Monday, April 7, 2008

Congratulations Hakeem - Living the Dream

Congratulations to Hakeem Olajuwon for being selected for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Obviously this was a no brainer. He is still the all-time NBA shot blocker. #1 draft pick. 2 NBA championships. The only player in NBA history to win the MVP, Finals MVP, & Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. One of the NBA's top 50 players of all time.

Of course he has incredible college stats too. 3 Final Fours. Member of Phi Slama Jama. Consensus All-American. Southwest Conference Player of the Decade for the '80s.

Now if we can just get Guy V Lewis into the Hall.

Today's collectible is his autobiography, Living the Dream. This is one of the better sports autobiographies I've read. So many of these books are just a recounting of stats and games. Since Hakeem's life story is so different from most players, his biography is different too.

His story covers growing up in Nigeria, his time with the Cougars, and his time with the Rockets. But it doesn't just cover basketball. Not only was Olajuwon a great player, one of the reasons I like him so much is he's a great man. One of my favorite stories about Olajuwon's shoe endorsement. Unlike most athletes, he wanted his shoes to not only be high quality, but also to be affordable. But I think this story also reflects poorly on American society. Because they weren't the most expensive, trendiest shoes on the market, they didn't succeed at a high level in the market.

This book is definitely required reading for all UH and Olajuwon fans.

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