Houston Rockets: Where Win Shares rank Hakeem Olajuwon All-Time
Win shares calculate how many wins a player has added to their team. The metric is not without some flaws. It overvalues rebounding, shooting efficiency, and team defense. Even though it has some flaws, it is still a very useful tool, especially when comparing centers. Here we are going to see where Hakeem ranks All-Time in regular season and playoff win shares and regular season and playoff win shares per 48 minutes.
Hakeem Olajuwon All-Time Ranks
WS Total: 162.77 WS Rank: 21
WS Playoff Total: 22.6 WS Playoff Rank: 17
WS/48 Total: .177 WS/48 Rank: 49
WS/48 Playoff Total: .189 WS/48 Playoff Rank: 20
Outside of regular-season win shares per 48 minutes, Hakeem Olajuwon grades out, according to win shares, as around the 20th greatest player in the history of the NBA. His average ranking across the four metrics is 26.7. Olajuwon’s win shares per 48 minutes are what drags him down. If you eliminate the last five seasons of his career, his career win shares per 48 minutes jump up to .187 and would boost his ranking all the way to 35th in a tie with Giannis Antetokounmpo. In fact, if Olajuwon just never played for the Raptors in his final season he would rank 43rd All-Time in win shares per 48 minutes and he’d only drop from 21st All-Time in win shares to 22nd.
All of this is to say, is that Hakeem Olajuwon is at worst a top-35 player of all time, and, likely, is in the range of 25th to 18th greatest player ever based upon win shares. It should be noted that Olajuwon was an excellent postseason performer. That fact should give credence to the idea that Hakeem is one of the 20 greatest players in basketball history.