Drama often occurs in professional sports locker rooms. Former Houston Rockets player Vernon “Mad Max” Maxwell opened up about a fight he and teammate Hakeem Olajuwon had. On a recent appearance of Gilbert Arenas’ podcast, “No Chill With Gilbert Arenas,” Mad Max recanted a tale of a heated argument with Olajuwon where cops were called and guns were drawn.
On their way back to the locker room at halftime of a game, Maxwell was complaining that he wasn’t getting the ball enough. He and Olajuwon exchanged words and once they got into the locker room, Olajuwon slapped Maxwell in the face.
“I jumped up, grabbed my chair, and throwed 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?'”
According to Max, had the cops not intervened things would’ve escalated between him and Olajuwon. Max was going to “chase Dream and stab the s**t out of him.”
In the ultra-competitive environment of professional sports things, guys get heated, and with all the emotions and testosterone flowing, things can get out of hand.
The Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green and his head coach Steve Kerr had to be separated by police at halftime of a game a few years ago.
Max said after things calmed down all was well with him and Olajuwon.
“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.”
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.
Max is one of only nine players in NBA history to amass 30 points in a single quarter, accomplishing that feat en route to a 51-point performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Max has a lot of wild stories and is one of the realest former athletes out there. He hinted at starting his own podcast, which would be a definite must-listen.
The thing that’s wild about this story is that the cops drew their guns. Police are bad at deescalating situations. Yes, Max may have broken glass and run at Olajuwon, but guns? They weren’t necessary.
What if they actually opened fire? We know they’ve done so in countless situations where it wasn’t warranted.
Maybe armed police officers at NBA arenas is something the league and the NBPA should discuss. The arenas in the NBA are not public properties in almost every case, they are privately owned. Who allows armed police to be present for games?