Houston Rockets Hiring Hakeem Olajuwon as Mentor for Centers

by July 15, 2013

Dwight Howard will have a new mentor in Houston — the Rockets are close to adding Hakeem Olajuwon to their staff. Per the Houston Chronicle: “Hakeem Olajuwon, a key part of the Rockets’ recruiting efforts to land Howard and a large part of the festivities Saturday after Howard signed, will rejoin the Rockets in an official capacity for the first time since he spent the final season of his career with the Toronto Raptors in 2002. Olajuwon’s duties and title are being discussed, and he will spend much of the year at his home in Jordan. But he will work with Rockets interior players, as he does with big men around the NBA each offseason, as a team employee. ‘We are going to bring him in as full-time as is possible,’ Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said Sunday. ‘It’s not done, but we have mutual interest to get it done, and we’ve had some early discussions. We want him to work with Dwight and Omer (Asik), and he wants to do that.’ Olajuwon, 50, has worked with Howard in two offseasons, and Howard has spoken about training with him again, this time as the latest in the line of Rockets All-Star centers. ‘He has improved so much,’ Olajuwon said. ‘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.’ […] ‘I just tried to show what he is trying to accomplish basketball-wise, this is the best team for him. No question about that. That was very clear. You can see he is excited. He’s happy. The city is excited. This is a great choice. That’s why everybody can’t wait to start.'”