Hakeem Olajuwon charges $50K to teach what cannot be taught — good for him

Hakeem Olajuwon charges $50K to teach what cannot be taught — good for him

One of the best/least consequential storylines in all of sports is of the big man who goes to Hakeem Olajuwon’s Dream Shake academy to learn one of the most lethal, and unteachable, moves in the history of the NBA. At $50,000 a session, it’s as close to a Ponzi scheme as you’re going to get without it technically being illegal. It’s like asking Dr. J to teach you that up-and-under, behind-the-backboard, reverse finger roll he did against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals as if it’s even possible.

So when Gilbert Arenas went on his podcast where he yelled at the camera to trash the Houston Rockets Hall of Famer overcharging, he’s (partially) right.

I didn’t watch it, but some breaking news writer at SI did, and transcribed the most salacious segment, so if you’re into hot takes, but not moving pictures with sound, here’s what Arenas said.

“Nobody wants the Hakeem Olajuwon skyhook. Nobody wants none of that sh*t. …You should be ashamed of yourself, charging these young whippersnappers $50,000. When you came in the league in 1984, you wasn’t even making $50,000 a game. You’re trying to make your month back through the youth! Do not charge these boys 50 f*cking grand for that blush*t. He ain’t been good since the ’90s. That means all the moves from the 2000s, he don’t know. 2010s, he don’t know. 2020s, he don’t know. Who the f*ck you gonna do the moves on? Wembanyama?”

I’m not sure why Arenas, who has been irrelevant for only slightly less time than Olajuwon, would knock a former player’s hustle, especially, as he pointed out, with what NBA players used to make. Hakeem is two, three, four, five, six times the hooper that Arenas was, and yet Agent Zero out-earned the Dream for their careers, $163 million to $97 million.

Also, it’s not a “skyhook,” and if any of these contemporary bigs had a 10th of the footwork that Olajuwon did, the low-post game wouldn’t be on life support. Victor Wembanyama would be unguardable if he developed a little faceup, shake action in the 15 feet and under range, but no, let the guy who’s 7-foot-5 dribble out on the perimeter, and shoot 3s.

Hell, if prime Olajuwon was in the league today, he’d head up one of the most destructive defensive units imaginable with his mix of agility, length, and quickness. And lest we forget, Hakeem did have range, he just opted to twist centers like Shaq and Patrick Ewing into pretzels on the block.

The “young whippersnappers” Arenas referred to are getting record-breaking contracts, and have more than enough money to splurge. Even if it is a pipedream, at least the $50,000 is going toward on-court progress, and not a gold-plated desert eagle.

If Gilbert had any brain function, he’d take note, and charge exorbitant fees to be a shooting coach. It is a more useful skill in this era of basketball, and certainly more of a contribution to the game than the Gilbert Arenas vlog.

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.