For Hakeem Olajuwon, it was truly an ultimate honor to be named after the NBA’s coveted trophy that recognizes the best defender of the season.

Appearing on Saturday to support his collegiate alma mater the University of Houston, Olajuwon was asked about his reaction to being named after the newest NBA Defensive of the Year plum.

“That’s the crown,” Olajuwon told Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston. “That sealed my career. It can’t be anything higher than that.”

In 18 years of playing professional basketball, Olajuwon cemented himself as one of the game’s all-time greats. His overwhelming defensive prowess can only integrate with his graceful presence down low.

The former Houston Rockets cornerstone collected back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year honors in both 1993 and 1994 while being named to nine All-Defensive selections throughout his career. He also led the league in blocks average thrice (1990, 1991, 1993) which helped him become the NBA’s all-time leader in blocks made – finishing with 3,830. 

As such, these stuffed defensive records are a no-brainer for Olajuwon’s case to be named after the honorable defensive award.