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View Poll Results: Who would be a top-20 guy
Hakeem 2 40.00%
Pat 0 0%
Both 2 40.00%
Neither 1 20.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-20-2018, 09:15 AM
 
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I think Olajuwon is a consensus top-20 guy, and there's a huge chasm between his legacy and Ewing's. I also believe that huge chasm comes down to ONE game. Don't get me wrong, I think Hakeem was a better player, but if the Knicks had won game 6 or 7 in '94, the space between their legacies vanishes. Would we rank a one-ring Olajuwan above Barkley, Malone, Dirk, KG, Pippen and Wade? I'm not so sure.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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I would. Olajuwon is legitimately seen as one of the best ever, great on both offense and defense. Anybody that saw both of them play would start a team with Olajuwon over Ewing. None of the other guys you mention were centers, but I'd take Hakeem over any of them to start a team.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by maf763 View Post
I would. Olajuwon is legitimately seen as one of the best ever, great on both offense and defense. Anybody that saw both of them play would start a team with Olajuwon over Ewing. None of the other guys you mention were centers, but I'd take Hakeem over any of them to start a team.
https://www.basketball-reference.com...01&idx=players

I think Olajuwan's legacy is bolstered by the fact that he was the the dominant force during the Jordan void. Prior to that, he was just one of many great players. I don't recall him being held in higher esteem than Barkley, Malone or even Ewing and Robinson. Check out this comparison of Hakeem, Barkley and Malone through 1995, and KG and Dirk through their championship seasons. They're all peers. One more Ewing win, and Hakeem loses his standing as definitive #2 guy of the 90's, and the gap between him and one-ring greats like Dirk and KG becomes a LOT narrower. Barkley and KG look especially good, in comparison.

For the record, I personally have Olajuwon as a fringe top-10 player and definitely over Kobe, but I don't value #RINGZ as much as others do.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
I think Olajuwon is a consensus top-20 guy, and there's a huge chasm between his legacy and Ewing's. I also believe that huge chasm comes down to ONE game. Don't get me wrong, I think Hakeem was a better player, but if the Knicks had won game 6 or 7 in '94, the space between their legacies vanishes. Would we rank a one-ring Olajuwan above Barkley, Malone, Dirk, KG, Pippen and Wade? I'm not so sure.
That championship would have been huge for Patrick but I doubt he'd make my top 20 if I wrote all the names down.

But I'm not having the one game thing. Olajuwon outplayed Ewing so badly in that series it wasn't funny. Olajuwon guarded Ewing into modest, inefficient scoring (mostly perimeter) but Ewing didn't spend much time on Olajuwon because he was ineffective and at risk for foul problems. Oakley and Mason guarded Olajuwon.

I would rank a one ring Olajuwon above all of those players with Pippen and the rings coming the closest. Olajuwon was incredibly dominant years before winning in '94. He had huge numbers in the playoffs and came short just barely many years on a mediocre team. I also think his low-post, draw-and-kick to camped 3 point shooters style was revolutionary and led to the style of play we have today. Barkley too but he didn't do it as well. So I'll give him some extra points for impact/innovation.
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Back to NE View Post
That championship would have been huge for Patrick but I doubt he'd make my top 20 if I wrote all the names down.

But I'm not having the one game thing. Olajuwon outplayed Ewing so badly in that series it wasn't funny. Olajuwon guarded Ewing into modest, inefficient scoring (mostly perimeter) but Ewing didn't spend much time on Olajuwon because he was ineffective and at risk for foul problems. Oakley and Mason guarded Olajuwon.

I would rank a one ring Olajuwon above all of those players with Pippen and the rings coming the closest. Olajuwon was incredibly dominant years before winning in '94. He had huge numbers in the playoffs and came short just barely many years on a mediocre team. I also think his low-post, draw-and-kick to camped 3 point shooters style was revolutionary and led to the style of play we have today. Barkley too but he didn't do it as well. So I'll give him some extra points for impact/innovation.
I agree with most of what you've written, but I have Barkley as my #2 90's guy. I'm also really wrestling with KG. I was a Duncan guy, so I always downplayed KG's greatness, but his numbers (especially advanced and pace-adjusted) are undeniable.

Both players, through their final championship season:

https://www.basketball-reference.com...01&idx=players
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Old 07-20-2018, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
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Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
I agree with most of what you've written, but I have Barkley as my #2 90's guy. I'm also really wrestling with KG. I was a Duncan guy, so I always downplayed KG's greatness, but his numbers (especially advanced and pace-adjusted) are undeniable.

Both players, through their final championship season:

https://www.basketball-reference.com...01&idx=players
Yeah I hesitated at KG, real special player but he was kind of limited offensively especially for playoff go-to scoring. But I do think he should be remembered as an elite defender, maybe top 10 all-time.

Duncan, what can you say. If we just classify him as a power forward, he's probably the greatest ever.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Back to NE View Post
Yeah I hesitated at KG, real special player but he was kind of limited offensively especially for playoff go-to scoring. But I do think he should be remembered as an elite defender, maybe top 10 all-time.

