In recent years, a pilgrimage to Houston to work with Hakeem Olajuwon has become the Mecca of NBA players wanting to work on their post game. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and host of others have made the trek.
But Joakim Noah is going another direction this summer — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. From Real GM:
In an effort to improve on the offensive end of the court, Noah revealed on Wednesday during a visit to a Chicago north suburban high school that he plans to train with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this summer.
Kareem was a special assistant coach to the Lakers, brought in primarily to work with Andrew Bynum. Which he did until Bynum decided he didn’t have anything else to learn from the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and six time MVP. Not to mention a guy with six rings, too. What a very Bynum decision.
Noah has a more unconventional post game than Bynum, but Kareem has publicly praised Noah’s style of play.
Noah is going to have more offensive responsibilities at the next start of season until Derrick Rose returns from knee surgery (especially if the Bulls are without Luol Deng for a month or so, too).
DeAndre Jordan‘s free-throw problems – 38.7% this season, 41.5% for his career – are mental.
You can’t watch this trip to the line and convince me otherwise.
Nene hurt his calf. Drew Gooden is banged up. Martell Webster is out for the season.
Those are three players the Wizards expected to play power forward this season.
So, Washington – which has lost four straight – will bring in another big man: Ryan Hollins.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Wizards have a full roster of 15 players. They don’t qualify for a hardship exemption, which a team gets if four players have missed three straight games and will continue to be out. Only Webster and Alan Anderson definitely fit that bill. Gooden, who has missed five straight, might. But it’s unclear both how many of those absences were due to injury and when he’ll return.
So, Washington will have to waive someone to sign Hollins now. It’ll probably be Webster, whose $5,845,250 2016-17 salary is just $2.5 million guaranteed. If he’s out for the year and the Wizards plan to drop him by the summer to clear cap space, why not just do it now?
Hollins is more center than power forward and doesn’t appear to fit well with Marcin Gortat. But at this point, Washington just needs big bodies. Hollins – a nine-year veteran who plays decent interior defense, lacks offensive skill and rebounds poorly for his 7-foot frame – is at least that.
Sometimes – as Kristaps Porzingis sees against Dwight Howard – it’s more flattering just to play James Harden-level defense.
This was not Marc Gasol‘s first attempt to head in the ball after a whistle, but this time, he converted.
Here was his January try: