After retiring from professional basketball, Hakeem Olajuwon started working with NBA stars who wanted to learn tips and tricks in the low post. According to Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant is his best student yet.
"I've worked with a lot of players, but the one who really capitalized on it the most is Kobe Bryant," Olajuwon said. "When I watch him play, he'll go down in the post comfortably, naturally, and he'll execute it perfectly."
The likes of Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire, and JaVale McGee have worked with the Houston Rockets legend. Interestingly, most of them are centers, yet a guard like Kobe utilized his learnings the most. Many believe that LeBron should be abusing the post more, given his brute strength and playmaking ability. But alas, James isn't just keen on applying his learnings from The Dream.
Amid the 3-point revolution that the NBA is experiencing, we still see a good number of players utilizing the post. Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, and Anthony Davis, among others, are just some of the big men who showcase their footwork and strength in the low block.
Just like Kobe, guards like DeMar DeRozan, Devin Booker, D'Angelo Russell, and Russell Westbrook, among others, also work the low post. They all have different styles. The likes of Booker and DeRozan remind us of Kobe's footwork and midrange mastery.
Various reports reveal that Hakeem has been working with Rockets center Alperen Şengün. The man has showcased remarkable improvement over his first two years in the NBA. The Rockets aren't winning games, so Sengun has not garnered much attention. But those who have been watching see elements of Nikola Jokic, Kevin Love, and Domantas Sabonis in his playstyle.
In the coming years, Sengun will come into his own. Now that the Rockets have undergone a significant change in coaching and added some key guys, the coming season might be the Turkish center's breakout year. We shouldn't be surprised if we see him unleash moves like Hakeem. The Dream has been working with him behind the scenes because he believes in Sengun's potential.