Duncan, what can you say. If we just classify him as a power forward, he's probably the greatest ever.
Garnett wasn’t a big-time scorer, but I wouldn’t call a seven-footer who could handle the rock and shoot from 20 feet “offensively limited”
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Old 07-21-2018, 09:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
Garnett wasn’t a big-time scorer, but I wouldn’t call a seven-footer who could handle the rock and shoot from 20 feet “offensively limited”
Just look at KG’s playoff averages...it’s not even close to Hakeem in scoring or efficiency. KG has 1 season of 25+ in the playoffs...Hakeem has 7.
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Old 07-21-2018, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
For the record, I personally have Olajuwon as a fringe top-10 player and definitely over Kobe, but I don't value #RINGZ as much as others do.
It goes well beyond just rings though, I would actually say Hakeem's individual accomplishments can make as strong a case if not stronger a case than the rings argument. I would definitely say that you don't even have to make the ring argument in this comparison. For the most part, lets pretend that Hakeem didn't win the two back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995 and became the NBA Finals MVP two years in a row. For all intents and purposes, lets just go with the idea that he never won and that Patrick never won (well Patrick never actually did win an NBA title) and just look at their individual accomplishments.

Hakeem was an elite two way player, he was as much of a force on offense as he was on defense. He also had his own style and post moves and he was one of the rare few centers in all of NBA history that was mobile and quick enough to guard all 5 positions on the court. His footwork was just elite, pure and simple. He was also the rare kind of center that knew how to pass effectively and make good plays to set up perimeter shooters (like Mario Elie, Robert Horry, Kenny Smith, and the like).

When I look back to Hakeem's greatest single game performance, I think back to his quadruple-double game, actually Hakeem had two of them. Hakeem is one of the only 4 players in ALL of NBA history to have averaged a quadruple-double in a game, the others are Nate Thurmond, Alvin Robertson, and David Robinson. Hakeem is the only one to have done it more than once (although it can be implied that Wilt Chamberlain may have done it as well but statistics were tracked differently back in those days).

Hakeem's statline on March 3, 1990 (his first quadruple-double):
- 29 points, 18 rebounds, 10 assists, and 11 blocks.

Hakeem's statline on March 29, 1990 (his second quadruple-double):
- 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 asstists, and 11 blocks.

https://nbahoopsonline.com/History/R...uaddouble.html

No one in NBA history has ever had a quintuple-double before, but Hakeem has been identified as one of the only two or three or so players of all-time that had the potential to get to that mark if he ever tried for it.

http://ballislife.com/hakeem-olajuwo...double-threat/

In addition to that, Hakeem has had 14 career triple-doubles; in contrast Patrick Ewing has had only 1 career triple-double.

All-Time Scoring list in the NBA:
- Hakeem Olajuwon: 26,946 (11th in NBA history)
- Patrick Ewing: 24,815 (23rd in NBA history)

https://www.basketball-reference.com...ts_career.html

All-Time Rebounds list in the NBA:
- Hakeem Olajuwon: 13,748 (13th in NBA history)
- Patrick Ewing: 11,607 (25th in NBA history)

https://www.basketball-reference.com...rb_career.html

All-Time Blocks list in the NBA:
- Hakeem Olajuwon: 3,830 (1st in NBA history)
- Patrick Ewing: 2,894 (7th in NBA history)

https://www.basketball-reference.com...lk_career.html

All-Time Steals list in the NBA:
- Hakeem Olajuwon: 2,162 (8th in NBA history)
- Patrick Ewing: 1,136 (108th in NBA history)

https://www.basketball-reference.com...tl_career.html

All-Time Assists list in the NBA:
- Hakeem Olajuwon: 3,058
- Patrick Ewing: 2,215

https://www.basketball-reference.com...st_career.html

For Patrick: https://www.basketball-reference.com...ewingpa01.html

Hakeem was better than Patrick in all 5 statistical categories in NBA history: points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. That's a clean sweep.

- Over the course of both of their careers Hakeem's career high in points scored in a single game is 52 points; in contrast Patrick's is 51 points. This one is close between the two.

- Over the course of both of their careers Hakeem won an NBA MVP for the regular season in 1994, whereas Patrick Ewing never won an NBA MVP during the regular season.

- Over the course of both of their careers Hakeem won the Defensive Player of the Year award 2 times, compared to Patrick winning the award 0 times.

- Over the course of both of their careers Hakeem made 12 All-Star teams, in contrast Patrick kept it close on this one and made 11 All-Star teams himself.

- Over the course of both of their careers Hakeem made the All-NBA First Team honors 6 times, the All-NBA Second Team honors 3 times, and the All-NBA Third Team honors 3 times; compared to Patrick making the All-NBA First Team honors just 1 time, the All-NBA Second Team honors 6 times, and the All-NBA Third Team honors 0 times. In totality, Hakeem made one of the three All-NBA Teams 12 times total, whereas Patrick made one of the three All-NBA Teams 7 times total.

