It was Amare Stoudemire’s goal to improve his post-game this year. So Knicks Head Coach Mike Woodson called up an old teammate of his to help out STAT this off-season.
Woodson’s former teammate just happened to be a man who many consider the best big man of all-time:
Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon
The former two-time champion is one of eight players in NBA history with over 20,000 points and 12,000 rebounds in his career. During one of his prime years in 1993-94, Olajuwon became the first player to be named NBA MVP, NBA Defensive Player of the Year and NBA Finals MVP in the same season as Houston won its first NBA championship.
The workouts taught by Olajuwon include 3 ½ hour sessions per day. STAT has been staying at a hotel in Houston close by Olajuwon’s 500-acre ranch, which houses a full-sized indoor basketball court.
“I’m doing two a days, and some three a days to keep myself in shape and fit.” Stoudemire said. “I just want to let [Knicks fans] know that I’m dedicated to improving as a player.”
“It’s really like being a student right now just studying the game. Hakeem [Olajuwon] has so many moves man. It’s pretty much a training camp mentality here in early August. I’m doing it for my fans in New York who have been sticking with me after a tough year last year. Can’t wait to bounce back next season, give it all I got, and try to bring a championship.”
Even Hakeem took time to comment on Stoudemire’s improvements:
“You won’t believe it,” Olajuwon told The New York Times. “It’s night and day. … His spin move is becoming so sharp and crisp. He could spin all day. He loves it.”
Stoudemire now joins players like Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and LeBron James who have all trained with Olajuwon individually in the last several years.
Images Courtesy: Getty Images
David Brickley is a contributor for amarestoudemire.com. You can follow him on Twitter @davidjbrickley.