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Dwight Howard says he’ll work with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Sep 3, 2012, 10:36 AM EDT

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Andrew Bynum Getty Images

It’s a famous little bit of Lakers lore, how after a few years of working with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Andrew Bynum said he had learned all he needed to from arguably the greatest center to ever play the game and moved on from that relationship.

Dwight Howard is willing to jump in. He tweeted this in a conversation with a Lakers fan when asked if Howard would work with Kareem:

@KobeSystem_Fans I am. When I’m released

Released clearly means when doctors okay him to return to the court and full NBA contact. Which might not be until after the NBA season starts.

Thing is, Howard’s footwork (and quickness with his feet) is better than Bynum’s. Howard has less of a need for that kind of fundamentals work with Kareem, but he’s smart to work Kareem and pick up some tips. (If you just said to yourself “all Howard can do is dunk” I suggest you go watch footage of him in the post from the last couple years, he has a much more diverse post game than that. Besides, dunks are the most efficient shot in basketball, if you can get them take them.)

Bynum’s footwork when he entered the league, when he worked with Kareem, was atrocious. He came to the NBA out of high school and it took years of work, with Kareem and others, to get his footwork to the good spot it is now. But Kareem wanted to drill Bynum on the fundamentals because that is what Bynum needed and the youngster didn’t enjoy it. So when he could he moved on.

Kobe Bryant had and still has the best post footwork of any post player on the Lakers, by the way. He should be teaching these guys.

  1. brutl - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Howards footwork sucks.
    Andrew actually has great footwork but was hardly used.

    • manchestermiracle - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      Bynum’s good footwork is courtesy of Abdul-Jabbar. When Bynum joined the Lakers he could hardly get down the court without tripping over himself. Howard’s footwork is much better than Bynum’s was, and Kareem can help Howard’s get better, too. As for Bynum being “hardly used” you apparently haven’t seen any Laker games the last few years.

    • mytthor - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Too bad there can’t be some sort of requirement on this board that people who comment actually watch an NBA game every now and again.

      • sellahh - Sep 3, 2012 at 5:21 PM

        Bynum’s good footwork is courtesy of Bynum, not Abdul-Jabbar. How can you possibly say sth so dumb is beyond me :)

    • jon623 - Sep 3, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Ignorant and uneducated. Wow. Go home.

  2. manchestermiracle - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Howard can accomplish a lot of work with Kareem prior to being “released.” Kareem can teach Dwight quite a bit about the mental approach to the game, positioning, etc. At least Kareem will have a willing student, instead of ‘Drew “I’m already awesome, I don’t need any more of your help” Bynum.

  3. vstyle23 - Sep 3, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    Stop talking about Dwight!!

  4. bushido49ers - Sep 3, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Two things:

    Howard has less of a need for that kind of fundamentals work with Kareem, but he’s smart to work Kareem and pick up some tips.

    – I disagree. And it’s comments like this from Mr. Helin that make me question what the hell he’s looking at. All players can improve their game with good fundamentals. Especially Dwight Howard.

    Kobe Bryant had and still has the best post footwork of any post player on the Lakers, by the way. He should be teaching these guys.

    – How do you know he’s not? You can do better, Mr. Helin. Much better.

  5. camnellum12 - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    Dwight has better footwork than Drew? Dwight has robotic, basic post moves, most of his game was out-jumping, out-muscling his opponent. His running hook is okay, but doesn’t release naturally. He can’t jumphook with his left or right. No drop steps. Nothing. Dwight is the better athlete between himself and Bynum, but his mechanics is poor, and I wondered why he couldn’t improve them from Patrick Ewing. This YouTube clip pretty much sums it up:

    • scalfor3 - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:11 PM

      howards footwork and touch around the basket aren’t terrible, but they are just ok. we (rightfully) expect more of someone with those kind of physical gifts. its nice that he puts up 20 and 10, but considering the lack of good centers in the league he should be putting up shaq-in-his-prime numbers

      • camnellum12 - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:46 PM

        Considering Dwight is similar to David Robinson/ Bill Russell (I’m not saying he’s a great as these legends), he’s a player that’s happy without the ball, he just skies for blocks and rebounds. Yeah, his footwork is solid, but he needs to learn how to counter and pump fake his defenders, because his “Superman” athleticism days will be coming to an end.

