Rudy Gay and Austin Daye Trained With Hakeem Olajuwon

Toronto Raptors forwards Rudy Gay and Austin Daye spent a week this summer picking Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon’s brain. The hefty bill was footed by Gay and Daye’s employer. Per the Toronto Sun: “At the request of the Raptors, both men along with some front office types and even assistant coach Nick Nurse spent portions of a week this summer with Hakeem (the Dream) Olajuwon picking his brain and learning and (for the players) mimicking the moves that made Olajuwon the Dream and generally just soaking up whatever they could from the man. Reported estimates have the cost of Olajuwon’s expertise starting at $15,000 per week and rising to as much as $100,000 for a month-long tutorial. Neither player was willing to provide any insight into just how much the Raptors paid. ‘They told me to go,’ Daye said of the Raptors. ‘I didn’t even know it was an option, but I do know how much it cost and I wasn’t going to pay it myself. I’m not going to say how much it was but it was enough for me not to pay it. But it was a great experience and I was really appreciative of the Raptors for having me do that.’ Gay was equally appreciative and having made a little more money in his career already than Daye, has admitted he would have dug into his own pocket for the experience if that was what it was going to take. Gay has obviously worked out with specialists before, but nothing of this magnitude. ‘The difference between that and Hakeem is that he’s a Hall of Famer and he’s putting in time to work with guys,’ Gay said. ‘It’s not really a workout per se. It’s more like picking Hakeem’s brain. I just took it as knowledge and also stealing a bunch of his moves.’ […] ‘Honestly it’s more tailored to people like me because Hakeem was a man before his time,’ Gay said. ‘Look, the league has changed into big men that can run the floor, handle the ball and make moves like he did. He was before his time. Really to me, he was a guard. A guard who played against big men. Against David Robinson, he had him jump all over the place with his face. So you know I think it was tailored towards me anyway. Some people it would work for, some it wouldn’t.’ Head coach Dwane Casey said whatever the cost, it was worth it to him because Gay came away believing it helped him.”