Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hakeem Olajuwon to Visit Knicks

Hakeem Olajuwon to Visit Knicks

It looks like Amar’e Stoudemire had such a positive experience this summer in Texas with Hakeem Olajuwon, he has convinced his teammates to also take part.

Stoudemire worked with Olajuwon for two-and-a-half weeks earlier this summer at Olajuwon’s house in Houston, Texas.  Stoudemire came away with much more confidence in his post game, something that will go along way not only for him but the Knicks as well.

Olajuwon, one of the greatest players in NBA history and inventor of the “Dream Shake: post move, will be flying up to the Knicks training facility in Greenburgh, New York to work with some of the players.  He expects Stoudemire to again take part, in addition to Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Marcus Camby. 

Mike Woodson and Olajuwon played for three seasons together in Houston, and it is Woodson who set up the training sessions between “The Dream” and his Knicks.

Olajuwon also offered his opinion on the combination of Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, as he excelled playing along side super star teammates in Clyde Drexler and Ralph Sampson.

“They both have to realize that the most important thing is not how great you are individually.  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.”

Many people believe that Anthony and Stoudemire are a pair match together and will never get it done, but Olajuwon is not part of that group; he believes that there is no reason Anthony and Stoudemire can not have the same success he shared with Drexler and Sampson.

Stoudemire has learned post moves now from one of the greatest, but Olajuwon does not believe the Knicks offense should just be Stoudemire posting up with Anthony roaming around the perimeter.

“It shouldn’t be Amar’e just staying in the post because he can be a scorer in the paint and outside.  It’s the same thing for Carmelo.  He can score in the post and outside.  So if Carmelo is in the post, Amar’e can be at the foul line and he can make that shot.  If Amar’e’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.”

The Knicks have a dominant one-two punch in Anthony and Stoudemire, but Olajuwon thinks there is another potentially great offensive player on the roster in Chandler

“You can see that he has great timing by the way he rebounds, blocks shots and catches lobs.  He’s got great timing and reflexes.  I haven’t seen him use any moves of his own, though.  But there’s no way a guy with that kind of talent and timing should not have effective moves.  So I want to teach him some moves to all the talent and energy he’s got, it will open up a whole new door for him.  That’s what he should be looking to add to go to the next level.”

 That is high praise for Chandler from someone who knows a thing or two around the basketball court as a big man.  Chandler is excited about working with Olajuwon, as he was scheduled to go to Texas to Olajuwon’s ranch earlier in the summer, but was unable to attend because of the Olympics. 

This is a great opportunity for the Knicks players who are taking part, as Olajuwon has started to build quite the resume for his training sessions.  In addition to Stoudemire this summer, Olajuwon has worked with Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Dwight Howard.  All the players said working with Olajuwon was worth it, so hopefully the Knicks players taking part can learn a thing or two and use it to their advantage this season.

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