Archive for the ‘Hakeem Olajuwon’ Tag

Go Figure This Blog Starts With the NBA…   3 comments


A few weeks back, thanks to Bill Simmons of ESPN.com, I watched a YouTube video  of Dwight Howard working out with Hakeem Olajuwon this past summer.  In between segments of Hakeem teaching Howard the “Dream Shake” and other fantastic low post moves, Howard was being interviewed and seemed absolutely genuine about making a leap and becoming the most dominant big man this game has ever seen.          

The thing with Howard is he already has a body and the athletic ability to pull off such a feat.  There has never been a player with Howard’s combination of height, brute strength, and quickness.  The closest thing most of us have ever seen to him is a young Shaq and, unfortunately, Shaq is a player that never realized his true level of greatness.  Howard was and could still be on that same track.  Both players are lovable, jokester guys who enjoy being interviewed and making other people laugh.  There is nothing wrong with that, but you cannot have the edge that both players are missing and the jovial personalities both men possess.  Why do you think Maverick only had one friend in Top Gun?  He had “the edge” and people didn’t like him because of it; however, that is exactly what made him a better pilot than Iceman.  And if I recall correctly, everyone did end up liking Maverick just fine after he saved everyone’s ass when the Migs showed up at the end. 

 The reason why I think we could finally be on the brink of witnessing the absolute most dominant center to ever play the game of basketball is because of the talk of the NBA off-season and focus of ESPN’s site “Heat Check” – the Miami Heat.  The two teams are separated by a little more than 200 miles of retirement communities and I am sure no other NBA team has seen more about the Heat than the neighboring Magic.  For the first time, Howard actually seems pissed off about something.  His body language during interviews changes from over-sized “It’s a Small World” character to Tony Montana-like when the “Miami Thrice” comes up.  He was quoted recently as saying about the Heat, “We’re trying to take their heads off,” which is not exactly something the fun-loving man of steel we have come to know would say with an ear to ear smile.

Howard is already a dominant force in the league averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds a game over his career.  What is the ceiling on a player with his physical gifts if he is playing with the grudge of a Confederate widow?  I don’t think we can even begin to imagine that until we see it, and I hope we do.  Selfishly, I hope Howard plays with that reckless abandonment that we saw from Maverick’s flying in Top Gun.  I hope his talent doesn’t go wasted and he doesn’t end up just another washed up player who never quite realized his potential sitting with Ernie on Inside the NBA.  Like Lorenzo tells his son in A Bronx Tale, “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.”

Advertisements