Monday, September 15, 2008

Hall of Fame Stature

Coming into the league in the 80's both Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing were both known winners at the college level. In the NBA, they had to prove that same type of attitude and it didn't take them long.

This year at the NBA Hall of Fame induction, both Ewing and Olajuwon were both introduced to the class along with great names such as Dick Vitale the voice of college basketball, Pat Riley who has numerous Championships with the Lakers and the Heat, Adrian Dantley who both in college and the NBA was the ultimate Offensive machine, Cathy Rush who was THE women's basketball pioneer and the owner of both the Detroit Shock and Detroit Pistons. A memorable class at that.

Although he retired with no Championship, Patrick Ewing was named one of the 50 Greatest NBA players, along with Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton and Penny Hardaway, Ewing joins a group of great players to never get a ring.

I point out the two individuals because they stick in my head like glue, all the memories of the early 90's playoffs, Olajuwon with his shake and bake, up and under patent move. Patrick Ewing with those long arms, posting up and slowly and gracefully nailing fadeaway jumpers in Madison Square Garden. At MSG you still see banners of Ewing with his arms stretched out and in Houston Olajuwon is beloved for the two championships he helped bring to the city back in the Jordan-less '94 and '95seasons. The times and memories were priceless.

Patrick Ewing-

Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon-

Ewing with his Fadeaway-

Olajuwon returns the Favor-

The '90's was filled with great rivalries and moments but ontop of that, some of the greatest players to ever touch a Spalding graced the wooden floors of basketball arenas. Those were the good old days.

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