The game has changed a lot, but basketball is still a game for big men. Look at it this way: if you have a guy that’s 6-9 that can do what Steph Curry does, you go with the big guy.
It’s just common sense.
But there’s something mesmerizing about watching really good big men go after each other. Think Wilt-Russell, Yao-Shaquille, Kareem-Parish.
There’s just something about it that’s majestic.
But of all the great big men, none have been like Hakeem Olajuwon.
Unlike most Americans, Olajuwon came to the game relatively late. He didn’t start playing until he was 15 and didn’t start to excel until Moses Malone, then with the Houston Rockets, took the young big Houston Cougar under his wing, greatly accelerating his development.
In this clip, in which he is defended by the great David Robinson, Olajuwon is just unreal.
It’s still incredible that a guy who is 7-0 can move this quickly and Robinson, remember, was supremely athletic himself.
He still got used.
He’s been retired for nearly 20 years but we still haven’t seen anyone who can do the things that Hakeem the Dream did.