HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Hakeem Olajuwon was at Toyota Center on Tuesday to be honored as a part of the Rockets 50th season campaign.
The Hall-of-fame center met with the media prior to the Rockets game against the Orlando Magic and during the session, Olajuwon spoke on a variety of topics including complementing James Harden on an MVP caliber season and said he hopes Harden finishes out the season with the MVP award.
The media session took a brief political turn regarding the recent executive order by President Donald Trump which had temporarily prevented many seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States.
Olajuwon, born in Nigeria and a naturalized citizen of the United States, is of the Muslim faith and is disappointed in the executive order and he believes that the order is a mistake by the Trump administration.
“Like everybody else. I’m kind of surprised. I was thinking maybe, a lot of people who say things just to get elected, don’t actually do it. So I was kind of surprised,” Olajuwon said. “I think in the 1st quarter if you make a mistake, then you have to adjust. I think it is one of the mistakes that the president made.”
Olajuwon alluded to the fact that the new president has an opportunity to make changes and still implement policies to promote unity within the US.
“You can adjust in the second half, ” Olajuwon added. “(President Trump) has an opportunity to change direction and bring people together without separating.”
[EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story used the phrase “Muslim-Ban” in the headline. We have adjusted the headline to more accurately reflect the nature of the executive order Olajuwon was asked about, which he answered honestly and with his own opinion. Mr. Olajuwon never used the phrase Muslim ban and the usage in our story was inaccurate. We are sorry for the mistake.]