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Andre Drummond requests to train with Hakeem Olajuwon

The vocal segment of Pistons fans who believe any NBA player can turn into an elite post player simply by training with Hakeem Olajuwon might get their wish. Keith Langlois of Pistons.com:

This teaser on @DRE_DRUMMOND_ Plans not final, but he’s reached out to Hakeem Olajuwon for a summer session with the HOFer in Houston.

Kudos to Andre Drummond for taking this proactive step, but don’t assume this will fix his very raw post game. There’s no doubt Olajuwon is one of the best and most-developed interior players of all-time, but that doesn’t mean he’s a great teacher or Drummond is a great student – and, even if they both are, that doesn’t mean their teaching and learning styles will mesh.

Michael Jordan practices with the Bobcats, and they’re still terrible. Not every great player can transfer his skills to every current player.

Hopefully, Drummond will work with Olajuwon and learn a lot, but don’t mistake this for a guaranteed success.

27 Comments

  • May 2, 20132:34 pm
    by rick

    Reply

    Why so negative about it? Just embrace the fact that young man is taking the initiative. He can learn a lot from “The Dream” especially on defense. Who says it has to be all about offense?

    • May 2, 20133:19 pm
      by CNA5

      Reply

      I don’t think Dan’s being negative.  I just think he’s tempering expectations that some fans have of Drummond crossing over baseline or developing that 12 ft fadeaway that Dream had or even throw out a Dream Shake. 
      I hope he gets something out of it if he goes.  Good move being proactive!
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

  • May 2, 20132:34 pm
    by MIKEYDE248

    Reply

    Sometimes the best players can be the worst teacher, because they do things naturally without thinking about how they do things and don’t know how to explain it to other on how to do what they do.

    It’s like teaching someone how to have a 50″ vertical jump, you can train, but most players will never achieve it.

    • May 2, 20133:19 pm
      by G

      Reply

      Except Olajuwon has a rep for being a good teacher. He’s done great work with Kobe, the Knicks, LeBron, Denver, etc. Hate the Jordan comparison. Jordan was rarely ever a good teacher, he never had the patience for it.  

      I think this is more on Drummond to be a good learner. 

      • May 2, 20134:26 pm
        by rick

        Reply

        Thank you “G”. That was my point. The reference to Jordan is what got me.

        • May 2, 20134:39 pm
          by G

          Reply

          Gotcha. Yeah, it’s not like Jordan is running a $100k/wk “winning” academy or something. This is the guy who punched Steve Kerr in practice because he didn’t think Kerr was trying hard enough. Mike Rice school of coaching.

  • May 2, 20132:40 pm
    by patrick the troll

    Reply

    So something good might happen, but don’t expect it?
    I do think there has been a few stories about how well the dream has helped some current players. By all accounts he is a great teacher and andre a great student. I will walk the seldom taken optimist road and say this will be a good thing if it happens… but don’t mistake this for guaranteed failure.

  • May 2, 20133:24 pm
    by Sam

    Reply

    I think it’s awesome that Drummond is interested in this. Last I read, the dream was charging $100K for a two week session with Amare Stoudemire. I’d rather have the Pistons spend this on Drummond than sign another late second rounder after the coming draft.
    And some food for thought – Olajuwan’s past pupils include Dwight Howard and a guy called LeBron, so I’d be ok with Drummond being added to that list…

  • May 2, 20133:38 pm
    by Chris

    Reply

    This is a good thing…  Drummond wanting to get better is the best sign. The Dream can help him big time.

  • May 2, 20134:08 pm
    by Giles

    Reply

    I don’t think he ever met with diwight
     

  • May 2, 20134:10 pm
    by Al

    Reply

    Now only if Monroe would follow suit..

  • May 2, 20134:12 pm
    by Clint in Flint

    Reply

    The best part is that Drummond wants to improve and is willing to work hard to get there. Can’t ask for much more from your rookies.

  • May 2, 20135:07 pm
    by Scott Free

    Reply

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but you sound skeptical that Olajuwon can actually help Drummond.  

    I’ve read that Drummond is a “sponge” from more than one person.  There’s no reason I’m aware of to doubt it.  Piston fans should be optimistic that a willing student like Andre could have the opportunity to practice with a basketball legend.  

    • May 2, 20138:43 pm
      by CNA5

      Reply

      Drummond can learn from a lot of people.  Any high level coach that’s used to working with bigs can teach him footwork in the post.  They can teach him proper positioning on the block.  They can work on drills with him passing out of the post.

      The one thing that Olajuwon has that 99.9% of coaches don’t have is the inherent respect of putting in a tape and showing that he’s a bad ass.  Sometimes the source can be more important than the lesson itself.

