Hakeem Olajuwon crowns Nikola Jokic, says "He's The One"

Nikola Jokic gets huge praise from Hakeem Olajuwon
Nikola Jokic gets huge praise from Hakeem Olajuwon

The emergence of Nikola Jokic as one of the best big men in the NBA today is compared to the 90s center Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets. Both centers came from foreign lands, and their game style is eerily similar.

Having won two championships in the 90s during the window that Michael Jordan briefly retired, Olajuwon has cemented himself as one of the best big men to enter the league with his fancy footwork and firm grasp of basketball fundamentals.

This also describes Nikola Jokic, who many see as unathletic, but his basketball IQ is one of the best in the league.


When asked about Jokic, the reigning NBA all-time leader in blocks had some kind words for the Serbian center.

"He doesn't look strong, but I see he gets such deep post position. I think maybe it's the mismatch, but then he does the same thing against bigger guys. His shot, his fakes, they are very difficult to time. You don't know when he's faking and when it's real. He has tricks! He's the one," said Olajuwon in a report by Sports Illustrated.

Hakeem Olajuwon compares Nikola Jokic to Joel Embiid

Two of the best centers in the NBA right now are Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid. Both have been at their prime and have been leading their teams deep into the playoffs. They are seen by some as the heirs to the traditional post-up play on which Hakeem Olajuwon built his career.

However, the Nigerian center is concerned about one aspect of the game that Embiid has been focusing on, and it differentiates him from Nikola Jokic.

"He's got all the moves, but leveraging the moves is different. Why would he be shooting threes?" Olajuwon asks.
"He has the advantage every night, and if I have the advantage, I'm going to wear you out. But threes? That's settling! When I'm tired, I settle. You don't settle when you're trying to win. You don't start the game settling!"

Joel Embiid just won his first NBA MVP, while Nikola Jokic has won the award twice. More so, the Denver Nuggets center led his team to an NBA championship, which Embiid has not yet achieved.

Hakeem Olajuwon has appeared in 12 NBA All-Star games, holds the NBA record for most blocked shots and was the league MVP in 1994.

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