Olowokandi was born on April 3, 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria. His father was a diplomat who eventually moved to London. Michael was an athlete in cricket and rugby among other random sports not called basketball. He was 18 years old when he first played the game. Already a bad sign.
He played four years at University of Pacific, averaging 22-11 and 3 blocks. Those numbers (and his height) earned him the number one pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1998 draft, over the likes of Finals MVP’s Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki.
During his 5 seasons with the Clippers, Olowokandi averaged 10 points, 8 rebounds and earned approximately $20 million. A rather ho-hum performance by a #1 draft pick. The Kandi Man took his skills to Minnesota where he signed a 3 year, $15 million contract. Would playing alongside Kevin Garnett help resurrect his career? Not really. He put up monstrous numbers of 6 and 5 in 20 minutes per game. Olowakandi was considered a bust from this point on.
Olowokandi arrived in Boston in 2006 as part of a 7 player deal with the Wolves. He came with Wally Szczberiak and Dwyane Jones in exchange for Mark Blount (gimme some gum), Ricky Davis (chemistry killer) and Marcus Banks (who wants to be a fashion designer).
The Kandi Man earned about $4 million in his year and a half with the Celtics during those crappy years. He averaged 2 and 2 in 9 minutes per game for 40 games with Boston. Olowokandi never stepped foot onto an NBA court again.
To sum up the Kandi Man’s career, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said it best:
I have seen this process firsthand. When I coached for the Clippers, I had to deal with Michael Olowokandi, a player who perfectly fit the description "talented but uncoachable." At practice, I would attempt to point out Mr. Olowokandi's faults to him, ones he constantly repeated and resulted in lost possessions for the team or personal fouls that sent him to the bench. His reaction to my attempts to correct his bad habits was to take my input as a personal insult and embarrassment. He told me point-blank that he would not be criticized in front of the team. He stuck to his word and, as a result, had very few successful moments on the court playing the way he wanted to play. He took his place on the list of athletically gifted washouts who have been in and out of the league in the past 10 years.
One new development in Michael’s life is the fact he dated a crazy b%$^&. Suzie Ketcham was arrested recently for attacking another cast member on Basketball Wives. Yes, it is a slow off-season and I am watching Basketball Wives. Michael has two children with this woman. I feel for you here.