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Dwight Howard works out with Hakeem Olajuwon (PHOTOS)

Aug 12, 2013, 10:13 PM EDT

When the Rockets announced the hiring of Hakeem Olajuwon shortly after securing the services of Dwight Howard in feee agency, the team said that the Hall of Fame big man would be coming on board to work with the centers on the roster.

We all know that Howard was the target of that particular front office decision.

As dominant as Howard is on the defensive end of the floor, he’s always had somewhat of a limited skill set on the offensive side of things. It hasn’t stopped him from being productive there, necessarily. But a solid foundation of proper footwork to go along with an arsenal of low post moves could turn Howard into the two-way player many have believed he’d one day become.

The process of making that a reality is underway in Houston, and Rockets.com reporter Jason Friedman posted a couple of photos of the teaching session.

Jason Friedman via Twitter

source:

  1. JMClarkent - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    How awesome must it be for a center to be mentored by McHale and the Dream?

    • zxrated - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      This is not the first time Howard has worked with Hakeem. Also keep in mind he had Ewing all those years in Orlando also. I just don’t think it will matter.

      I see hes’ still wear those Lakers shoes? *looking*

      • program33 - Aug 13, 2013 at 3:53 AM

        @zxrated – We think that it does matter. His numbers will improve as well as his attitude. He is in a different mindset, wants to prove a point and is surrounded by a tremendous amount of support. However not sure about those free throws. We shall see.

      • baldy911 - Aug 13, 2013 at 7:56 AM

        Lets get one thing straight! Ewing is not the Dream.

      • spursareold - Aug 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM

        Nope. Howard is what he is at this point, and in addition, the one thing you CANNOT coach is attitude. He’s a quitter and a baby, and he always will be.

  2. jonkchar - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    I have to say, that’s pretty cool

  3. brotherlove2012 - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    I don’t know if at this point in his career it’s not already too late for him to really improve his footworks and post moves. I guess that if he hasn’t been able to solve that after all those years, it’s not going to be solved this year. He can still improve a little but I doubt that he will beacome as effective in the post as his two mentors were during their respective careers.

  4. brotherlove2012 - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    *footwork

  5. jbuford9 - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Doesn’t matter he still to stiff to get any of those moves off! He can’t play with his back to the basket!

    • dirtydavis - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      Agreed.. This clown is one dimensional

  6. maddogg911 - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    DH12 is overrated. He is going to tank in Houston.the rockets are going to regret this move for yrs to come. Is going to be sweet to watch the lakers eliminate them in playoffs!

    • ddarqwon - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      Still can’t let it go huh?

    • pdub923 - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:14 PM

      IF(!!!!!) the Lakers even MAKE the Playoffs!!! Counting our ChickHerns a little early, aren’t we?

      • zelaya322 - Aug 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        ChickHearns!!!! That was great, and I’m a Laker fan. Kudos pdub923!

  7. jabronikid - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Making the most out of that max contract, good job by Rockets basketball program.

  8. tcclark - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    man, when did the “feee agency” period start?

    • pdub923 - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:16 PM

      It costs money to find out.

  9. thekingdave - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    If there was ever a time to go back to the ketchup and mustard jerseys, now is it. The current unis are only tolerable because they replaced those god awful pinstriped navy ones with the animated rocket which looked more like a shark. This needs to happen.

  10. lakankildap - Aug 12, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    If anything Dwight Howard might be in danger of information overload, with two of the best, if not the two best low post players giving him tips.

  11. kb2408 - Aug 12, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    Dwight is a phony. He will say anything or post pics on twitter to appease people. When he first got with the LAKERS who took pics with Kareem and claimed he would work with him on his game. At least now he “seems” to be making an effort. Maybe working with Hakeem will make him better but the only two players I can think of that really got better in the low post after working with Hakeem were LeBron and Kobe, two players with crazy work ethics anyway. Dwight was robotic when he came into the league and he’s robotic now. And to quote Kareem when he spoke about Dwight, “Potential has a shelf life”. I don’t see him getting much better offensively, if at all. He’s still a very good center, and probably the best in the game (especially defensively). But I don’t see him leading a team to a championship like he seems to think he’s capable of doing. His supporters mention the fact that he took Orlando to the Finals. However, rarely do they mention that the East was horrible that season. Boston was the best team but they had injuries. Dwight and the Magic got dismantled by my LAKERS that year and Pau made him look silly.

    • ddarqwon - Aug 13, 2013 at 3:32 AM

      Dude, you are embarrassing yourself.
      He’s gone. Accept it and move on.

      “Sour grapes….bitter whine”

    • powerfade2 - Aug 13, 2013 at 8:03 AM

      Good point. He couldn’t get it done in Orlando or in LA. Does he have the tenacity or work ethic or relentless drive? He’s got some stiff hands shooting around the basket. Can he develop soft hands and touch similar to Hakeem and McHale?

    • tda22 - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      This is a great comment, mirrors my opinion totally. I like it when fans speak with truth vs speaking w/affinity for their team which can be blinding to the truth and or reality. Kareem said it best, I don’t believe he can acquire a good low post, back to the basket game at this stage of his career.

  12. dylude - Aug 13, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Kb2408 sounds like a bitter Lakers fan trying REALLY hard to feel good about losing your girlfriend. It took that you many words?

    I would believe it a lot more if the billboard weren’t erected begging Dwight to stay in LA. #Stay?

    Hilarious.

  13. lakankildap - Aug 13, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    McHale muttering “he tried that move on me in ’86 and I blocked it”.

  14. cantonbound13 - Aug 13, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    So he’s worked with Ewing, Hakeem, McHale & Kareem? He better improve offensively.

