Vernon Maxwell Says He Once Tried to Stab Hakeem Olajuwon During Halftime Fight

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 3, 2022

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Former NBA shooting guard Vernon Maxwell said that he planned to chase down Basketball Hall of Fame center and ex-Houston Rockets teammate Hakeem Olajuwon and "stab the s--t out of him" if police didn't break up a fight between the two during halftime of a road game against the Seattle SuperSonics.

Maxwell made the remarks on the No Chill With Gilbert Arenas podcast (h/t TMZ Sports). The confrontation reportedly occurred after a tough first half in which the Rockets performed poorly and Maxwell didn't do much offensively.

Maxwell expressed displeasure to his teammates that he wasn't getting the ball enough, and he also said that he was spitting on the floor during the walk back to the locker room.

Olajuwon allegedly caught wind of the remarks, noted Maxwell's behavior and didn't take kindly to any of it, to the point where the big man eventually slapped Maxwell in the face in the locker room.

Maxwell then said he threw a chair at Olajuwon and broke a lot of glass that shattered all over the locker room. He then picked up a big piece of the glass and said he intended to stab Olajuwon before police intervened.

"I said, 'God damn, this motherf--ker slapped the s--t out of me,'" Maxwell recalled. "That motherfu--er hit me so hard, man, [he] knocked me out the chair.

"I jumped up, grabbed my chair, and throwed it at [that] motherf--ker, bust the glass in the locker room. Everybody running out. Police come in with the guns drawn, like 'what the hell goin' on in here?'"

"Damn, they got the guns on me at a professional halftime. At a professional game," he said.

The fight ended, and Maxwell said he and Olajuwon eventually constructed a far more cordial relationship as time went on. Maxwell said that Olajuwon's conversion to Islam led to him becoming a better teammate.

"After that, [Hakeem] became Muslim. He was so quiet. So humble. So, [he] wanted me to become Muslim. I couldn't do it. But, he was a great teammate after that."

Maxwell has told the story in the past, most notably on The Right Time with Bomani Jones podcast (h/t Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle) in Jan. 2021.

One year later, the ex-Florida star addressed it on Twitter:

Vernon Maxwell @VernonMaxwell11

I don’t remember trying to stab anyone but if I did it was out of love. <a href="https://t.co/IvGN5LqyQS">https://t.co/IvGN5LqyQS</a>

Olajuwon and Maxwell played together on the Rockets from 1990-95. They won back-to-back NBA titles for the Rockets in 1994 and 1995. Olajuwon and Maxwell were notably first and second on the team in scoring during the 1994 NBA Finals, when they led the Rockets to a seven-game series win over the New York Knicks.


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