Amar'e Stoudemire and Hakeem Olajuwon gave glowing reviews of one another after the two spent a couple weeks working on Amar'e's post moves in August. Evidently pleased with how all that went, the Knicks have arranged for Olajuwon to join the team for part of their "pre-training camp" next week in Greenburgh. Chris Broussard reports that Mr. The Dream will be in town to train the whole Knicks frontcourt this time, with Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Marcus Camby joining Amar'e as pupils. Olajuwon gave some preliminary assessments of the task at hand:
"It shouldn't be Amare just staying in the post because he can be a scorer in the paint and outside," Olajuwon said. "It's the same thing for Carmelo. He can score in the post and outside. So if Carmelo is in the post, Amare can be at the foul line and he can make that shot. If Amare's in the post, Carmelo can make the shot from the free-throw line, too. They shouldn't be competing against each other; they should be complementing each other. They need each other to win."
And of Chandler:
"You can see that he has great timing by the way he rebounds, blocks shots and catches lobs," he said. "He's got great timing and reflexes. I haven't seen him use any moves of his own, though. But there's no way a guy with that kind of talent and timing should not have effective moves. So I want to teach him some moves so he can use all of that talent. If you add some moves to all the talent and energy he's got, it will open up a whole new door for him. That's what he should be looking to add to go to the next level."
Sounds good to me. Especially that first part, because I love the idea of Melo-Amar'e playing inside-out, respectively. A few more things:
- Recall that Chandler was supposed to join Amar'e for Dream School in Texas back in August, but the end of the Olympics and Tyson's UNICEF trip to Africa interfered.
- I've seen a few people comment that this seems like an additional slap in the face to Patrick Ewing, who just got offered the BayHawks coaching job and nothing else. Remember that it's Mike Woodson making these arrangements (right?), and Olajuwon is Woodson's friend and teammate from back in the day, while Ewing is not. I could still see Ewing being offended by this, but oh well. Sorry, Pat.
- This is clearly taking place once Melo's back from Puerto Rico. Update: By "Melo", I actually meant pretty much everybody (thanks to Dan Devine for that).
So, this is good. Amar'e's tutelage under Olajuwon was pleasant news, but it makes so much more sense for all of the key guys to be studying together at once. Moves are one thing, plays are another.