Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 at 2:00 pm  |  53 responses

Hakeem Olajuwon Wishes Dwight Howard Was Doing a Better Job

by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

All told, Dwight Howard’s numbers this season are pretty good (17.2 points, 13.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 53.6% shooting from the field, 52.9% from the free-throw line.)

The great Hakeem Olajuwon, Howard’s famed mentor and occasional critic, wants Dwight to improve, and vows to help the big fella reach his potential.

The Dream has been keeping close tabs on the Houston Rockets’ superstar center, and thinks Howard is reverting back to some of his poor, old habits.

Per NBA.com:

“The truth is that I can’t wait to get back to Houston to do more work with Dwight,” said Olajuwon, who left Houston in early October to return to his home in Amman, Jordan and has been keeping track of his pupil on TV. “I wish he was doing a better job. Dwight has always been athletic and aggressive and he still is. But when I watch him, what I see are opportunities that he is missing. When he gets the ball, he seems to be taking his time to decide what move to make, where he should go.”

“There should not be a delay for Dwight. He must be able to make a faster recognition of the situations and react immediately with a go-to move. You must move right away before the defense has a chance to set up. You must be the one making the first move so that you can force the defender to always be the one reacting. I thought we were doing a good job with this when we were working together over the summer and at the start of training camp. But what I see now is that when Dwight gets in competition, he has a tendency to go back to all of his old habits. He’s just doing all of the things that he did before. He needs a reminder.”

The Dwight Howard we see today pales in comparison to the utterly destructive force that won the Defensive Player of the Year award from 2009-2011, and was a much better offensive option that most critics are willing to admit. His former coach Stan Van Gundy isn’t so sure that he’ll ever regain his old form. Per Grantland:

“He’s gotten a little older, and the back injury is there,” Van Gundy says. “That will take away some of his quickness and mobility.”

One has to wonder if Hakeem Olajuwon isn’t wishing for a player that simply doesn’t exist anymore.

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  • Jeremy de Sa

    He is missing the mindset and work ethic shared by many of the greats, yet he wants the praise and adulation. Not a good combo. Not sure what hakeem deems his potential to be though

  • spit hot fiyah

    zach lowe tackled dwight recent decline very well the other day. physically he is just not there, anyone can see that. although he looks better than last year. but his post game is terrible right now, and it actually used to be pretty good, contrary to what a lot of people think

  • pposse

    Hakeem is basically asking the Rockets for a raise

  • LakeShow

    Let’s just start with who isn’t disappointed with Dwight.


    His IQ isn’t high enough to recognize the defence’s composition quickly enough before it adjusts to his presence. He is mentally incapable of rapid decision-making.

    If Andrea Bargnani can cover you effectively, individually, you need more help than even The Dream can provide.

  • pposse

    advanced statisticians probably aren’t

  • pposse

    Bargs is like the Gary Payton of Centers give DH a break

  • http://signup.divinerenergy.com/ Anthony Dixon

    lol yup

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    In a pinch only Elmo comes to mind!

  • Kap

    As a Lakers fan, I am pretty happy he jumped ship. I watched just about all of the Rockets games this year and its so disappointing to see a guy just waste talent. I don’t know what his issues are but the guy has the skill level on offense of someone who should not be playing professionally. Once his athleticism escapes him completely he is out of the league. Just imagine if LA tied $117 million dollars over five years for this guy who is deteriorating before our very eyes.

  • Kap

    I remember the Lakers attempting to run the offense through him and see him either make a turnover or look awful making a post move. I was like “wow, I can’t believe I jizzed on myself over the trade that brought him here.” Orlando had to know they had damaged goods. It’s just amazing no one else knew and that people were lining up to sign him this summer.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    Mattel should make a Big Dwight doll. Marketed based on it’s life-like movement and mobility.

  • robb

    Be careful Dream, he doesn’t like it when somebody criticises him, just ask Kap

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    nah, they are. everyone is.

  • Sizzle

    There is something that just irks me about Dwight Howard. I don’t know if it was because of the whole Orlando Fiasco or just his lackadaisical manner in which he plays. He just looks uncomfortable on the court when he lumbers through the lane and he has no counters to his moves. I used to watch him and think this dude could be off the charts, now I watch him and think this dude could HAVE BEEN unreal. Maybe if the dude didn’t joke around so much then I would be more forgiving on him. It seems he has the LeBron James syndrome pre-decision.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    exactly, dwight used to be actually OK in his post game….That game against NY last week pretty much proved that something is still physically wrong with him…..Bagarni (sp) was containing him easily.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    dwight has always had a problem with TOs passing from the post/low IQ offensive mistakes….but he would have destroyed Andrea Bargnani 2 years ago…i think his back is still twisted…… Dwight was demanding double teams in Orlando.

  • robb

    His post game was good because he was 100% physically, it’s impossible for a guy to get worse when he has actual skills and solid fundamentals. Look at Timmy D.


    What we are seeing with Dwight Howard is a story that we have seen many times before. In basketball it is CRITICAL to have complete mastery of your fundamentals. The greatest players in NBA history were the ones who had zero problems with their fundamentals. Because when you lose your athleticism inevitably at some point whether due to injury or to age, your fundamentals can still help you. Look at Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. Both old players but they still hold their own with the very best in this league and guys who are 6-7 years younger than they are. Why? because they listened in the gym when their college coach was teaching them the basic moves of basketball. Lebron James has learnt this as well, this is why he has improved his post game and is working harder every day on improving the basic parts of his game. The root of Howard’s problem is not a mystery. He just needs to go back and work on his basics to T and his game will improve drastically.

