Hakeem Olajuwon is the definition of a legend in the world of basketball.
The Dream is one of only four players to ever record a quadruple-double, the all-time leader in blocks in NBA history, a 12-time All-Star and he won back-to-back NBA titles with the Houston Rockets in the mid-90's with a certain Chicago Bulls lurking around.
Following his extraordinary career, Olajuwon opened up a Big Man Camp that has had several notable attendees, including a whole host of sure-fire future Hall of Famers intent on improving their game in the post from one of the absolute bests.
Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard are just some of the names to make the trip to Houston to visit the now 53-year-old Olajuwon.
As per a report from Sporting News, Olajuwon has identified the player who made the most of his esteemed advice and it's not a like-for-like big man at all.
You can lead a big man to the block, but you can’t make him use it. So when Sporting News asked Olajuwon who has used his advice best, the answer was not Dwight Howard or Tyson Chandler or the Lopez twins. Not even LeBron James. Nope, it was one of his shortest pupils. “I’ve worked with a lot of players, but the one who really capitalized on it the most is Kobe Bryant,” the Basketball Hall of Famer said. “When I watch him play, he'll go down in the post comfortably, naturally, and he'll execute it perfectly.”
Bryant's work ethic, determination and work-ethic is absolutely legendary. It should be no surprise that if anybody was going to apply themselves and absorb vital information to improve himself, it would be the Black Mamba.
Dwight Howard may not have the inside touch that the top-tier of centers to ever play the game would boast, but one might argue that he has successfully evolved from his days with the Orlando Magic and he is no longer just an athletic rebounder.
Olajuwon's influence in that sense is palpable it shows that he indeed does have a welath of knowledge to pass down to the NBA players of today, even in this era of stretching the floor.
The principles remain the same. LeBron James is often revered as the most complete, all-round player in the NBA today. However, before he met Olajuwon in 2011, many viewed James' post game as one of his weaknesses.
Well, one of his less great areas, one could say.
Today, LeBron is a force in the low-block and commands regular double team's with his back to the basket. Much of the credit for that must go to Olajuwon and with Bryant's career winding down inside the next 10 days, surely the five-time NBA champion would be quick to credit him, too.