Hakeem Olajuwon’s tutelage of LeBron James in the low post last summer has been well-documented. And while Hakeem took enormous pleasure in LeBron finally breaking through and leading his team to an NBA title, Dream thinks LBJ and company are just getting started.
Olajuwon wouldn’t go as far as LeBron did when he promised something like 6 or 7 NBA championships upon his arrival in South Beach, but Hakeem is convinced that James and the Miami Heat can collect quite a few more gold trophies in the next few years.
From the Sun-Sentinel:
With the Heat set to open training camp Saturday, Olajuwon, who knows what it takes to repeat, has some bad news for the rest of the league. He believes LeBron will soon incorporate even more of the low-post game they polished. “That was just last year,” Olajuwon says. “That was his first year. Now I think he gets a little more comfortable. When he gets more comfortable, he will come more into his own in the post.” Nor does Olajuwon, while acknowledging the presence of several “legitimate” title contenders out west, see any reason LeBron can’t do what Kobe did and follow up his Hakeem Sessions with back-to-back titles. “I think it will be much easier for him,” Olajuwon says. “All the pressure of, ‘OK, can he do it?’ That’s gone now.”
“The goal is different,” Olajuwon says. “It’s not to prove a point to people. Now it’s just to take advantage of the opportunity: ‘Can we really achieve something great in the real sense? Can we get three out of five [championships]?’” Olajuwon’s eyes widen. He leans forward. The Dream is about to forecast an NBA nightmare. “That is a very realistic goal,” he says. “In fact, it’s scary.”
Bold, headline-grabbing claim aside, Hakeem talks at length about what he worked on with LeBron during their brief time together in the gym – everything from proper balance, spin moves, attack dribbles, and so on. It’s a fascinating read.
The Miami Heat will soon begin their title defense, and the weight of expectations will only grow heavier.