  • Saleem Rainman

    he’s just a BAD post player! period! I’m getting tired of this idea that having little one day sessions with a guy as offensively limited as Dwight is gonna help, it hasnt yet! Especially now that he isnt phyically what he was when he was 24…Add to the fact that he’s not the brightest guy in the world and doesnt wanna play the pick and roll (where he is by far the most effective) and u’ve got the recipe for just another Derrick Coleman, as people here like to say, in the sense that he will never reach his potential.

  • robb

    Everything about Dwight irks me.

  • Cortez Mack

    This will probably make some of your heads explode but the truth is this…

    Olajuwon knows NOTHING more about the post game than a dozen other staffers on the Rockets payroll, including the HEAD COACH (who may be his equal). Olajuwon “gift” was having the knowledge and the physical traits to execute (reaction time, agility, strength, balance, etc)

    Unless, Ojauwon can both, increase Dwight’s interest in actually learning AND transfer this improved basketball mind into Olujawon’s body (via 1990 or so), all of this “tutelage” is for show.

    LeBron James post game DID NOT get better in terms of having, and executing, a wide array of moves. He simply started making one hard move from the post when single coverage was there or he passed when doubled. THAT IS IT! He did not need Olajuwon for that.

  • The Philosopher

    Well, there it is.
    Howard has peaked, and it is what it is with him.
    He’d better start making his foul shots.
    Or, it won’t be long.

  • The Philosopher

    Kap seems to be kind of an ass, though.
    It seems like nobody likes Kap.

  • Max

    He’s beneath his peak (2-3 years ago when we tought he’d only get better) right now.

  • davidR

    kobe went to college?

  • Max

    lol, man you just said Kobe went to college..

  • davidR

    not that dwight has completely deteriorated because he still averages good numbers. but has there been a faster turn around from being considered a superstar talent to being labeled garbage? not just from being loved to being hated. i’m talking, everyone is questioning the talent (aside from injury plagued players like broy, penny, etc)

  • bike

    The best thing anyone could do for Dwight is improve his free throw shooting. If he can make at least 3 more a game he’s a 20/13 guy and that’s as good as it’s gonna get for this guy.
    Everyone talks about Dwight’s potential because of his freak athletics but he’s maxed out mentally. The jar is full.

  • Laker fan


  • robb

    Some would say he’s an ass, others would say he’s just being honest.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4s8nENhI3o 1982

    it’s funny because that’s his name

  • SirGrey

    So you think Orlando wanted him to leave ? Nonsense lol, although it does look like a good move now and maybe more next year.

  • http://triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    I dont get what you mean…. ?

  • uqk

    sarcasm…..*flies away*

  • Evan Boland

    I believe he’s off the roids

  • solito

    Simply put: if your coach is one of the great low-post scorer in the history of the game, and you can’t even consistently post up on the low block, and be open for an entry pass, you are beyond help.

    Don’t forget that McHale was the GM who drafted KG in Minnesota back in 1995, and developed KG’s game with him. The difference: KG was a gym rat and knew he had a long ways to go.

  • havoc33

    Sheesh Slam, some of these advertisements you have here are way over the top. I understand you guys gotta get paid, but having banners and animations cover half the screen is more than annoying.


    Thanks for nitpicking and missing the point. Of course I know Kobe didn’t go to college I just used the college coach analogy as a generalization. Do I need to write college/high school for you to understand the damn point?


    Plus College doesn’t EXCLUSIVELY mean University. College can also mean secondary/high school.


    I said Kobe went to college? Please point out where I have said that.

  • Max

    Look at Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan. Both old players but they still hold their own with the very best in this league and guys who are 6-7 years younger than they are. Why? because they listened in the gym when their college coach was teaching them the basic moves of basketball.
    —> because the listened in the gym when their college coach…

  • Drig

    This might be a bit too early but………..young Buss’s roll of the dice seems to have saved Lakers’ immediate future.


    see explanation to the other idiot above.

  • shockexchange

    Rent-A-Center’s offensive moves are pedestrian at best and Amare has perfected the “one-man zone.” Rent-A-Center and Amare both skipped college. Anybody see the correlation? As the theme from “Jeopardy” plays ad infintium …

  • Max

    I did not know that.

  • Mike Gilbert

    Bargnani is actually a pretty damn good individual post defender.

  • LOL, man.

    LOL, man.

  • What

    anal·o·gy noun ə-ˈna-lə-jē

    : a comparison of two things based on their being alike in some way

    : the act of comparing two things that are alike in some way

    You did not make an analogy, you made a statement of fact. You said listening to coaches = learning fundamentals.

    You ignore that fact that the people you mentioned are all-time greats. Kobe, Duncan, and LeBron are all sound fundamentally, but they are also incredibly naturally gifted. That is why two of them came to the NBA straight from high school. They certainly had good coaches growing up, but they also have talent and dedication that goes beyond coaching. Dwight’s game could definitely use some polishing, but one doesn’t reach the NBA, or even high level college ball for that matter, without knowing “the basic moves of basketball”.

    But you are probably right. I mean, if you are such a guru why don’t you go coach Dwight and fix all of his problems? I’m sure you could teach him a lot about fundamentals.

  • brothasdontsurf

    Dwight could give af, meanwhile Gortat spends his nights working on his dream shake at 24 hr fitness smh

  • davidR

    apparently college can also mean high school

    “Plus College doesn’t EXCLUSIVELY mean University. College can also mean secondary/high school.”

  • Max

    Now I’m confused.
    So can it also mean high school or not?

  • Macauley

    Hi Dwight Howard can not do anything at the line he’s good in the post but that’s it
    Now in Los Angeles he just suck .