Rockets’ Olajuwon on Dennis Rodman in 1997: ‘He needs to be ignored.’

Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images) /

Well known for his antics on and off the court, Dennis Rodman got under the skin of several NBA stars, including Houston Rockets center Hakeem Olajuwon.

Both on the court and off, Dennis Rodman was certainly a one-of-a-kind NBA player. His larger-than-life personality was recently highlighted on episode three of ESPN’s “The Last Dance”, which covered several incidents he had with coaches, teammates, and opponents alike. One such player that wasn’t a fan of his antics was Houston Rockets Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.

In Rodman’s second year with the Chicago Bulls, the infamous incident in which he kicked a cameraman during a game sparked discussion among NBA players about his conduct. In a 1997 article from The Oklahoman, a few different players spoke about having an admiration for Rodman’s game while also being tired of his behavior.

“I don’t agree with much of anything he does,” John Stockton says in the article. Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon took it further when asked about the way Rodman conducts himself.

“What’s so sad about the situation is that he knows what he’s doing,” Olajuwon said. “He needs to be ignored, but the media can’t get enough of him. That shows the direction we are going.”

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Hakeem certainly has a point when it comes to what is usually popular among media and the public in general.

Good or bad, most people seem to love watching unpredictability and drama, and Rodman provided that in buckets.

“This is what young children see,” continued Olajuwon. “They think that’s cool. He’s influencing kids. He’s corrupting society, and we’re giving him the opportunity to do it. He’s getting the endorsements. He’s capitalizing on it. It’s disgusting.”

Hakeem was clearly very opinionated on how Dennis Rodman was affecting the game’s integrity.

As we all saw on episode three of “The Last Dance”, strange incidents followed Rodman wherever he went, from vacationing in Las Vegas in the middle of the season with Chicago to bringing Madonna into the locker room while on the Spurs.

There were rumors that Rodman almost landed in Houston, which would have formed one of the best defensive frontcourts in NBA history. Rudy Tomjanovich may have been able to reel The Worm in a bit, but no one ever fully contains him.

Next. Inside Rodman's tale of D-Rob fearing Hakeem

It might be for the best that the Rockets avoided the cyclone that was Dennis Rodman, as it seems like he didn’t exactly have a fan in Hakeem.