Tina Thompson, who is one of the WNBA’s all-time greats, developed an admiration for Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon.
Tina Thompson is one of the most decorated WNBA players of all-time, as her list of accolades is beyond impressive. Thompson was first noticed by former Houston Rockets coach-turned-general manager Carroll Dawson, who ran both the Rockets and Thompson’s Houston Comets.
Thompson spent 12 seasons with the Comets and made seven All-Star appearances during that span, while adding two additional All-Star selections to her resume after her Comets playing days ended. Thompson won four WNBA titles in Houston, and was named to six consecutive All-WNBA teams in Houston.
Thompson also won the MVP of the 2000 All-Star game, and the list goes on. But although Thompson was a legend in her own right, she also recognized the elite talent of Houston Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon, as she stated on the Knuckleheads podcast with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles.
“I liked Dream, I watched Dream all the time.”
Thompson expresses admiration for Houston Rockets legend
It’s no surprise that Thompson watched Olajuwon and took a liking to his game, as she had very similar traits and attributes as Olajuwon. Like Olajuwon, Thompson was a force on the glass, as she finished inside of the top ten in rebounds in six of her 12 years in Houston and ranks sixth all-time in WNBA history in rebounds.
Thompson was also a dominant rim protector, as she finished fifth in total blocks during her rookie season and finished ninth and tenth in blocked shots over the following two seasons. Thompson was also the first pick in the WNBA Draft, much like Olajuwon was during the 1984 NBA Draft, and they both lived up to the expectations of a first overall pick, which isn’t easy to do in the slightest.
Thompson was a dominant scorer, as she ranks second all-time in total points in WNBA history and her 20 points per game during the 2004 season ranked second, behind only Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson. Thompson has transitioned into coaching, as she is currently the head coach at the University of Virginia, where she coaches the Lady Cavaliers.
Thompson is one of the greatest players in basketball history, which is another area in which she resembles Olajuwon. With Thompson’s basketball knowledge, it wouldn’t be a surprise if she became a head coach in the NBA someday, as few understand the game better than her.
In the same manner in which Thompson admired Olajuwon’s game, it’s also easy to have a similar admiration towards her game, and especially for those who watched the Comets, as she was simply unstoppable.