Archive for the ‘Hakeem Olajuwon’ Category

“Working out with Hakeem Olajuwon” is our generation’s “added 15 pounds of muscle,” in that it seems like everyone who is anyone is doing it in the summer. Want to be a cool guy who people give credit for having a post game before even seeing it in action? Plunk down the $50,000 and get your Dream Shake on. Kobe started it, but players as diverse as LeBron James JaVale McGee have participated and it’s the new big thing.

The best part, however, is that even you can get the Hakeem treatment. For one, you could just watch all the videos of guys training with him, of which there are many. Or, if you’re lucky enough to end up anywhere near Hakeem, he’ll probably just start doing post moves if you ask. From the Sun-Sentinel:

A little later, Olajuwon leaps up again, this time to demonstrate his famous baseline spin move.

“Here, put your elbow in my back,” he says, inviting me to simulate classic NBA post defense.

It’s a bit of a mismatch, as I’m giving away at least a foot in height to one of the sleekest big men ever.

No matter.

Hakeem is in his element. Eyes flashing. Words flowing.

“Watch this,” he says, grinning.

One side of a large Persian rug is the baseline.

A coffee table is the lane.

A fluffy white chair serves as the backboard.

He fakes left and spins right, using short, precise steps.

Everything stays in perfect balance.

I blink, and he’s already past me.

Whoosh.

“See that,” he says. “I locked your elbow with mine. That’s all it is.”

He laughs happily, claps his hands together in joyous approval and returns to his seat on the long white couch.

One second you’re talking to Hakeem Olajuwon about post moves, next thing you know he’s spinning Persian rug-side on you and leaving you grasping for air like David Robinson in the 1995 Western Conference finals. And all you wanted was to chill and maybe have some iced tea, but sometimes you’ve just got to play terrible post defense on one of the craftiest interior players in NBA history. That’s how you get better.

It’s also fun to imagine Hakeem Olajuwon doing post moves all over the place, because that’s the sort of thing you do in your house when you’re home alone. I’m guessing he jab-steps around light poles on the street and spins his way through lines at the movies. When you’re as skilled as he is, sometimes it’s impossible to stop being great, even if you should just be walking like a normal person.

So if you’re trying to become dominant in the post, but don’t have $50,000 to blow on lessons, just watch a few YouTube clips and try to find out where Hakeem Olajuwon is hanging out. Just spend a few minutes around him and you’ll learn something even if you’re not trying to. Not to mention, you can finally get that Raptors jersey signed. Win-win.

You are not going to believe it, but the Pistons, Knicks and Ron Artest/Metta World Peace show up quite a bit in this video. Total surprise.

And also, you probably really won’t believe how often Hakeem Olajuwon is in this supercut. He seems like the most chill guy ever now, but there he is, just randomly punching opponents in the face. Wonder if you learn that during his tutoring sessions. Feels like you should, if you’re paying that much money.

(via SLAM)

The good thing about all these players taping their workouts with Hakeem — which all look the same, but whatever — is that eventually we’ll have enough video from his sessions that we’ll basically be getting $50,000 worth of free tutoring just from watching YouTube videos. Pretty sweet deal.

Pretty sweet Jeremy Lin zing at the end too.

If there’s one complaint you always hear about LeBron James, it’s that he’s an egotistical jerk who needs to not be such an arrogant punk.  If there’s a second complaint, it’s that he needs to develop a post game so that he doesn’t have to rely on his sometimes there, sometimes not jumper. You hear this all the time, even though LeBron is actually pretty good in the post.

But whatever, it still wouldn’t hurt to get better. No one has ever said, “You know, getting better is going to make me worse,” because that doesn’t make any sense and is completely contradictory. So with that in mind, LeBron is embarking upon a mission to get better and provide people something new for people to always talk about. From the AP:

He’s also trying to deliver on his vow to be even better whenever the Heat resume play, saying he’s been in Houston at times this offseason to learn post play from one of the game’s all-time greats, former Rockets star Hakeem Olajuwon.

“I look at what he was able to do throughout his career,” James said. “Unbelievable talent. Multiple champion. Just to see how he was able to dominate in the low post, for me as an individual, I just try to look at some of the things I feel I need to get better at and hit home at it. Our team becomes better if I continue to get better and that’s what it’s about.”

Those are all true things that LeBron said. Hakeem Olajuwon is an unbelievable talent who won multiple championships while dominating in the low post. And if LeBron gets better, the Heat get better. That really is what it is about. (That and the Hokey Pokey, which is what it is all about.)

And hey, if LeBron’s going to dedicate himself to spending a bunch of time with one of the best post players ever, that is very cool. He will probably get very good in the post since he is strong, jumps high and has incredible vision. It’s not ludicrous to imagine that LeBron James could be the best post player in the NBA, given the skill set he possesses.

But if LeBron spends a few hours with Hakeem, as Tas alludes to, this just becomes an annoying talking point. Just ask Stan Van Gundy. Dwight Howard spent a tiny bit of time with Hakeem last summer and that’s all you’d hear about during Magic games, even though it looked like Dwight was just mimicking the moves he’d been taught, rather than actually grasping the footwork, positioning and strategy he’d been taught. If this turns out to be a photo opportunity, forget it.

However, if it turns out that LeBron is serious about honing his post game, and he uses this extended summer to become a monster on the block, watch out. The NBA’s best player with a refined low post game is a scary thought.