Jul 15, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT
Hakeem Olajuwon was the center who took the Houston Rockets to two NBA championships.
They want to return there again, albeit with a center who is plenty athletic but not nearly as polished and The Dream was back in the day.
So the Rockets are about to hire Olajuwon to mentor Dwight Howard… and you too, Omer Asik. But mostly Howard. That according to the Houston Chronicle.
Olajuwon’s duties and title are being discussed, and he will spend much of the year at his home in Jordan. But he will work with Rockets interior players, as he does with big men around the NBA each offseason, as a team employee. “We are going to bring him in as full-time as is possible,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said Sunday. “It’s not done, but we have mutual interest to get it done, and we’ve had some early discussions. We want him to work with Dwight and Omer (Asik), and he wants to do that.”
Olajuwon has become the go to mentor around the NBA for players who want to improve their post games. That means not only pretty much ever center currently in the NBA but also players such as Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
While adding him to work with Howard should certainly help the post moves for Dwight, the fact remains that Kevin McHale and team need to get him more comfortable with running more pick-and-roll — mobility remains Howard’s best asset as a big, yet last season in Los Angeles he was resistant to more pick-and-roll with Mike D’Antoni. Look at it this way: In the last three seasons the best shooting percentage for Howard on post moves is 50.3 percent, but his lowest percentage as the roll man is 74 percent (stats via Synergy Sports). With James Harden and Jeremy Lin Houston could be the best pick-and-roll team in the NBA, if Howard will buy in.
And that is all about Howard, not Olajuwon.
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The seven-footer may be a top-five selection.
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