November 06, 2009
In an effort to take his game to the next level over the summer, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant(notes) solicited help from of one of the greatest players of all time — and personal favorite — Hakeem Olajuwon.
A week before training camp in September, the master of "The Dream Shake" gave Bryant a two-hour lesson on everything from head fakes and ball fakes to spin moves and jab steps. And judging by the looks of Kobe's moves during Wednesday's win over the Rockets, the star pupil was paying close attention in class.
Each time he backed down Houston's Shane Battier(notes) in the post and then deftly spun around him for a layup Wednesday night, Bryant jogged up court staring into the same pocket of fans seated courtside across from the scorer's table.
The man who met his gaze knew exactly the message Bryant was trying to convey.
"He looked at me to confirm, 'I'm using what you taught me,'" Olajuwon said. "That was the greatest gift for me. It was wonderful."
Here's something to think about (courtesy of SLAM): After 14 successful years in the league, Kobe can — and still wants to — learn from The Dream, yet Andrew Bynum is done with Kareem Abdul Jabbar after just a few injury-plagued seasons. File under reason number 6,947 why Kobe Bryant is a beast.