The “Clutch City” Rockets won back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995. During those two years, Hakeem Olajuwon dominated the NBA. Unfortunately for all of us, we would never see Michael Jordan vs. Olajuwon in the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan went to baseball in 1994, and could not get past the Magic in 1995; the Rockets were not able to get past Seattle in 1996. If the Bulls and Rockets would have met in the NBA Finals, former Rocket Tracy Murray, like Kenny Smith, believes Houston would have won. Murray, who was a member of the 1994-95 Rockets, felt the Rockets had enough to beat Jordan’s Bulls.
“I think we would have beaten them as well because you have pretty much the same team there (from 1994 championship team), minus Otis Thorpe, and you add a Clyde Drexler. A hungry Clyde Drexler, I might add. He was extremely hungry, and wanted to win that championship. He can smell it. From the trade deadline he can smell it, and he really turned it up when people thought he was done,” Murray told Paul Gant.
According to Probasketballreference.com, the Rockets were 5-5 from 1993-97 against the Bulls, but Murray liked the way his Rockets matched up against those Bulls’ teams.
“We just matched up with them pretty doggone good. We had that one monster in the middle they couldn’t matchup with, Hakeem Olajuwon. Nobody couldn’t matchup with him. You had to double team, and you had all the snipers around him,” said Murray.
According to Murray. Olajuwon was “Jordan-like” during those championship years.
“I seen him destroy the MVP of the league that year. When David Robinson got that MVP trophy, (1995) Dream averaged close to 40 points a game (35 ppg) on him that series. Absolutely destroyed him. He was the most unstoppable player I seen other than Jordan in the league during that time. He was a counterpuncher. He had every read for every defense that came at him. He knew what to do.”
It would have been fun to see Rockets-Bulls. In the end, it would have been hard to bet against Jordan.