Jump to content

Toggle shoutbox Shoutbox Open the Shoutbox in a popup

@  slick shoes : (23 September 2015 - 06:37 PM) kind of late in the day but NBATV is broadcasting classis Rockets games all day today.
@  SadLakerFan : (16 September 2015 - 04:37 AM) Man, as a Laker fan, I'm learning how little you care about the off season when your team sucks. Anyway, a quick moment to remember Moses. Still remember watching the 81 team as a kid - losing record, NBA Finals. I would have cried w/joy if they could have beaten the Celtics.
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) http://bleacherrepor...ist-after-crash
@  jorgeaam : (15 September 2015 - 08:30 PM) So to celebrate his new contract, Montrezl Harrell saved someone's life on monday
@  thejohnnygold : (14 September 2015 - 04:36 PM) A good article from Blinebury talking about when Hakeem and Moses used to play in the park. LINK
@  rockets best... : (14 September 2015 - 02:29 AM) I agree totally. I got to watch his Rocket days and the man was a hell of a player. BIG MO R.I.P.
@  Mario Peña : (13 September 2015 - 05:24 PM) Sad to see Moses pass. I don't remember watching him as a Rocket but I do remember his Philly and Hawks teams. He was the perfect man to mentor Dream. It's a very sad day for his family and friends and there are many.
@  majik19 : (12 September 2015 - 09:01 PM) i just saw a post wishing Yao Ming a happy 35th birthday... am I the only one whose mind is blown that he's only 35?
@  cointurtlemoose : (08 September 2015 - 01:17 AM) aaaah, thanks jorge
@  jorgeaam : (08 September 2015 - 12:21 AM) Love it how Hinkie and Morey always target the same players, but hoping he isn't another Covington
@  thejohnnygold : (08 September 2015 - 12:03 AM) Christian Wood has signed with Philly
@  jorgeaam : (07 September 2015 - 10:32 PM) If I'm not wrong, he hasn't been waived yet, they have until october 4th to do that
@  cointurtlemoose : (07 September 2015 - 05:39 PM) Anyone else surprised that Kostas hasn't gotten picked up by anyone yet? I wanna see that guy play somewhere
@  redfaithful : (05 September 2015 - 10:48 PM) Llull line from today loss to Serbia: 30MIN 1-10PG, 0-5 3PG, 4-4FT 6AST, 1TO, 4REB, +/- -11
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:27 AM) this dude's gun fired and all he got a misdemeanor at bush lol: http://abc13.com/new...ush-iah/815795/
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:26 AM) theres more articles all over, but the jist is houston (and texas) doesn't really arrest for it, they just recommend you leave it in your car when they catch it. So seems dwight got lucky he was in texas and not cali or the NE.
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:22 AM) honestly we should just be glad they caught it...
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 02:21 AM) response: http://nymag.com/dai...n_airplane.html
@  Losthief : (03 September 2015 - 01:42 AM) one bullet left in the chamber is diff than fully loaded and ready to go. Still stupid...but not like he was prepared for a shooting spree.
@  jorgeaam : (02 September 2015 - 09:33 PM) http://www.tmz.com/2...t-get-arrested/


Imagining Hakeem Olajuwon on Houston's Sideline

  • Please log in to reply
1 reply to this topic

#1 RedNinetyFour


    Red94 blog content

  • Moderators
  • 31 posts
  • LocationRed94 front page

Posted 22 August 2011 - 09:30 PM

When asked if he'd be willing to teach his one and only friend the finer arts in constructing a believable lie, a proud George Costanza quickly dismissed the request: "Jerry, I can't. It's like saying to Pavorotti, 'Teach me to sing like you.'"

Just because someone instructs a lesson to another person, it doesn't necessarily mean things will click; physical abilities don't permeate from one body to another by a magical touch, and some students simply don't have the same mental capacity as their teacher. That's life. But in the NBA, the players we're discussing here are the best of the best—450 fate controlled lottery winners—and if they were to have someone whose sole job was to teach them the finer arts of, say, footwork in the low post, then we might be on to something.

In my very first post for Red94, I discussed the importance of what can happen if Kevin McHale and Luis Scola are able to form a mutually beneficial professional relationship. McHale owns the most effective low post moves in league history, won three championships as a player, and is a member of the Hall of Fame. Even though the hire seemed a tad unorthodox at the time, he's smart and should fit in well with the eager group of guys who're ready to be lead.

Unfortunately for players looking to tap the gold mine of knowledge McHale preserves, the man is a head coach and has far more important responsibilities to tend to, such as designing offensive and defensive sets, experimenting with lineups, and, you know, coaching to win ball games.

But where a door closes, so opens an obvious window. Over the last few years, the greatest player in Houston Rockets history, Hakeem Olajuwon, has become a back to the basket horse whisperer, helping Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and LeBron James fine tune their fundamental post moves in the hope that they too can add a dependable, borderline unstoppable supplement to their offensive attack. These are arguably the three best players in the world, guys who are good enough to create substantial legacies and who recognize that long after they're gone, their achievements will live and breathe as long as people care.

There are two obvious precedents to Hakeem coming on board, should he ever choose to give up his role as a pick-and-choose consultant: Patrick Ewing in Orlando and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Los Angeles. The latter was a fruitful relationship—while it lasted—with an 18-year-old Andrew Bynum, but revealing comments by Kareem regarding the young seven-footer's stubbornness soured things.

