Houston Rockets Great Hakeem Olajuwon Has No Regrets Of Winning Titles In Michael Jordan-less Era

RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

The 1993-1994 and 94-95 Houston Rockets are considered to have asterisks beside their NBA championships.

Some discredit them because they won in the A.J. years. Or After Jordan. As in Michael Jordan.

The Rockets won their first title when Jordan retired after winning three straight championships with the Chicago Bulls. Houston then completed the repeat with a rusty Jordan returning in the second half of the season.

Still, the Rockets have no regrets about the circumstances. They feel they deserve their place in history with the other teams that won consecutive titles. Just ask Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon, who was named regular season and Finals MVP after leading the Rockets past the New York Knicks in 1994.

He spoke of the two-year window recently with the Houston Chronicle.

"You don’t win a championship by accident," Olajuwon said. "We had the best record in the league. Some people try to say, ‘oh [Michael] Jordan was out those two years, that’s why you won.’ That really doesn’t matter to us, we don’t have to prove anything. ... That’s one thing I really respect about Michael Jordan. He never say that. He has tremendous respect for our team."'

The Rockets never got to face Jordan in the Finals. In 1995, the Bulls were knocked out of the playoffs in the second round by the Orlando Magic. The Rockets were eliminated by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1995-96 season, closing the window of the teams ever facing each other.

Shandel Richardson is the publisher of Back In The Day NBA. He can be reached at shandelrich@gmail.com

Shandel Richardson


Shandel has covered the NBA since 2010, with previous stops at The Athletic and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  He has covered six NBA Finals, one Super Bowl, the NCAA basketball tournament. He has also been a beat writer for the Miami Hurricanes and contributed on every major beat in South Florida since 2003, including the Miami Dolphins and Miami Marlins. He can also be read in the Sportsbook Review for gambling coverage from around the NBA. A native of Bloomington, Illinois, Shandel attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He's also worked for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Kansas City Star.  TWITTER: @ShandelRich EMAIL: shandelrich@gmail.com