by Eldon Khorshidi | @eldonadam
Lakers center Dwight Howard has never been shy to reach out to former players, in an effort to gain some insight and work on his game. A few summers ago, Howard seeked out, and then trained with, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, to improve his footwork and expand his offensive repertoire.
And now, after only a few weeks in Hollywood, Howard will yet again get in the gym with a storied big man. This time, it’s Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. After Howard mentioned on Twitter that he’d like to work out with Abdul-Jabbar, things came together quickly. On Monday, merely a day later, Howard and Abdul-Jabbar met face to face, and began to forge what is expected to be a long-standing relationship.
More details, via ESPN.com:
“Just sat down with @kaj33,” Howard tweeted after the meeting. “Man God is so good. Was in tears. What a blessing. This is like a dream come true. Go Lakers.” Howard then tweeted a picture of the two of them together with the caption, “Me and @kaj33 together. For many years to come.” The “many years to come” will surely come as music to the ears of Lakers fans worried that Howard might leave after this season when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Howard said he has not talked about an extension with the Lakers and won’t do so until this season is over. After the meeting, Abdul-Jabbar tweeted the same picture of the two centers and wrote, “#Dwight Howard Great meeting you today – Laker Nation is in great hands for years to come. Now lets WIN a championship.” Abdul-Jabbar added, “#DwightHoward thankful to impart my knowledge to a highly-motivated, gifted, athlete with integrity and focus on the prize – a championship!” The meeting occurred thanks to a simple question asked of Howard by a fan on Twitter. Howard was asked if he was going to work out with Abdul-Jabbar. “I am,” Howard responded. “When I am released.” Howard was referring to getting clearance from his doctors to return to the court after undergoing back surgery in April. The six-time All-Star hopes to be back some time in October. Abdul-Jabbar responded to Howard’s tweet with a tweet of his own on Monday. “Lots of news about me and DH – would be great to coach him but as of now still haven’t met him,” Abdul-Jabbar worked with Andrew Bynum, who was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers last month in the four-team deal that brought Howard to Los Angeles, as a special assistant coach from 2005-09. The two fell out of favor in 2009, when Bynum reportedly told Phil Jackson and the Lakers’ coaching staff that he no longer wanted to work with the NBA’s all-time scoring leader.