There's a reason that the 1984 NBA Draft class is considered to be the best by many accounts.
On Oct. 27, 1984 - just 24 hours after the debuts of Michael Jordan, John Stockton and Charles Barkley - Hakeem Olajuwon, the first overall pick in the iconic draft, made his NBA debut against the Dallas Mavericks.
Olajuwon showed just why he was selected with the top pick as he finished with a team-high 24 points (on 11-for-18 shooting) to go along with nine rebounds in just 28 minutes of action as the Rockets earned a 10-point win over the Mavs to open the season.
2x NBA Champion & Finals MVP- NBA History (@NBAHistory) October 27, 2021
12x NBA All-Star
1993-94 NBA MVP
On this day in 1984, 75th Anniversary Team member Hakeem Olajuwon made his NBA debut and put up 24 PTS, 9 REB in the @HoustonRockets victory! #NBAVault #NBA75 pic.twitter.com/owcz2opPzm
Hakeem's frontcourt mate, 7-foot-4 center Ralph Sampson, finished with a 19-point, 13-rebound double-double while 1976 No. 1 overall pick John Lucas added 23 points and seven assists for Houston.
Other notable Rockets to take the floor in that game include Mitchell Wiggins, father of Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, former Cleveland Cavalier Craig Ehlo and one-time All-Star Lionel Hollins.
In his rookie season, Olajuwon started in all 82 games, posting averages of 20.6 points, 11.9 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 35.5 minutes per game, earning an All-Star selection, All-Defensive Second Team Selection and All-Rookie First Team selection while he was runner-up for Rookie of the Year behind Jordan. The Rockets finished third in the Western Conference with a 48-34 record but lost in the opening round to the Utah Jazz in five games.
It was the beginning of a legendary career for Olajuwon, who earned 12 All-Star selections, 12 All-NBA selections, nine All-Defensive Team selections in addition to winning two titles, two Finals MVP awards, two Defensive Player of the Year awards as well as league MVP in 1994.
Olajuwon, Jordan and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only three players in league history to win both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. Olajuwon was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008.
Also on Oct. 27…
- DeMarcus Cousins, Paul George, Blake Griffin and Gordon Hayward made their debuts in 2010.
- The Rockets and Mavericks met in a preseason game in Mexico City, the first-ever NBA game played in Latin America.
- San Francisco Warriors center Nate Thurmond recorded 28 points and 37 rebounds in a win over the Baltimore Bullets in 1964.
- Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain finished with 55 points and 24 rebounds in a loss to the Syracuse Nationals in 1961.
- Boston Celtics legend Tom Heinsohn made his NBA debut in 1956.
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