Former Rocket great Hakeem Olajuwon took a special interest with Dwight Howard when Howard decided to join the Rockets over the summer.
Olajuwon was hired by the organization to be a mentor to the new big man. Early on, Olajuwon believed the hype that Howard could help the Rockets. But with their 8-5 start, Olajuwon still sees plenty of room for improvement.
According to NBA.com, Olajuwon said, “I wish he was doing a better job.”
Olajuwon is currently at his home in Amman, Jordan, but has been able to watch Howard’s game on TV. “The truth is that I can’t wait to get back to Houston to do more work with Dwight,” he said.
“Maybe if I am there with him all of the time we can reinforce new habits and make it all feel natural,” Olajuwon continued.
The majority of the problems Howard is encountering is missed opportunities.
“Dwight has always been athletic and aggressive and he still is,” he said. “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.”
He didn’t mention anything about free throws, but we’re guess some of this missed opportunities include trips to the charity stripe.
But Olajuwon is confident that a little refresher course is all Howard needs to get all the kinks of of his system.
“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.”
“I think this is where a confident routines comes in. It’s not just putting in hours and hours of work. It’s getting a solid routine and staying with it. With Dwight right now, I think it’s more mental. Sometimes you just have to let it go. Don’t think. Don’t hesitate. Just trust your routine and let it go.”
It’s never a good when your teacher is upset with you. Hopefully, like Olajuwon said, Howard only needs a little more practice with the Hall of Famer. (H/T Sports-Kings.com)