Since LeBron James worked out with, arguably, the greatest offensive center of all-time, Hakeem Olajuwon, his emphasis and effort to get into the post has increased drastically.
And today footage of Bron working with Hakeem has finally hit the internet.
Despite Hakeem giving off some of the secrets that helped win him two NBA championships, the most revealing part of the video may be LeBron’s thoughts at the end.
“That’s all it is for me. I been living on the perimeter the last eight years. I need to re-define my game a little bit. I’ll have more options.”
For years fans and analyst clamored for LeBron to play with his back to the basket, but the definite change didn’t come until the 2011-12 season after the Miami Heat suffered a loss in the finals against the Dallas Mavericks. Since then LeBron has made it much harder to guard him rather than watch a 6’9, 260 pound small forward constantly settle for jumpers instead of pounding small defenders in the paint. His best display of work in the post came in the 2012 playoffs when he obliterated the Boston Celtics for 45 points and 15 rebounds in a win or go home Game 6.
LeBron isn’t the first player to work with The Dream on improving their post game and he certainly won’t be the last. Starting the tradition was Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. After seeing how well Hakeem helped Bryant polish his post game, players haven’t been shy about paying Olajuwon to help them out. Other players who’ve done it recently include Javale McGee, Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenneth Faried.
If LeBron can become as effective and fluent as Hakeem, Kobe or even the great Michael Jordan in the post then the league will be in serious trouble for the next 5-7 years and we’ll only have the best post player of all-time to thank for it.