In Orlando, Ewing's partnership with the league's best center, Dwight Howard, has been strange in the sense that the teacher might not be up to the task of sucking every ounce of skill his prodigious student has to give. I know it's the lockout, and Howard isn't allowed to meet with any team employees (Ewing included) but his seeking out of Hakeem feels more meaningful. It feels like bigger news, like we should be expecting even more from Howard at our next public viewing. Ewing was a great center, but never the undisputed best active player at his position, like Hakeem. It's something he'll never share with Howard and thus there will always be that invisible, half-awkward separation between the two. He can never tell Howard what it takes to win a championship or what it felt like to be the baddest center walking and have 29 other starters tremble in his path. These are only questions Olajuwon can answer.

According to rumor, Hakeem doesn't want to exclusively work for Houston. He's enjoying his professorial bachelorhood, as he as every right to do. But if the Rockets were to somehow sway Olajuwon's way of thinking with an offer he can't refuse, then several incredibly important dominoes could fall in the team's favor.

3) The most obvious reason: He'd help every Rocket. Olajuwon doesn't limit his help for clumsy big men. He's worked with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, two wing players who've relied on athleticism for the majority of their careers and haven't "needed" to score with their back to the basket. Imagine if Kevin Martin and Courtney Lee can get a nifty mid-range turn around to drop, or Marcus Morris and Chuck Hayes are able to elude slower defenders with a point blank face up game. Keep in mind that the man's a mere mortal, but what if Olajuwon can reach Thabeet? All of this is exciting to think about.

2) Hiring Hakeem Olajuwon is, in effect, taking a wanted man off the market. Players like LeBron, Kobe, and Dwight Howard won't be able to utilize the coveted resource, which benefits the Rockets in two ways: 1) While already disgusting basketball players who'd no doubt find success with or without Hakeem's tutelage, this prevents them from access to the game's most popular teacher—seeking Olajuwon's sage advice has become a symbolic maneuver in recent years; a sign that a certain player is willing to reach above and beyond his normal comfort zone to actually get better at basketball, and 2) If a player really wants Hakeem's help, he could always sign with the Rockets, leading me to the number one reason the Rockets hiring of Olajuwon could send shock waves throughout the NBA...

1)  Dwight Howard chooses to sign with Houston instead of re-upping in Orlando, making the Rockets' fan base forget about their recently tortured past and instead focus all their energy on a perennial title contending future. Obviously no player would base such a monumental decision on a simple coaching hire, but in this case, it could serve as sweet icing on the cake. Not frilly, decorative icing, I'm talking enough to tip the scales and knock the cake over. The Rockets are a young team containing almost all the necessary pieces an organization needs in order to win a championship. The one thing they lack, which happens to be the most vital ingredient, is a superstar. The roster's loaded with complementary pieces and dependable studs, but Kevin Martin can't be the best player on a champion. It's easy to say the Rockets need a superstar like Dwight Howard, but literally every team in the league would make the same claim. When discussing who fits and who doesn't, Houston is a not so far-fetched rational destination. And once a player of that caliber signs on, veteran savvy ring-chasers usually climb aboard.

Hiring Hakeem Olajuwon to assist player development would be one of the smartest, most diabolical moves any team could make with its staff. There's no doubt Houston's upper management has visited the idea, and if it hasn't happened by now it probably won't. Just think of what could be, though, with Morey and McHale making their pitch to Dwight as he goes through his mini-LeBron Spring of speculation. It sure would be nice to have Hakeem Olajuwon in that room. When is it not?

  • 0

#2 Guest_Cuttino M._*

Guest_Cuttino M._*
  • Guests

Posted 26 August 2011 - 04:43 AM

Hmmmm... let me say I have to respectfully disagree with your post. And here's why. First, getting Dwight Howard is a pipe dream that won't happen just by hiring Dream onto the coaching staff. (If that were the case, sure, give Hakeem a blank check and put all of Dwight's relatives on the payroll too for good measure, because Dwight Howard would change everything.) So let's just ignore that part of the equation as wishful thinking.

Second, as a basketball fan, I like the thought of Dream spreading the love and helping great players get better. When I heard that Lebron was working with Hakeem, I didn't think, "Oh that sucks for the Rockets." I thought, "Hallelujah, Lebron is working on his post game, so maybe he has a chance at fulfilling his potential as the most dominating force of nature to ever hit a basketball court!" I mean, would you ever wish that Michael Jordan never came back, just to improve the Rocket's chances of another championship? As a fan of basketball, I certainly hope not. Even as a Rockets fan, I loved watching "MJ Part II: The Comeback" ("MJ Part III: The Wizard" not so much).

And third, I think the reason why players get better after Camp Dr34m isn't just because they spent a weekend at Hakeem's house, rather, it shows their dedication to getting better. Sure, learning from Master Splinter makes for a good narrative and YouTube video, but let's not give Hakeem too much credit. Kobe and Dwight got better because they worked at it, probably the entire off-season; hanging with Hakeem just showed to what extent they were willing to learn and work. I mean, it's not like Thabeet suddenly started hitting that Dream fade-away after his session.

And besides, I doubt Hakeem would turn away Jordan Hill and Marcus Morris if they camped out in front of Hakeem's house to learn from the master. It's like those kung fu movies where the master lets the prospective student wait days and days in the rain, except in this instance, it would be the boiling H-town heat. In fact, even if they never got in, at least it would signal how dedicated Hill and Morris are to getting better. And I'd take that as a good thing for the Rockets.
  • 0

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users