      Honestly, if he said that he was going to put in a ton of time working with Roy Rogers and Arnie Kander, I’d be equally as thrilled simply because of his desire to get better.  If he manages to be Olajuwon’s star pupil and learns the Dream Shake, I’ll consider that a nice bonus!

  • May 2, 20135:17 pm
    by The Rake

    Reply

    MJ practices with ‘Cats and they’re still terrible. Genius. Still, this is only a good sign. Dre is truly a good kid with a desire to get better. Pistons are so fortunate to have this guy, great character and huge upside.

  • May 2, 20136:13 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    His footwork would improve, and no more fadeaways

    Hakeem vs Roy Rodgers ?????? Tough choice
     

  • May 2, 20136:40 pm
    by mike

    Reply

    Uh, Hakeem is not a great teacher?

    Players line up in droves in the off-season and go on waiting lists to train with him because of how great a teacher he is.

    Its hard to think of 1 player who worked with him that didn’t come back a better player the next year. So, yeah unless Drummond has some kind of learning disability, I think its safe to assume Hakeem would definitely make him better.

  • May 2, 20137:05 pm
    by Big Rick

    Reply

    You’re welcome Dan. 

  • May 2, 20137:53 pm
    by gmehl

    Reply

    I think its wise to limit expectations but geez if Drummond can add a nice little baby hook to his arsenal that is going to make him an even scarier option. Dre also needs to set some baby steps with his free throw shooting going into next season with the low to mid 60% range being the target. He has good form which looks like just needs the confidence behind it to be more successful.

    @Al you make a great point about Monroe reaching out to Hakeem as well. Its great to hear that these young guys are doing this but if it was me that had sessions with Hakeem i’d keep it quiet and maybe mention it later when the evidence is on the court and in my game.

  • May 2, 20138:31 pm
    by Mongo Slade

    Reply

    Wish are guards would go after Tim Grover or Byron Scott to pick up some basketballknowledge

  • May 2, 20138:43 pm
    by Reaction

    Reply

    Now if only we could find a starting pg who can throw lobs 

  • May 2, 20139:44 pm
    by Corey

    Reply

    This is exciting, in the sense if demonstrating Andre’s desire to improve. And it’s really important that he does. Everyone talks about what Monroe needs to learn to make the pairing work. But Andre must become enough of a post up threat that the other team’s center has to guard him. To beat the small ball teams, Andre and Monroe BOTH have to be sufficient offensive threats that big men have to guard them. How do the pistons handle playing Monroe guarding someone like Melo at the 4? By making it impossible for Melo to play against them on D.

  • May 2, 201311:31 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    how is this not good news?
    it obviously indicates that drummond understands what he needs to do to improve.
    he could not seek out a better tutor, as far as playing the center spot is concerned.
    lots of fans nowadays just know of akeem from video or his reputation, but for those of us who saw him live, it is obvious that akeem is a veritable encyclopedia of low post moves and anyone with half a brain would benefit from soaking up even a tidbit of his knowledge.
    if drummond could develop only one reliable, solid post move after spending time with akeem, it would be invaluable.  
    he’s a freak athlete.   and if a freak athlete like drummond is able to simply develop and then rely on even one solid move to keep defenses honest, it changes everything for both the pistons and any team trying to defend them. 
    not counting on anything, of course, but the fact that he’s taking this step speaks volumes about his dedication to becoming a better player.
    now, if only knight would give magic johnson a call…. 

    • May 3, 20138:35 am
      by G

      Reply

      Personally I think Knight would be better off mimicking his game off of a guy like Ray Allen. Just get in the gym super early, take a TON of shots, and do it every day.

      The Drummond thing is especially good news because Monroe said at the end of the year that the one thing Drummond needs to work on is getting comfortable with the ball in his hands. Working with Hakeem should provide that. Drummond never looked comfortable holding the ball unless he was about to hammer it down. Maybe getting that comfort will help his FT’s, one can only hope. 

  • May 3, 20134:32 am
    by Adam G

    Reply

    This is excellent he only needs to focus on a go to move and a counter for offence as his athletic ability will help him get easy baskets. Its on the defensive end that i can see invaluable knowledge to be gained form spending time with Akeem.

    First Jackson as an Advisor now this best news we have had in a while albeit very small news :)  

  • May 3, 20133:16 pm
    by Revken

    Reply

    Here’s the thing – there are no quick fixes.  Suppose Olajuwon shows Drummond how to do that great baseline move he had, with the option of pulling up for a jumper.  Assuming it works well with Drummond’s abilities, he’s still got to practice it a ton before he can do it well in a game.  In other words, this probably can only help, but we shouldn’t expect Dre to become the Dream next season.

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