It’s simple, it flows — it’s like poetry, it rhymes.
The former professional basketball player earned it by dunking it so effortlessly that it “looked like a dream.”
Olajuwon did more than dunk. Come playoff time, every team from the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and New York Knicks to the Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, and Seattle SuperSonics were terrified of seeing him.
His winning mentality and prowess on both ends of the court were a force to be reckoned with.
That combination of talent and business acumen have led to boatloads of cash.
Olajuwon initially played soccer growing up. He first played basketball at 15 in a local tournament.
He struggled at first, but his familiarity with soccer gave him the groundwork to improve. By the time he graduated high school, many college coaches were longing for his services at the center position.
The 7-foot, 255-pound big man emigrated to play college basketball at the University of Houston under head coach Guy Lewis.
As a Cougar, Olajuwon was a key member of the dunking fraternity Phi Slama Jama. Along with Clyde Drexler, Olajuwon helped lead Houston to consecutive national championship games in 1983 and ’84. However, they were unable to take home the title.
The center was the No. 1-overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets. He was selected ahead of Sam Bowie and Michael Jordan.
Olajuwon took off from there, forming the “Twin Towers” with 7-foot-4 Ralph Sampson and owning defenders with his legendary Dream Shake.
His career accomplishments are as good as anyone’s:
— 2 NBA Championships
— 2x NBA Finals MVP
— NBA MVP (1994)
— 12x NBA All-Star
— 6x All-NBA First Team
— 3x All-NBA Second Team
— 3x All-NBA Third Team
— 2x NBA Defensive Player of the Year
— 5x NBA All-Defensive First Team
— 4x NBA All-Defensive Second Team
— NBA All-Rookie First Team
— 2x NBA Rebounding Leader
— 3x NBA Blocks leader
— No. 34 Retired by Houston Rockets
— 50 Greatest Players in NBA History
— Consensus First-Team All-American (1984)
— NCAA Rebounding leader (1984)
— SWC Player of the Year (1984)
— NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1983)
— No. 34 Retired by Houston CougarsAdvertisement
In 1994, he became the only player in NBA history to win the MVP Award, Defensive Player of the Year, and Finals MVP in the same season.
The Nigerian-American won a gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as a member of the United States national team.
Olajuwon retired with the Toronto Raptors following the 2001-02 season.
Over 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association, he averaged 21.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.7 steals, and 3.1 blocks. He ranks 11th in all-time career points, 13th in career rebounds, and first in career blocks with 3,830.
As one of the best centers ever, he competed with talented contemporaries such as Shaquille O’Neal and San Antonio Spurs big man David Robinson.
According to Spotrac, Olajuwon earned $97,356,426 throughout his NBA career.
In his post-playing days, Olajuwon has become an individual guru. He’s worked with power forward Emeka Okafor and center Yao Ming along with Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, James Harden, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and more. He’s known for teaching precise footwork and the iconic Dream Shake.
Endorsement Deals & Real Estate
Olajuwon signed shoe endorsement deals with LA Gear and Etonic early in his career before switching to Spalding. He was one of the most high-profile players to not wear a sneaker from Nike, Reebok, or Adidas.
The Rockets legend has also earned over $100 million in profits from the Houston real estate market.
Hakeem Olajuwon Net Worth
The Dream’s legendary basketball career and business savvy certainly paid dividends.