Michael Olowokandi (born April 3, 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria), nicknamed The Kandi Man, is a professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. Born in Nigeria and raised in England, Olowokandi enrolled in the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, California, and joined their basketball team, despite the fact that he had only started to play basketball at age 17. His junior year, Olowokandi led his team to the NCAA Tournament, and after his senior year was drafted with the first overall pick of the 1998 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, playing there for five seasons before signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves as an unrestricted free agent before the 2003-04 NBA season.
In 366 career regular season NBA games (335 games started), Olowokandi has averaged 9.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.63 blocked shots per game. In 15 playoff games (2 starts), he has averaged 2.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.73 blocks per game. In his five years with the Los Angeles Clippers, he struggled, never emerging as the dominant center that many expected him to be. After signing a free agent contract with the Timberwolves in 2003, he was supposed to blossom as a legitimate star center, but was something of a disappointment, playing only 43 games and being more of a liability than an asset to the Kevin Garnett-led Minnesota team.
On November 25, 2004, Olowokandi was arrested after police used a stun gun to subdue him when he refused to leave an Indianapolis nightclub. He was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing, both misdemeanors. The Timberwolves subsequently suspended Olowokandi for two games for "conduct detrimental to the team." On January 14, 2005, Olowokandi got in trouble again, this time getting into an on-court brawl with Denver Nuggets center Nen├¬. Both players were ejected from the game and drew suspensions from the NBA as a result.
On January 26, 2006, he was traded to the Boston Celtics in a multi-player trade. Upon returning to the Target Center a few days later for a game against the Wolves, he was greeted with a chorus of boos.