This is a picture of Hakeem Olajuwon's jersey. Above it are the words: Hakeem Olajuwon's Finals Record

What Was Hakeem Olajuwon’s Finals Record?2-1 (With 2 MVPs)

Hakeem Olajuwon’s finals record was 2-1 in series and 10-7 in games. He lost his first trip to the NBA Finals in 1986 then won back-to-back finals in 1994 and 1995. The Dream was named Finals MVP in both of his championship seasons. 

How Many Finals Has Hakeem Olajuwon Been To? 

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Hakeem Olajuwon went to three NBA Finals and won two of them. The Dream was an NBA champion who spanned generations. 

His first NBA Finals appearance was in his second year in the NBA in 1986. That year he was up against one of the greatest teams of all time in the 1986 Boston Celtics. That team featured Larry Bird among many other Hall of Famers.

The Dream did not return to the NBA finals for eight years. In his second appearance in the finals in 1994, Hakeem’s Rockets won a seven game series against another of the great centers of that era – Patrick Ewing and his NY Knicks.

The Rockets went back to the NBA Finals the next year in 1995 and swept  a young Shaq and his Orlando Magic. 

1986Lost NBA Finals2-4Boston Celtics
1994Won NBA Finals4-3NY Knicks
1995Won NBA Finals4-0Orlando Magic

Who Did Hakeem Olajuwon Beat in the NBA Finals? 

Hakeem Olajuwon defeated two all-time greats in his two NBA Finals victories. 

In 1994 The Dream and the Rockets won a tight, seven game series over the New York Knicks. That Knicks squad featured:

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In 1995, Hakeem and the Rockets swept a young Orlando Magic team. That Magic team featured:

  • A young, physically dominant Shaquille O’Neal. The Dream outscored the younger Shaq 33 to 28 points per game in the series.  
  • A young Penny Hardaway who was on his way to being a huge star before injuries cut down his career.
  • A veteran Horace Grant who had come over from the Bulls after winning three titles in Chicago. He was brought in to provide leadership and did just that. 

Who Did Hakeem Olajuwon Lose To In the NBA Finals? 

Hakeem Olajuwon lost only one NBA Finals series – in 1986. It was Olajuwon’s second year in the NBA after an outstanding career for the University of Houston Cougars.

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The Rockets lost to the Boston Celtics in the 1986 NBA Finals. The ‘86 Celtics are in the conversation for best team of all time. They almost certainly have the best frontcourt to ever play together. The team featured:

  • All time great forward Larry Bird. Bird won his third consecutive NBA MVP that season. 
  • Fellow Hall of Famers Kevin McHale and Robert Parish starting in the frontcourt.
  • NBA Sixth Man of the Year and Hall of Famer Bill Walton backing up McHale and Parish. 
  • Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson starting in the backcourt alongside the only non-Hall-of-Fame-starter on the team: Danny Ainge.  Ainge was pretty darn good.

It makes sense why the Rockets could not overcome the 1986 Celtics. In addition to Olajuwon, the Rockets featured:

  • Hall of Famer Ralph Sampson who made up the second tower in the Rockets Twin Towers. In truth, Sampson made the Hall of Fame for his college exploits, not his work in the NBA.
  • Rodney McCray who had a nice career but was never in any Hall of Fame conversations. 
  • Robert Reid who was similar to McCray: nice player, but hardly an all-time great. 

How Many Finals MVPs Did Hakeem Olajuwon Win?

Hakeem Olajuwon won two Finals MVPs in his three NBA Finals appearances. Those awards are part of what made the Dream a Houston legend. 

  • In 1994, Olajuwon won his first Finals MVP after averaging 27 points, 9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in the finals. Olajuwon was a dominant force on that Rockets team and a clear choice for MVP.
  • In 1995, Olajuwon won his second straight NBA FInals MVP. This time the Dream put up 33 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. Despite being joined by fellow Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler that year, Olajuwon was still a clear Finals MVP winner. 
  • In 1986, Olajuwon lost the Finals. Only one player from a losing team – Jerry West in 1969 – has ever won Finals MVP in a losing cause. The Dream was not the exception to the rule that winners get the MVP: Larry Bird won his 2nd Finals MVP that season. 

Summary: Hakeem Olajuwon’s Finals Record

Hakeem Olajuwon went to the NBA Finals three times. He finished with a 2-1 record in NBA Finals series and 10-7 in NBA Finals games. Olajuwon won Finals MVPs in his 1994 and 1995 championship seasons. He lost the Finals in 1986 to the Boston Celtics.

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