  15. patfic15 - Aug 13, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    Yawn. Howard is too far in to change his limited offensive repertoire. I’m sure this is just a repair my broken image bid anyway

  16. sportsfan18 - Aug 13, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    Common guys… On the DH12 posts there is so much whining, bitching and emotions…

    Can’t people deal with reality?

    Yes, DH12 IS overrated. He is mentally weak. He doesn’t have that killer streak in him like Kobe or MJ.

    But even while he IS overrated, his is still the best center in the game. That is sad in a way too. Without trying and while being a mental midget, he still produces. We’ll never know what he could have done had he been wired like a Kobe or an MJ.

    Even so, in his 9 NBA seasons, he’s led the league in rebounding 5 of those years, including last year with the Lakers.

    He finished 14th in FG% last year in the league. And the thing is he DIDN’T have a good year last year and he still led the league in rebouding as well as finished 14th in the league in FG%.

    That is what I mean. While he is overrated, he still produces and all anyone wants to say is that he’s weak, he’s a mental midget and that is true. But what is the point of that? It’s production on the floor that matters like shooting and rebounding well.

    On other DH12 posts, I’ve seen others who say he’ll never win because you can’t win a title shooting free throws as poorly as he does. My response to that poster was that Shaq’s career free throw percentage is .527% and DH12′s is .577%. Also, Wilt Chamberlain’s career free throw percentage is .511%.

    All this and I’m NOT a DH12 fan or a fan of the Lakers or Rockets or even Orlando. I grew up outside of Chicago and I’m a Bulls fan.

    Maybe one day 25 yrs from now DH12 will realize that as well as he did, he didn’t nearly do all that he could have while he played the game. Sadly, without really trying, he is still so very good.

  17. metalhead65 - Aug 13, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    I see the laker trolls are out in force today. he chose to leave to leave the kobes’ get over it! personally I hope the lakers suck just enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough to make the lottery. the last thing I want to see is them magically get the top pick over a 10 win toronto or charlotte team.

  18. freudnumb - Aug 13, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    I’m not a Dwight Howard fan, but I like how the torch is finally being passed down. The game needs a dominant center who masters the art of post offense, and I hope Olajuwon and McHale can help Howard reach the expectation, just for the sake of basketball.

  19. adamgmzshinerbock100 - Aug 13, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Sorry but you can`t train someone to have a heart of a champion which Howard does not have. I don`t understand all the hype over this guy…..he not only doesn`t have the heart but he also lacks the mental strength to be a champion. Look how the Spurs were able to get in his head during the playoffs. He`s just another product Stern want`s to shovel down our throat.

    • patfic15 - Aug 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      Well said.

  20. exhelodrvr - Aug 13, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Relatively modest improvements in his skills, when combined with his athleticism, would make a significant difference. A combination of Hakeem and McHale would be tough to beat as far as knowledge of the post game; it remains to be seen if Howard has the work ethic to take advantage of that opportunity.

    • spursareold - Aug 13, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Doesn’t really matter what moves they teach him. You can’t change someone from an entitled pu**y into a warrior. DH will melt when the chips are down, and blame everyone around him.

  21. zelaya322 - Aug 13, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Dwight Howard will be fine as long as the Rockets his the ground running. But if they struggle at any point during the season, look for him to start pointing fingers and passing around the blame. He’ll say “we” a lot for pr reasons, but what he means is “them.” I think DH is a hard worker (he came back from back surgery) but he doesn’t deal with pressure well at all. I.E. asking for a third superstar in Houston already. He’ll look for Harden at the end of games to bail him out for shooting 4 or 15 from the free throw line. He could have easily been the next Bill Russell had he focused on defense and rebounding instead of thinking he was a dominant offensive player. Houston fans, you’re gonna love and hate this guy at the same time, mark my words.

  22. losanginsight - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Dwight should have worked with the Wizard of Oz to get a heart and to stop being so scared in the post.

  23. solis2330 - Aug 13, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    The dream is probably excited hes actually training a center thats playing for the rockets.

  24. rohlo - Aug 13, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    all the down thumbs from laker fans who cant get over it! u act liek howard was in los angeles for his whole career and left.. these are same lakers fans talking S%^t that were saying when they traded for him last year that they were gonna play the heat for the title!!! fact is howard played injured all last season and still led the league in rebounding. if u wanna blame anybody blame jim buss and d’antoni.. lakers fans never like jim buss going cheap hiring d’antoni and spurning phil jackson.. if phil was the coach howard would have stayed and the team would have been better off! if thye were hiring d’antoni thye should have just kept mike brown.. jeanie buss should be running the team,NOT jim buss!! d’antoni sucks and hus teams never play defense and rememebr pau was upset with d’antoni last season too!!!!!!

  25. antihypocritz - Aug 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    bwahahahaha spurned and bitter Lakers fans are so pathetic.

    Gonna be a lot of people eating crow over the next few years while the Purple and Gold are looking up in the standings and wishing they had a franchise center.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Exactly! They point out that he is weak and a mental midget and it is true.

      But while he is those things, he still also produces a lot. He’s a tremendous defensive presence, he’s led the league in rebounding in more than half of his NBA seasons and he shoots much better than people realize. He was 14th in the league in FG% last yr while struggling. His true shooting percentage (which includes his horrible free throws) for his career places him 17th ALL TIME in NBA history. So his FG% is good, his defense is good and his rebounding is good.

      Yes, he’s a mental midget. Luckily, teams are allowed to have up to 14 other players so they just need to get a few with a killer instinct who are able to lead them as Dwight can’t.

      But Dwight can give 18 points, 12 to 13 boards a game and change the other teams offense all while not trying and being a mental midget…

      Not a bad trade off.

      Now if the Rockets are expecting him to be their leader, that’s different. My bet is that this will be Harden’s team and DH12 will simply fill up the stat sheet, goof around and have fun… and produce.

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