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Hakeem Olajuwon says Blake Griffin could benefit from his teachings

Sep 7, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

Blake Griffin, Chris Paul AP

Hakeem Olajuwon was one of the game’s best big men, and he’s been trying to impart some of his wisdom to a whole host of players over the last few offseasons.

Guys ranging from Amar’e Stoudemire to Kobe Bryant to JaVale McGee have all worked with Olajuwon, and Dwight Howard is the latest project undertaken by the Hall of Fame center who was the Finals MVP twice during back-to-back championship seasons with the Rockets during the 90s.

With so many players having come to him for advice, Olajuwon was asked if there’s a particular player he’d like to work with. While he mentioned Kevin Durant, it was Blake Griffin whom Olajuwon seemed to think could benefit the most from his teachings.

From George Kiel III of Nice Kicks:

“I don’t know that I would like to, but a player that needs [my help] is Blake Griffin. If you look at Blake, he’s very explosive, but he needs the moves that can get him in that position where he can finish. […] So he would be an ideal guy to where, when I watch him play and I see how explosive he is, I’d give him all of these moves to take him to a whole different level.”

Griffin’s game has improved since he came into the NBA, but he often relies on his physicality more than anything else when trying to score from the low block inside. He has shown an ability to have a nice shooting touch, and you could see how using Olajuwon’s help in getting the footwork down on that Dream Shake would be devastating for his defenders to deal with.

[h/t: Lakers Nation]

  1. spthegr8 - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Blake could def use some help with his post moves. Until he can consistently score with his back to the basket. Their half court offense will consist of, Cp3 dribbling around having to create for everybody else. As great as he is, thats too much for him or anybody to do every possession. As a Laker fan, I hope he doesn’t get better on the block. Cuz if he does, the clippers will probably take the next step.

  2. losanginsight - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    In this same interview the Dream said that Kobe is a genius in the post. In a previous interview he said that 10 year veteran D12 is still raw.

    • imakcds - Sep 7, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      and??? your point???
      are you questioning the validity of Hakeem’s opinion???

    • lowpostfootwork - Sep 7, 2013 at 8:36 PM

      I doubt D12 wants to get better. This isn’t the first time he’s worked with Hakeem, or a HOF. Patrick Ewing and Kareem worked with him. He doesn’t use what they teach him consistently.

      What ever happened to his jump shot off the glass? ( 09-10 after losing to the Lakers in the finals). He started the season with a bank-jumper and a hook shot.. Its completely disappeared, along with other fundamentals

      • spursareold - Sep 9, 2013 at 5:53 PM

        It probably didn’t get him on SportsCenter enough…

  3. adamsjohn714 - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    I’m not saying he’s wrong, but Hakeem really likes selling his wares and being this post presence deity.

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:45 PM

      Perhaps that’s because he’s a champion and the guys he tutors are not (yet).

    • louhudson23 - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      Smok’em if you gottem….he earned it and he’s right and it is literally his business….someone asked a question of a HoF player and he answered it……one of the more limited players in the league who possesses tremendous physical ability but who has done very little to exploit it past catching lobs….how can he be wrong….if he came away with one post move,he would have improved immensely…..

  4. thomaskouns - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    The only way Hakeem can help Dwight is if he can give him one of his ‘balls.’

    Dwight has gotten by on his ‘extraordinary’ talent (and possibly some chemical enhancers) but as scouting reports will tell you he could be much much much better if he really worked on his game that is largely predicated on athleticism.

    • sportsfan18 - Sep 7, 2013 at 6:44 PM


      First, let me say that I agree with you about what you said about Dwight. Dwight hasn’t worked on his game much.

      Hakeem was a much better player. Oh, I’m NOT a Dwight fan either. I’m older, round to 50 yrs old, watched Hakeem while he was in college and all through the pro’s. I favor the older players overall.

      But, with that being said, Hakeem teaches big men post moves, it’s his business etc… The Dream’s fadeaway jump shot, the shake, his post moves etc…

      But, what most people DON’T know or realize is that Hakeem’s BEST season shooting the ball, his highest field goal percentage was his rookie season.

      For all the work Hakeem did on his game, his post moves, his shots and shot selection in his career, he NEVER improved from or upon his rookie field goal percentage.

      And in 4 of his last 5 seasons in the league, when he had all this knowledge of better post moves etc…, he shot BELOW 50% from the field in those seasons…

      Hakeem’s career FG% is .512%. His best season was his rookie season and it was only .538% that yr. His next best season was his 9th in the league when he was 29 yrs old and it was only .529%

      Dwight’s career FG% is .577% and he hasn’t been below .572% since his first two seasons in the league. Dwight has led the league in FG% once, been above 60% twice and finished one other season at .599%.

      I guess what I’m saying is that Hakeem was a better basketball player, shooter, better moves etc… but Dwight while even being so raw and not very talented still produces at such a high level due to his incredible athleticism.

      Dwight, and again I’m NO Dwight fan, shot OK from the field his first two seasons in the league but then he just took off and greatly improved his field goal percentage from year 3 on in the NBA.

      Dwight is actually currently in 17th place all time on the all time list of true shooting percentage leaders in the NBA and true shooting includes his woeful free throw shooting of course…

      Hakeem is currently in 146th place on the all time true shooting percentage list and that includes his over 71% free throw shooting which means if you were to take his free throws out of this as well as Dwight’s with are terrible, then Dwight shot even much better from the field than Hakeem did.

      • jn2258 - Sep 9, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        All valid facts, however Hakeem played in a different era. After HAkeems first season he shared the post with a guy named Ralph Sampson, as I can recall ralph played closer to the rim and was not a prolific passer so it would only hurt HO’s production.

        The more important thing about the eras is the players and style of the 80’sand early 90’s Ewing, Jabbar, Lambeer, JB Carroll, Parrish, Ewing, O’Neal, Robinson, Daugherty, Mourning. Name 3 guys dwight plays against that are 3/4 as good as those guys. Add to that the physical post play and Dwights Numbers would be ugly against those guys.

        DH12 is a unique guy in this era, but he would do well to be on this list in that era. In this era he needs some sort of offensive move. What is his signature move ? When I think of him on the court I think of his face after he gets called for running a guy over, that is his signature move running guys over.

      • paulmercury - Sep 12, 2013 at 10:40 PM

        if dwight played on that era….he will be a 2nd string center…while benoit benjamin will lord it over in todays game.

  5. ddarqwon - Sep 7, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Scary thought, Durant with a post game.

    Scarier thought, Blake Griffin with any part of Olajuwon’s arsenal.

  6. imakcds - Sep 7, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    blake needs to stop wussing out, Hakeem can’t teach that.

  7. BigBeachBall - Sep 8, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    blake should abondoned that post up move… it isn’t going to dominate any important teams anytime soon…. spot-up jumpers and dunk

  8. darkgambit - Sep 9, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Did they mention Javalee? WOW!

  9. skinsfanwill - Sep 9, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    Another player that needs to see Hakeem is DeAndre Jordan. Any moves would help his game. He needs Hakeem more than Blake. But he is wasting his summer taking photos in airports. That bum better get a clue. His time on the basketball court is limited, just like his game.

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