13 wins compared to 10 wins of Jordan.

Jordan retired with an average of 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. On the other hand, Hakeem Olajuwon retired with an average of 21.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game.

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Abhinava Ghosh

950 articles

Abhinava is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication. Abhinava has been following NBA for the past 6 years and is a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry.

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