- Over the course of both of their careers Hakeem made the NBA All-Defensive First Team 5 times and the NBA All-Defensive Second Team 4 times; in contrast Patrick made the NBA All-Defensive First Team 0 times and made the NBA All-Defensive Second Team 3 times.

- Over the course of both of their careers Hakeem led the NBA in blocks 3 times and rebounding 2 times; in contrast Patrick has never led the NBA in any of the 5 key statistical categories of scoring, assists, rebounds, blocks, and steals.

- Over the course of both of their careers Hakeem won an Olympic Gold Medal 1 time; in contrast Patrick won an Olympic Gold Medal 2 times, in addition to 1 Americas Championship Gold Medal.

- Both players were featured on the NBA's 50 year anniversary all-time team.

- Both NBA players are considered automatic locks for the 50 best of all-time.

- While Hakeem led the University of Houston to the Final 4 twice, Patrick actually won an NCAA championship in 1984 for Georgetown University.

Off the court legacy also matters, several NBA players have flown to Houston during the offseason to learn post moves and improve their back-to-the-basket game over the years. This includes high profile NBA stars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwight Howard. No disrespect to Patrick, but I don't think he has had the same impact in passing over his skills and moves to younger generations.

https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/h...n-kobe-bryant/

Also, while it may not matter to the average person but it is a huge deal to Hakeem's legacy and it matters A LOT to the people of Houston. Hakeem was born in Nigeria but like many immigrants from Nigeria to the United States, Hakeem and his family moved to Houston when Hakeem was still a kid. Hakeem grew up a local Houstonian and even went to college in Houston at the University of Houston, where he and native born Clyde Drexler (Hakeem's teammate at the University of Houston and later on the Houston Rockets) led that program to the Final 4 twice. When Hakeem became eligible to be drafted, the Houston Rockets spent that entire season making sure they had the worst record in the NBA so that way they could draft the local kid with the #1 draft pick and that is exactly what they did. Hakeem led the Rockets to 3 NBA Finals in 1986, 1994, and 1995 and won two back-to-back in 1994 and 1995. Not only was he a local son of Houston but he also brought that city its first two championships in all of sports (I don't count the 1960s Houston Oilers championships because there were two football leagues concurrently at that time with the AFL and NFL). What Hakeem did for Houston was nothing short of amazing, it is very much like what LeBron did for Cleveland with the very minor and small exceptions being that Hakeem actually lived in and grew up in Houston whereas LeBron grew up an hour south in Akron and Hakeem won two in a row. That's huge for his legacy. He also invented his post moves "the Dream Shake" in college itself, that's where he was given his nickname "the Dream". He is still an active member of that community today, that's where he lives and has always lived.

It is actually fitting that Hakeem is a Nigerian-American, that's the perfect display of Houston's diversity and with Hakeem it went the distance. No disrespect to Patrick Ewing, but he could never have that sort of impact with the Knicks that Hakeem did with both the city of Houston and with the Rockets. Early on in his career during the 1980s, Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson pioneered the "Twin Towers" culture, which was then later superseded by the "Twin Towers" culture of Tim Duncan and David Robinson in San Antonio. Hakeem is an immortal figure in Houston, not just because he brought that city its first two championships in any sport but because it was the local boy that did that for his hometown. That's special.

Hakeem is firmly a Top 15 NBA Player of all-time (perhaps even a Top 10 player but towards the lower end of that list), and I think it is a stretch for Patrick Ewing to be a Top 20 player, who I would put firmly in the Top 30-35 or so players all-time. My argument is not even predicated on rings. It is predicated on several things well beyond that. For instance, Stephen Curry has 3 NBA titles to his resume now and 4 total NBA Finals appearances but you'll never find a credible human being on Earth make the argument that he is a Top 20 player of all-time (as it stands right now) and he has the ring argument to be right there with LeBron (with a superior NBA Finals track record than LeBron). Rings are one factor, but individual accomplishments, ability, skill, and even legacy are still the main driving factors that go into this sort of debate. Patrick isn't looked in as favorable a manner as Hakeem not because of the championships that Hakeem has, but because aside from the international gold medals and NCAA championships, Hakeem has bested Patrick in nearly every statistical category and proven to be a much more elite two-way player with a much more unique style of game. The 2 championship rings and 2 NBA Finals MVP trophies are just the cherry on top for Hakeem in the comparison with Patrick, its great to have, definitely great to have, but it is not needed in this comparison. Plain and simple.

Last edited by Trafalgar Law; 07-21-2018 at 02:33 PM..
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:57 PM
 
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I like Ewing, he was a great player but nobody that watched that series felt he held his own with Olajuwon.

He only had 1 game shooting over 41% from the field although he did well on the rebounds. He had only 2 games over 20 points. (For a center to shoot 5 games under 40% out of 7 in that era? Wow.)

As noted, had the Knicks won it wasn't because Ewing outplayed Olajuwon but rather other guys on the court.

P.S. In full disclosure I hate the Knicks, but I really always respected Ewing. I don't think anyone is being disrespectful to Ewing by pointing out that Olajuwon had better numbers both over his career but also in that matchup.
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