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Video: JaVale McGee working on the Dream Shake with the master

Aug 18, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

Just once I ‘d like to find someone who doesn’t look great working out with Hakeem Olajuwon. OK, I probably wouldn’t look great working out with Hakeem Olajuwon. But stick any NBA big man with arguably the best overall center of all time for a few hours in his gym and you’re going to walk away looking pretty sharp.

That said…

Man, does JaVale McGee‘s game look good here. 

The fluidity of motion that Olajuwon talked about this week when McGee visited his training facility is apparent, but more notable is the way he’s working on establishing position with his back, and, ahem, hind quarters. Masai Ujiri said on Denver radio this week that Olajuwon stressed to McGee keeping his hand high on the release on his hook shot. There’s a pattern here.

When Dwight Howard went to work with Hakeem, all he brought back was a face-up jumper. If McGee manages to legitimately implement the basics of post work, not The Shake, not the dizzying array, just the basics, it will help him tremendously on the offensive end.

But the big key for him still needs to be to absorb what he can from Olajuwon’s defensive principles. That needs to be the focus, and yet it’s not known how much of Olajuwon’s skills can translate given the modern NBA’s reliance on rotation and help defense.

But still, he looks pretty good, right?

  1. mnsportsfan - Aug 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Denver could take a real jump on the defensive end if McGee steps up defensively and with the addition of Iggy.

    • passerby23 - Aug 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      Denver could take a real jump on the offensive end if McGee can become something of an offensive post threat.

  2. magicbucs - Aug 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Good to see this kid wanting to work on his game.

  3. dls612 - Aug 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    Javale learn much as you can from this guy!!!!! You young dudes who never had the pleasure of seeing the dream play, check him out on YouTube and you’ll know why he was one of the top five in my opinion great centers to play game! That shake move was the truth!

  4. rocketsbb - Aug 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    The dream’s still got game and can probably beat some of these guys 1 on 1 even at his age.

  5. dcdebacle - Aug 18, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Dream was drafted 2 spots ahead of Michael Jordan, and nobody has any problem with that. That should be enough for anyone who didn’t see him play know how amazing he was. He was incredible.

  6. ebrownwareagle - Aug 18, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    I Love It when these younger guys pay homage to the former great in and effort to improve there game and Max out their talents!

  7. lakerluver - Aug 18, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    The two years Houston won back to back titles Hakeem was impossible to guard.

  8. chargersallday17 - Aug 18, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    Who cares !!! They still wont beat the lakers & okc !!!

    • kjereld615 - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:02 PM

      Really? Everyone here is talking about how great Hakeem was/is and how great it is that players are seeking him for his tutelage and you have to be that guy to say “Who cares !!! They still wont beat the lakers & okc !!!” I shake my head to you chargersallday17.

    • skinsfanwill - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:29 PM

      Gotta be an OKC fan (Art) with false hopes of them winning anything. Tell Kevin Durant to play some defense first. He is terrible on defense.

  9. fm31970 - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    George Karl has got to LOVE seeing this.

    And WOW at the 1:03 mark, too. “Throw it down, big man!”

  10. dal24la - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    “When Dwight Howard went to work with Hakeem, all he brought back was a face-up jumper.”
    In that case Lakers need to convince Dwight to cough up the dough to get mentored by Kareem. If Howard wants to only learn one move per tutor, can’t go wrong with the sky hook.

  11. hoops45 - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Apparently Matt Moore wasn’t watching NBA last year because Howard learned a little more than face up jumpers from Dream. Howard was shooting the jump hook, a mini-Dream shake, and an up and under. The biggest noticeable advancement was setting up his defenders with one move then keeping them off balance with a second and third move. What Howard didn’t do was continue it throughout the game, instead he fell back to old habits as the game progressed, which was to shoot face up jumpers. If anything, Howard should have come back to Dreams camp this year to continue developing his game.

  12. cordae - Aug 19, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    I’m only 21 so Ididnt grow up watching The Dream as much as I could if I were older, but I do remember watching some video on what he did to The Admiral. I’ve never felt so bad for a player being dominated before. He had absolutely no answer for the array of moves Hakeem threw at him and he looked so lost. He even said that much in his post game interview lol But I bring that up because that made me realize why he’s pretty much everybodies go-to option (not just centers) in the summer.

    Denver can be REAL scary if everything falls in place. I’m talking OKC and LAL scary if they add a little depth. Ty Lawson is a proven point guard to me after watching last years playoffs. If JaVale becomes what he is supposed to, I think its very possible for him to become the second best center in the league over Tyson (defensive force) and Bynum (offinsive force) because he has the ability to dominate both ends of the floor. And now they have perimeter defense with Iggy. West coast….DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS TEAM…

  13. borderline1988 - Aug 19, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    The cool thing about Hakeem was that he wasn’t huge…he weighed around 250, which for a 7-footer isn’t much (basically the same as McGee weighs).

    But yet, he dominated around the rim. He used smarts, fakes, footwork and excellent post fundamentals to make other players look foolish around the rim. Nothing that McGee or other big men can’t practice and do.

  14. texxxasmade - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    For you youngsters that didn’t get a chance to see Hakeem play, watch Luis Scola and you will see a glimpse of the footwork. You won’t see the dunks or defense but similar footwork. For defense and rebounding, he’s similar to DH12…wow imagine all those combined and you get the great hakeem “the Dream” Olajuwon

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