Word at the beginning of the summer was that Mike Woodson had arranged for Amar'e Stoudemire to spend some time polishing his post moves under the tutelage of Hakeem Olajuwon. That was and is fine news, but my favorite part was the suggestion that Tyson Chandler would be joining Amar'e in Houston once he'd finished up with Olympic competition. Given how frequently Stoudemire and Chandler collided in the paint last season, the idea of those two sharing the court for some training with The Dream was most appealing. Alas, as we heard yesterday, it's not to be. Why? Well, the Post gives us this today:
But after Sunday’s tight gold-medal win over Spain, Chandler said his stated plans to work with low-post guru Hakeem Olajuwon are off. Olajuwon has set up his base in Houston and Chandler, after being on the road with the Olympic team since July 5, is not willing to travel.
"I need to be still for a while,’’ Chandler said.
Chandler’s stance is in contrast to Amar’e Stoudemire, in Houston, posting videos of his Olajuwon workouts, raving about the amount of post moves he never knew existed.
Can't blame Tyson for wanting to "be still for a while". I also want that right now, and I haven't played Olympic basketball since '04. Of course, Chandler's idea of being "still" doesn't necessarily amount to being "not willing to travel".
As Jared Zwerling noted yesterday, Chandler
is en route to Tanzania (perhaps he's already arrived) has arrived in Tanzania for some post-Olympic work with UNICEF. Tyson's one of a bunch of players associated with UNICEF, and he's in Tanzania on a "field visit" for the "International Inspiration" program. It's something he must have agreed to a while ago.
Stoudemire's stay in Houston ends around the 19th, and Chandler won't be around by then, so perhaps the two won't have time to work together until training camp. That is a minor bummer, but: 1. A few days of tandem training wouldn't have made a huge difference 2. It's not like Tyson's just spending this time lying on the couch, licking the filling out of Nutter Butters then putting the cookies in a paper shredder to see what happens because he's rich and can afford such wastefulness. Dude's in Africa, inspiring internations. Let us remember this when Chandler misses a hook shot in November and people are like "DUDE SHOULDA BEEN WORKING WITH HAKEEM INSTEAD OF SITTING ON HIS ASS".
Enjoy Tanzania, Tyson. Please bring P&T one (1) gerenuk. Thank you.