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Knicks hire Hakeem Olajuwon to work with big men

Sep 13, 2012, 9:36 PM EDT

Sacramento Kings v Houston Rockets Getty Images

This summer, Amare Stoudemire spent a couple weeks in Houston working out with Hall of Fame player turned big man guru Hakeem Olajuwon, improving his post game.

The Knicks figure if it’s good enough for Stoudemire, it’s good enough for all their big men — they have hired Olajuwon to come to New York and work with New York’s bigs at the Knicks facilities, reports Chris Broussard at ESPN. It makes sense as Knicks coach Mike Woodson has a previous relationship with The Dream.

That means working out with Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby and Stoudemire. But ultimately, it is developing chemistry between ‘Melo and Stoudemire (with Chandler on the court) that needs to happen. And Olajuwon has thoughts on how that can happen.

“They both have to realize that the most important thing is not how great you are individually,” Olajuwon said. “You’re remembered for how many games you win. So to get to play with another great offensive player should help you. It should make your job easier. You have to work well together. You can’t be competitors with one another….

“It shouldn’t be Amare just staying in the post because he can be a scorer in the paint and outside,” Olajuwon said. “It’s the same thing for Carmelo. He can score in the post and outside. So if Carmelo is in the post, Amare can be at the foul line and he can make that shot. If Amare’s in the post, Carmelo can make the shot from the free-throw line, too. They shouldn’t be competing against each other; they should be complementing each other. They need each other to win.”

That sounds great on paper, except Anthony likes the ball on the wing and to face up, and Stoudemire excels as a pick-and-roll big (as does Chandler, for that matter).

Thing is, they can do what Olajuwon described and other variations of it, but they mentally have to make the sacrifices and be willing to give up points and touches for the team. Like Carmelo did for Team USA.

We’ll see. I’m not sold. But bringing in Olajuwon to work with the team is a smart step.

  1. knightrider1755 - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    A great big slap in the face of Patrick Ewing.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:16 PM

      Pat screwed himself by not taking the D League job. He scoffed at anything other than a Head Coaching position with the Knicks. Get your facts straight. And I love Pat to death.

      • khadeemw - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:41 PM

        It is a slap in the face though. Patrick Ewing has been disrespected throughout the league. How can Jacque Vaughn and Mark Jackson get positions before Ewing. Ewing has been an assistant for almost a decade. He deserves a coaching opportunity as a head coach in the NBA.

      • knightrider1755 - Sep 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM

        Mr.Wrong. Where are your facts that indicate that Ewing “scoffed at anything other than a head coaching position with the Knicks”? I don’t recall reading anywhere that he was offered ANY other position with the Knicks. Perhaps you can enlighten us with where you got your information. What other position was he offered? If you don’t know of any, perhaps you should stop blowing smoke on a blog site and only comment when you have your facts straight.

      • gmen4life33 - Sep 14, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        Im tired of Mr. Wright posting stuff that is 100% wrong about the Knicks all the time. Knicks have several times disrespected Ewing for no reason at all (except for him wanting more $ towards end of career).

        Dolan wouldnt give him an INTERVIEW for the head coaching job 2 different times. It is normal policy to give you ex-star players interviews for coaching positions so they can put it on their resume an get there name floating around. You dont have to hire, but you give interviews. And Ewing was SMART for not taking D League job, that is a step down from assitant. D League coach of the years cant even get head coaching job interviews.

        Mr. Wright just talks out of his @ss.

    • rooney24 - Sep 14, 2012 at 9:58 AM

      When has Patrick proven that he can coach/teach?

      Hakeem has players seeking him out every off-season to work with him. He had an arsenal of moves when he played. He understands the game differently than others, and is obviously able to share that knowledge. Not everyone that is good at something is necessarily able to teach those skills to others.

      Also, I don’t recall Ewing having any great moves that anyone would want to learn. Besides, along with the previous post, if he didn’t have interest in being the D League coach, why would they think he would want to come in an work on post moves?

      • knightrider1755 - Sep 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM

        Perhaps your beginning question should be directed to Dwight Howard.

  2. money2long - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    it’s funny cuz just recently i read a comment here how the knicks havent made any smart signings, then they go out and hire the man that stars in the league have sought out in recent off seasons. some would argue this was NOT an isaiah thomas suggestion.

  3. money2long - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    what’s funny is that amare could have saved his money had he known his bosses were just gonna hire the man he paid with his own money a month later. culda have the dream’s services for free ! but in actuality, i like that he put in the work early anyway.

  4. hartdaddy - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    When are people gonna realize that the Knicks are DEAD ASS serious about all the things they’ve been saying, They wanna win NOW…watch out for them.

    • Kurt Helin - Sep 14, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      Wanting to win and having the talent to win are different things.

      • dondada10 - Sep 14, 2012 at 4:22 PM

        Go back to blowing the Lakers, Helin.

  5. nycalldayz - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    The Knicks are pathetic, seriously. This has to be one of the most delusional Knicks era ever. The problem isn’t skill development, but more of a chemistry issue between Melo and Stat. I don’t know if Olajuwon can teach anything to Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby and Stoudemire, because they’re late in their prime or past it.

    Whether Knicks fans want to admit it, but this current Knicks roster as constructed is designed to contend with the likes of the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, OKC, Spurs or even the Clippers. I do think the Knicks will make the post-season and probably past the first round, but that’s likely it.

    • money2long - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:19 AM

      either u meant to say this knicks roster is NOT designed to compete etc , or u know some knicks fans who won’t admit their team can compete. which would be strange. im pretty sure u made a typo, and im not a stickler for typos, your message just sorta changes with that little mistaken detail.

      • nycalldayz - Sep 14, 2012 at 12:49 AM

        I’m saying the Knicks are a dysfunctional core.

  6. jagwar73 - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    Because Patrick Ewing wouldn’t have been a good fit…. Right?

  7. fnc111 - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Wasn’t this bum connected to sending money to guys with terrorism ties?

  8. cantonbound13 - Sep 14, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Finally a smart move by the Knicks. Maybe Isiah is out if the picture.

  9. dysraw1 - Sep 14, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    yes The Dream is in town. marvelous, we are not contenders on paper, but with Woody making defense the mantra. an considering the cultural change i expect J Kidd to bring. its gonna be interesting to see what we become

  10. jagwar73 - Sep 14, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Hey rooney24, when has Mike Woodson proved that he can coach or teach? Yet he is the HC? Ewing would have been a logical, perhaps unifying choice. Of course the Knicks like to go outside of the box. I like the Hakeem hire, just though Ewing would have made more sense.

  11. thebigtebowski - Sep 15, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Rooney you’re right. Patrick Ewing had very little offensive skills on his way to averaging over 20 points per game for the first 13 seasons of his career on above 50% shooting from the floor. Who would ever want to learn his indefensible base line fadeaway or multitude of moves he utilized in the paint? He truly has nothing to offer in terms of knowledge to the current big men of today’s NBA. It’s honestly amazing that Dwight Howard’s offensive game has improved so much over the years being stuck working with Patrick Ewing on a daily basis. Who would ever want to employ, as voted, one of the 50 greatest NBA players of all time?

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