Many seem to forget how dominant Hakeem Olajuwon was with the Houston Rockets.
The man was a monster on both ends of the floor, with career averages of 21.8 PPG, 11.1 RPG, and 2.5 APG with 3.1 BPG and 1.7 SPG. Clearly, these are Hall of Fame numbers for one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Hakeem managed to win back to back championships and Finals MVP awards with the Rockets in 1994 and 1995, but perhaps his most successful year was in the 1993-1994 season where he also managed to win the MVP and DPOY Award. This means that alongside his championship ring, Hakeem added two extraordinary achievements in one single year. The other players to achieve this? None. Only Hakeem Olajuwon has managed this extraordinary feat.
This begs the question, which current player can manage to win all three awards in one year? It’s time to find out.
Anthony Davis is one of the rare breeds of talent that stands 7 feet tall yet possesses guard-like skills. Davis has the potential to capture every major NBA award, thanks to his spectacular ability on both ends of the floor. Winning the MVP is certainly in the question for Davis, since he is currently one of the top five players in the world who is part of a strong Lakers team that features LeBron James. If the Lakers win enough games, he will certainly be a top-five candidate at the very least.
Davis can also manage to perform best in an NBA Finals, where many feel that the Lakers will be competing in for at least a few more years.
If Davis can reach the Finals with the Lakers, and outplay LeBron James, he has a chance for this one as well. Finally, Davis is slowly making his mark as a defensive monster in the league. He has the length to block shots, defend the rim, and even guard smaller players. Thanks to his versatility, Davis can win DPOY if he puts his mind to it.
Assuming KD returns fully healthy next season, he is one of the superstar players who can join Hakeem in this achievement.
His scoring ability and offensive impact are undeniable, so he will always manage to be an MVP candidate. He has won the award before, so this is old news for a player of Durant’s caliber. Furthermore, he is also a former Finals MVP (back to back) and knows what it takes to win in the NBA Finals.
If the Nets can get a fully healthy Kyrie Irving, they have a chance to compete in the East Finals and possibly reach the Finals where anything happens.
Durant also wanted to become a better NBA defender, and he was a legitimate contender for the DPOY in his final season with the Warriors.
While he was backed by Draymond Green in the frontcourt, Durant showed the ability to dominate defensively and there is no question he can do it again.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the most gifted athletes we have ever seen. At nearly 7 feet tall, he has the ability to impact the game in almost every way. He will consistently be one of the game’s top scorers and has the ability to shut down most NBA players. Giannis has managed to win the MVP Award last season, and will probably win it again this year. There is no doubt that he can win another MVP Award as his career is just getting started.
In terms of Finals MVP, this will be the challenge for Giannis in joining Kareem for this achievement. The Bucks are a very good team, and currently, the best in the East and they are one of the top five contenders for the NBA Championship. If he can carry the Bucks to a title, he will certainly be the Finals MVP. Even if he leaves Milwaukee to join another team, he will be able to capture the Award.
Defensively, Giannis is a beast. He can guard bigs, guard and everyone in between. Giannis has become a better defender each year he has been in the league, and he will be a DPOY candidate if he continues. It’s only a matter of time before he fights for the award.
Formed Finals MVP and DPOY Kawhi Leonard is truly one of the great forwards to ever play. He has done it all on the court, except win an NBA MVP Award. While this season is a wrap thanks to his load management initiatives, Leonard can certainly win the DPOY if he puts his mind to it. Only Rudy Gobert has received more recognition for his defensive efforts than Leonard recently, but Kawhi can manage to capture the Award one more time at least.
If he plays enough games and leads the Clippers to the best record in the West, he will also be the favorite for the MVP Award. Leonard has yet to win this award so perhaps he’s hungry for it. If he does capture the MVP Award, there is no question he will be gunning for the Finals MVP Award.
The Clippers are a tremendous team, and he is the best player. By putting in the games played in the regular season, Kawhi can manage all three achievements in one year.