The Houston Rockets announced on Monday that they are planning to bring back Hakeem Olajuwon for the first time since 2001 as a mentor for their interior players. We all know what that means — Olajuwom will be brought on board to work with Dwight Howard.
On paper, the move sounds like a no-brainer for the Rockets. Olajuwon is a two-time NBA Finals MVP and one of the greatest centers to ever play the game, so Howard should be able to soak up plenty by working with him throughout the summer.
“(Howard) has improved so much,” Olajuwon told Houston Chronicle, via FOX Sports Southwest. “I like with the Houston Rockets he will get a chance to show his true potential. That’s exciting. The last two years, he has not really been given that opportunity to really, really express his game, his comfort level and confidence. Here he has a team that is willing to do that. They want him to do that.”
Now, the question becomes how receptive Howard will be to the advice. When Dwight announced his decision to leave the Los Angeles Lakers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar expressed doubt that he will actually be open to allowing Olajuwon to help him improve his game. In fact, Abdul-Jabbar claims Howard reached out to him about working together in LA but never followed up with it.
Howard is one of those players that does not want to be compared to anyone else. He didn’t want to be the next Shaq in LA and he won’t want to be the next Hakeem in Houston. He wants to be Dwight Howard. What he has to realize is that he can be Dwight Howard while allowing Hall of Famers to help him get better. If he changes his attitude and is more open to tutoring, the possibilities for the Rockets will be endless.