Houston Rockets: Hakeem Olajuwon Working With Dwight Howard and Jeremy Lin

By Michael Ma

Jun 27, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner David Stern (right) shakes hands with former NBA player Hakeem Olajuwon after the first round of the 2013 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since he announced his retirement from the NBA in 2002, Hakeem Olajuwon has, for the most part, been out of the NBA spotlight. While he has worked with individual players during the summer for a number of years, Olajuwon has not been a part of an NBA organization.

The Houston Rockets announced this summer that they are bringing in Olajuwon for the upcoming season to serve as a mentor to center Dwight Howard, as well as a low post coach for the Rockets big men.

Olajuwon has already started working with Howard, but it appears now that he doesn’t mind working with the Rockets guards. He posted a tweet Tuesday evening from his personal account about working out with Howard and Jeremy Lin:

In Aspen w/the @HoustonRockets working out w/ @DwightHoward @JLin7 Coach McHale & the coaching staff. #highaltitudes pic.twitter.com/seOkvQ5VoQ

— Hakeem Olajuwon (@DR34M) September 10, 2013

Aspen is a place Howard has grown fond of, as he spent his days there contemplating about which team to sign with during his free agent period. It seems like he was able to persuade the Rockets coaching staff, as well as Lin, to spend some time there with him.

A big part of the Rockets offense this season will be how effective Howard can be as the roll man on pick-and-rolls. The majority of the Rockets half-court offensive sets involved a pick-and-roll look a season ago. While the Rockets plan to install some low post sets with Howard in the half-court, the pick-and-roll will still be a huge proponent.

The talk all off-season has been how the James Harden-Howard pick-and-roll will work, but Lin has been a very effective player off on-ball screens throughout his short career. It’s always a good sign on any team for the starting point guard and starting center to work on creating on-court chemistry before training camp begins.