On March 9th, 1999, Houston Rockets Forward Hakeem Olajuwon broke the 3,500 career block mark against the Denver Nuggets. Olajuwon is the only player in NBA history to eclipse this mark. In fact, the closest player to 3,500 career blocks is another former Houston Rocket, Dikembe Mutombo, who has 3,289 career blocks.
After Olajuwon broke the 3,500 block mark (he ended that record breaking game with 3,503), he went on to play 3 more seasons and ended his career with 3,830 blocks (over 500 more blocks then Mutombo). “The Dream” played an amazing 18 seasons in the league after being drafted 1st overall by the Houston Rockets in the 1984 Draft. Over the course of his career, Olajuwon won 2 NBA championships in ’94 and ’95 (winning the MVP in both series), 2 NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and was named to 12 All-Star Teams. He was also named All-NBA First Team six times and All-Defensive First Team five times. He finished his career 1st in career blocks, 9th in career points and 11th in career rebounds.
“If I had to pick a center [for an all-time best team], I would take Olajuwon. That leaves out Shaq, Patrick Ewing. It leaves out Wilt Chamberlain. It leaves out a lot of people. And the reason I would take Olajuwon is very simple: he is so versatile because of what he can give you from that position. It's not just his scoring, not just his rebounding or not just his blocked shots. People don't realize he was in the top seven in steals. He always made great decisions on the court. For all facets of the game, I have to give it to him” Michael Jordan.
On June 22, 1994, the Houston Rockets defeated the New York Knicks, 90-84, in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. This win gave the Rockets their first NBA Championship in the 27-year history of the franchise.
Hakeem Olajuwon finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks. Olajuwon was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player, becoming the first center to win the award since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1985. Vernon Maxwell added 21 points, while Sam Cassell scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to finish with 13. Derek Harper led the Knicks with 23 points in the loss. Patrick Ewing was held to 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting. This 1994 series was Patrick Ewing's first NBA Finals appearance, and he set a Finals record for the most blocks in a series with 30.
The Houston Rockets played seven low-scoring defensive games against the New York Knicks during this season. After splitting the first two games in Houston, the Knicks won two out of three games at Madison Square Garden. In Game 6, Olajuwon blocked a last-second attempt at a game winner by John Starks, which gave the Rockets an 86-84 victory, resulting in Game 7.