Last Friday when the Rockets faced the Knicks in Houston, all-time great Hakeem Olajuwon sat courtside and watched. After the match, he came away very impressed with New York rookie center Mitchell Robinson.
“I love his game,” Olajuwon told the New York Post about Robinson. “He has a presence in the middle. He can close down the middle with his energy, skill level, how he moves. Not too many players have that impact as a shot-blocker. On the court you know he is there. Fantastic player.”
This extremely high praise from a guy who dominated down low on both offense and defense.
So, how exactly did Robinson react when he was told he “The Dream” loved his game? Surprisingly, he was forced to admit that he didn’t who he was.
According to The Post, his teammates poked fun at him for not being up on his basketball history. In his defense, Robinson was born in 1998. Which means, maybe at the absolute earliest he could remember anything about Hakeem (How should I know? I’m not a scientist), it would’ve probably been in a Raptors jersey. That’s a line I will throw out to him.
On the other side, HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW? This is not to get all finger-wagging or uppity about young kids not knowing their history, but HOW? It’s not like I’m asking you to know Kevin McHale - OK, some of you might have grown angry with that line, but let’s keep it real, he’s no Jordan. It has to be so difficult to not know who Olajuwon is.
“Hmmmm I wonder who has the most blocks in NBA history... Oh, it’s this guy Hakeem Olajuwon.”
“Has there ever been a quadruple-double in history? Oh, there’s name Hakeem Olajuwon again.”
“Ever been a player to win DPOY, MVP, and Finals MVP in the same season? Olajuwon.”
I honestly just need to know. Maybe not everyone is a stat-obsessed nerd like me who likes to check the all-time leaders list, but you’re a CENTER. Have you never have the greatest center debate? Did you never practice The Dream Shake®? Have you never looked at the blocked-shots leaders and say to yourself, “One day, I’m going to pass Hakeem for No. 1.”
It’s just curiosity at this point.
Anyways, no need to grill the guy for it. If he doesn’t want to know his history, it’s his prerogative. Plus, Olajuwon likes him, so that means he has to be cool in our book.