Hakeem Olajuwon Rooting for LeBron James in NBA Finals

by June 12, 2012

LeBron James famously enlisted the legendary Hakeem Olajuwon to help him with his post game. Dream has never shied away from being a sharp-eyed critic of James’ game, but he feels that LeBron is ready to step up and win his first NBA title. Per Fox Sports: “If he relaxes and just plays his game, he’ll be fine and I think (the Heat) win it,’ said Olajuwon, who said he has become like a ‘big brother’ to James in the past year. Olajuwon knows a bit about winning championships. The legendary center led Houston to titles in 1994 and 1995, each time being named Finals MVP. […] After watching James in the playoffs, especially his 45-point, 15-rebound showing in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals against Boston, Olajuwon believes the time has come. ‘You look at a lot of the moves, and it was unbelievable to watch,’ said Olajuwon, speaking Monday by phone from Jordan about having seen that Game 6 last Thursday. ‘The way they were executed it was a joy to watch because I know that we worked on that, and to see him using it at a most crucial time. He is in a comfort zone, and he is doing it how he is supposed to do it.’ After being in Jordan during the winter, Olajuwon returned to Texas, where he was from mid-March until three weeks ago. Before leaving the US, Olajuwon talked on the phone with James. The discussion came after James had totaled 40 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists in a May 20 win over Indiana that knotted up their East semifinal series at 2-2. ‘He seemed very relaxed,’ Olajuwon said. ‘He was talking about the position of the team and he was very confident they would get it done. He talked about Chris Bosh (the Heat forward who was out nine games with an abdominal strain but returned for Game 5 against Boston) being out, but he felt that they would get together and get it done. He said it, and he proved it. … I just encouraged him to feel relaxed and feel comfortable and just be himself, and he must play his game,’ Olajuwon said. ‘He’s unbelievable how he’s handled all the pressure, and now he’s playing well at the right time. I have to give him a tremendous amount of credit for his demeanor with all that pressure … He is adding balance to his game because he is more comfortable making post moves,’ Olajuwon said. ‘He’s a more complete player. He is using a lot of the post moves (taught last summer). If you look at LeBron, with his physique and his strength and skills, you know that as he gets later in his career he will appreciate the post more, and it will get much easier for him.'”