A picture is worth 1,000 moves

Captured by Jason Friedman of Rockets.com, the shot above may be the most compelling in Houston Rockets history.  Numerous other iconic images come to mind–Clyde clasping hands with Hakeem following the Game 4 clincher in ’95, the Elie “kiss of death”, McGrady riding Shawn Bradley like a horse–but I’m not so sure any other has so thoroughly captured the imagination, at least speaking personally.

Some weeks earlier, I described the prospect of Olajuwon and McHale training with Howard, prior to having seen an actual image, describing it as “basketball porn.”  To borrow from one Supreme Court justice, “I know it when I see it,” and now I’ve seen it.

So many thoughts and questions come to mind.  Has any more formidable positional trio anywhere, in any sport, ever trained together?  Olajuwon is universally acclaimed as the most awe-inspiringly skilled big man in history; McHale, most would consider, is amongst the tops in fundamental soundness.  And Howard, of course, is the consensus best big man in the league.  I’m asking that question honestly.  You’d really have to dig deep to find a comparison.

To be a fly somewhere on that backboard.  Hopefully I’ll get my chance sometime this year after practice, but I doubt it – Olajuwon allegedly will still spend much of the year in Jordan.  I walked in last summer on McHale tutoring Hasheem Thabeet and Jordan Hill one day in camp and admittedly, for a basketball junkie like myself, that in itself, was fascinating.  But this…

What is McHale thinking as he looks on?  What happened next after that?  Did McHale then take his turn and show his way of doing the same move?  I think it’s the absolute and complete contrast in styles between Olajuwon and McHale–fluid and rhythmic vs. mechanical efficacy–which really blows me away.  Like learning to write from both William Shakespeare and William Strunk, in tandem.

Then, of course, there is Howard, teeming with potential, already the game’s best, watching…absorbing.  Time will tell if he learns.

 

 

View this discussion from the forum.

This entry was posted in musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
Login to leave a comment.
Total comments: 5
  • Sir Thursday says 6 months ago

    When I was re-watching those Hakeem-Howard training videos last week, it struck me that Howard isn't as immobile as I had previously considered. Perhaps this is new bias, but I thought he looked pretty good.

    I don't think he's ever been immobile, per se. I think his post-game just doesn't contain the sweeping movements that say "Look at me, I'm making a Post Move right now". So you get this effect that makes it seem like he's really static. I think the same reasoning can be applied to explain why the myth of him 'not having a post game' persisted well after it was no longer true.

    ST

  • Rahat Huq says 6 months ago

    When I was re-watching those Hakeem-Howard training videos last week, it struck me that Howard isn't as immobile as I had previously considered. Perhaps this is new bias, but I thought he looked pretty good.

  • Jeby says 6 months ago

    McHale has coached up Garnett, Al Jefferson and Kevin Love.

  • Steven says 6 months ago


    What is McHales track record for coaching up bigs?


    Al Jefferson's best year was one where McHale coached. I'm sure that Garnett and McHale had some lessons through the years.
  • timetodienow1234567 says 6 months ago What is McHales track record for coaching up bigs?