Rockets hire Olajuwon to coach big men

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

Hakeem Olajuwon has been hired to work closely with Dwight Howard and the rest of the Houston Rockets' big men this season.
Olajuwon is the Rockets' all-time leading scorer. The 50-year-old will not likely be with the team on a daily basis, general manager Daryl Morey said.
"We want him to work with Dwight and Omer (Asik), and he wants to do that," Morey said. "...We are going to bring him in as full-time as possible."
Olajuwon has been a tutor for Howard on and off the court and was part of the team's contingent, along with Morey and Kevin McHale, that met with Howard in Los Angeles on July 1.
Howard's main message when he first met the media for the first time as a member of the Rockets was that he is looking forward to making a "fresh start" after signing a four-year, $88 million contract earlier this week.
Former Rockets -- Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon and center Yao Ming -- were on hand for Howard's signing.
"This is a great opportunity, a great feeling to be here, to have a fresh start," Howard said. "I made this decision for me. I want to be happy. If you can't be happy when you're playing, it's not fun. I want to get back to being that guy who was playing and having fun but at the same time dominating."
Howard will work with Olajuwon on a regular basis, as will the other Rockets' big men. He shrugged off the assertion that he hasn't always worked well with other stars.
Howard said Sunday that playing alongside Kobe Bryant wasn't easy, and said they had disagreements about "getting the ball." But he found Houston to be a better situation.
"I can't blame anyone else for anything I've done on the court," Howard said.
Howard called Houston "the perfect situation" because the seven-time NBA All-Star is focused on becoming a champion.
"I'm a winner," he said. "I'm a winner because I'm successful in my life. I've been in the NBA 10 years, when the average NBA career is three years. ... Just because I don't have a ring doesn't define who Dwight Howard is."
Howard said the notion that he might've stayed in Los Angeles if the Lakers had hired Phil Jackson last season was "interesting."
He said he spends most of the playoffs "pissed off" watching other players win games and hoist Larry O'Brien trophies.

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