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In halftime brawl, Vernon Maxwell recalls wanting to stab Rockets legend Hakeem Olajuwon

Known best as “Mad Max,” retired shooting guard Vernon Maxwell played with the Houston Rockets over parts of six seasons from 1989 to 1995. That run included a starting role on the franchise’s first championship team in 1993-94 alongside legendary center Hakeem Olajuwon.

But in the early years, there was apparently at least one night in which their partnership could have ended in infamy, and perhaps worse.

In a new appearance on the “No Chill with Gilbert Arenas” podcast, Maxwell recalled a game in Seattle where police barged into Houston’s road locker room ⁠— with guns drawn ⁠— due to a brawl.

According to Maxwell, the incident began when they were walking back to the locker room, and the two exchanged harsh words — with Maxwell wanting more on-court opportunities to shoot. From there, Maxwell says Olajuwon slapped him in the face. The interview continues:

I said, ‘God damn, this motherf***er slapped the s**t out of me.’ That motherf***er hit me so hard, man, [he] knocked me out of the chair.

I jumped up, grabbed my chair, and threw it at [that] motherf***er, 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?’

I was like, ‘Damn, they got the guns on me at a professional halftime.’ At a professional game.

Maxwell said he had grabbed a piece of glass and was going to “chase Dream (Olajuwon) and stab the s**t out of him,” but between the police presence and the game’s resumption, he didn’t get the chance to.

Fortunately for the Rockets, that duo went on to have better days. In particular, Maxwell credits Olajuwon’s conversion to Islam led to him becoming a better teammate as the years progressed.

“After that, [Hakeem] became Muslim,” Maxwell recalled. “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 jokingly referenced the incident earlier this season after the highly publicized halftime drama involving Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. at Toyota Center on New Year’s Day. “I don’t remember trying to stab anyone, but if I did, it was out of love,” Maxwell tweeted.


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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire