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Stan Van Gundy says Hakeem not only reason Dwight Howard improved

Jan 6, 2011, 8:18 AM EDT

Boston Celtics v Orlando Magic, Game 2 Getty Images

Whenever Hakeem Olajuwon — the big man with the most polished game of his generation — works with a young player it is news. It’s a sign that players (including Kobe Bryant) are going to the mountaintop to seek the guru.

Dwight Howard did that this summer. Magic coach Stan Van Gundy wants you to know that’s not the only reason for Howard’s improved arsenal of shots this season, as reported at FanHouse.

“This isn’t a knock on anybody, but Hakeem has gotten more credit for two hours than anyone I’ve ever seen,” Van Gundy said with very little prompting. “I mean, they were in a gym for two hours, three hours, and all of a sudden every shot Dwight makes is because of Hakeem…”

“There is not anybody alive who’s turning somebody’s game around in three hours,” Van Gundy said. “Dwight has done a lot of work, and I’m sure Hakeem gave him some advice, but that’s just starting to annoy me.”

Van Gundy was really on a roll at his press conferences Wednesday and discussed Miami players calling themselves “The Heatles” as well.

“They (Heat) are pretty impressed with themselves,” Van Gundy said. “But we don’t need Miami to get people to our arena.”

I wonder what Van Gundy would say if Chris Bosh went to work out with Olajuwon.

  1. thestudiokida - Jan 6, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Miami is a terrible basketball city. Why in the world are there empty seats all throughout the first quarter? And when it’s a blowout they leave at the end of the 3rd? Stick around and watch your stars joke around on the bench! It should be a privilege.

    Too bad LeBron & Wade couldn’t have teamed up in Chicago or New York where people would have spasms of joy when Wade & LBJ got on a fast break.

    • bobbcronin - Jan 6, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      If it is a blow out, people would leave in Chicago and New York as well. People will leave in every arena.

    • jayzus - Jan 6, 2011 at 1:11 PM

      “Too bad LeBron & Wade couldn’t have teamed up in Chicago or New York where people would have spasms of joy when Wade & LBJ got on a fast break”

      They could have but they didn’t want to.

      • thestudiokida - Jan 6, 2011 at 3:58 PM

        To jayzus & bobbcronin;

        My point about Miami being a terrible basketball city goes further than just fans leaving early in a blowout. I saw the TV ratings for a locally televised Heat game and they were proud to announce a new record with a 6.8 rating. Then I saw that the average local TV rating for a Cavs game was 8.7. The point is that the Cavs in 2011 get more TV viewers locally than the Heat do with two superstar players. And Miami has a larger population even.

        My second point is that LeBron James plays up to the crowd. When he is in an electric environment (Cleveland, New York & L.A. this year) he plays like best basketball player in the world. Could you imagine what he’d do with a whole season in NYC? I know why he wound up in Miami and who knows, maybe he will turn them into a basketball city, but I hate that the scenarios weren’t such that he could have played in New York or Chicago.

  2. dolphinatic - Jan 6, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    Hey studiokida……. you couldn’t be more correct. Hate/Love to say it but….. this is a football town.

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