The National Basketball Association (NBA) has renamed its annual Defensive Player of the Year award after Hakeem Olajuwon, the Nigerian-American former basketball player.
NBA announced the development in a statement.
Olajuwon is among six NBA legends with awards redesigned in their honour.
Others are Wilt Chamberlain, John Havlicek, Michael Jordan, George Mikan, and Jerry West.
The defensive award was named after Olajuwon who had won the prize twice and remained the league’s all-time leader in blocked shots despite retiring 20 years ago.
“Defensive dominance helped define Hakeem Olajuwon’s Hall of Fame career. A two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection, Olajuwon is the league’s all-time leader in blocked shots and ranks ninth in steals,” the statement reads.
“He is also a two-time NBA champion, 12-time NBA All-Star, league MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 12-time All-NBA Team selection and a member of the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams.
“The trophy features a player in a classic defensive stance with one hand up and one down, knees bent and ready to move.”
Olajuwon had an illustrious career that spanned 38 years.
The Lagos-born basketball legend played for Houston Rockets and, in the latter part of his career, Toronto Raptors.
Leave a Reply