      • scalfor3 - Sep 3, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        exactly. its frustrating watching him be an all-star on talent alone, when a little more polish to his game would make him a HOF type player

      • badintent - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:10 AM

        having watched Bosh for years score 35-40 on Howard calls out Dwight to learn one on one Defense. blocking little guards shots doesn’t impress me a bit.He could also stand to learn some Kevin McHale footwork on the old double shake and bake move.Hakeem ripped that off from Kevin.IF Dwight can’t learn the sky hook and a decent jump shot from Kareem, Kareem should make him shoot FT for 2 hours straight !. Jabbar was a career 73 % FT .

    • manchestermiracle - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      camnellum: I’m sorry I wasn’t more specific. I thought “Howard’s footwork is much better than Bynum’s was…” was pretty obvious, but let me elucidate. Howard’s footwork UPON HIS ACQUISITION BY THE LAKERS is much better than Bynum’s was UPON HIS ACQUISITION BY THE LAKERS. Better? I think the part you missed was the subtle difference between the two words “is” and “was.” Bynum was a plodding stumblebum when he was drafted. Howard’s been in the league awhile now and has better footwork at the time he joined the Lakers team than Bynum did when he joined the Lakers team.

      With all that, it will be interesting to see if Adbul-Jabbar can make as big an improvement in Howard’s footwork as he did with Bynum’s.

      • camnellum12 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:39 PM

        So? If Dwight couldn’t learn anything from Patrick Ewing, don’t you think it’s a possibility he won’t grasp the IQ of Kareem?

  6. bowwserr - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    If he’s learnin the fundamentals, why not ask the guy they call MR. Fundamental? Dwight aint the next Timmy, but he could try to learn from him.

    • bougin89 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Why would Duncan help a current competitor?

  7. 00maltliquor - Sep 3, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Of course D12’s gonna say that, what else was he gonna say? No? Imagine the backlash that would come from it! Better start studying old tape on Kareem, while watching w/ Kareem right now if you can’t do anything right now dude.

  8. fanz928 - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Dwight need to just master the dream shake

  9. lakerluver - Sep 3, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Ohhh, this trade just keeps getting better and better! First D12 stated at his intro press conf that his focus is on defense and rebounds. Now he’s going to work the greatest center EVER!! Yeah, I said it, Kareem’s the best bball player ever if you take high school, college and pros into consideration.

  10. chargersallday17 - Sep 3, 2012 at 9:58 PM


    • 00maltliquor - Sep 4, 2012 at 2:55 AM

      It ALWAYS feels good to be a Laker fan! 24-7, 365. Believe that!

  11. omniusprime - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Howard is smart to want to learn more tricks from perhaps the greatest center of all time, Kareem. Kareem will teach Howard some new tricks, maybe Howard will be smart enough to learn the sky hook. Can’t wait to see the Most Fabulous Five take to the court to start their championship run. Go Lakers!

    • bougin89 - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      Weren’t you the Laker fan saying they should have kept Derek Fisher over Nash? Nash can’t play defense, blah blah. If I remember correctly you were also complaining about Howard having a bum back. I guess you are changing your tune.

  12. florida727 - Sep 4, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    “Dwight Howard says he’ll work with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar”

    He had a choice?

  13. lakerluver - Sep 4, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Uhhh, yeah, he had a choice!! I’m sure it’s not written anywhere in his contract that Dwight must work with Kareem.

  14. lakerluver - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    What makes you think Dwight didn’t learn anything from Ewing? Obviously, he learned something, he’s clearly better than he was a few years ago.

  15. fanz928 - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Dwight should just do 1 year deals of 30 mil per year cause after 2 years Kobe and Nash would retire and lakers will suck

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