Tag: Michael Olowokandi

Michael Olowokandi #34

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not in the Olowokandi fan club


In an ESPN column ostensibly about how the owners need to get their revenue sharing house in order before they tell the players to take less money — a point with some validity — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar goes off on a tangent. And tells a great story.

Kareem, who has served as a big man assistant for several teams including the Lakers, expresses his frustration with young, pampered and entitled athletes. Kareem (then Lew Alcindor) could not even play varsity college ball as a freshman by NCAA rules, now guys at 19 are jumping to the NBA. He doesn’t like it, and basically says all the classic old-man things save “get off my lawn.”

But he has dealt with it first hand, which leads to a story about one of the biggest all-time No. 1 pick busts, Michael Olowokandi.

I have seen this process firsthand. When I coached for the Clippers, I had to deal with Michael Olowokandi, a player who perfectly fit the description “talented but uncoachable.” At practice, I would attempt to point out Mr. Olowokandi’s faults to him, ones he constantly repeated and resulted in lost possessions for the team or personal fouls that sent him to the bench. His reaction to my attempts to correct his bad habits was to take my input as a personal insult and embarrassment. He told me point-blank that he would not be criticized in front of the team. He stuck to his word and, as a result, had very few successful moments on the court playing the way he wanted to play. He took his place on the list of athletically gifted washouts who have been in and out of the league in the past 10 years.

Well, Abdul-Jabbar can cross the Olowokandi family off the Christmas card list.

Kareem goes on to praise Andrew Bynum for listening and incorporating lessons taught into his game. That relationship had more friction than Kareem lets on, but as immature as Bynum can still be at times (just as J.J. Barea about that) he is far more mature and professional now than when he entered the league. He has come a long way, he just had a ridiculously long way to go.

What was the point of all this… oh, yea. The owners need to get their financial act in order. Yea, that’s it.

Miami Heat tell players, their wives and girlfriends to stay away from VH1's "Basketball Wives."

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First the disclaimer: I have not watched Basketball Wives on VH1. Don’t plan to. Could not care less that the show exists. Just know I am not coming from a place of knowledge about the show.

However, I do find it interesting what a reporter for the NBC affiliate in Miami found out — the Heat have  banned WAGS (wives and girlfriends) of Heat players from being on the show, according to show star Suzie Ketcham.

The NBA hates it. I heard that the Miami Heat has put restrictions on the players and their wives: they are not allowed to do it. The wives are not allowed to be apart of the show at ALL. And I personally think that the entire NBA may put restrictions on any wife, girlfriend or player from being apart of the show. You know obviously, if the players are not allowed to do it, then they are NOT going to allow their women to do it.

I’m not sure if the NBA can actually ban people from the show, but then again you may not want to be the guy whose wife does it. For example, Matt Barnes.

What is interesting is the background about the show over at Sports By Brooks:

Ketchum’s boss and creator of the show’s original concept, Executive Producer Shaunie O’Neal, apparently feels the same as the Heat do about the show.

O’Neal came up with the initial idea for the VH1 reality show, but it was to be centered on her and her husband at the time, Shaq. The theme of that show was no more than a public relations vehicle for the O’Neals and the NBA. But when the couple divorced, VH1 was suddenly left groping for a new concept Enter women like Ketchum, the ex-wife of (former NBA player Michael) Olowokandi.

So where is Shaunie O’Neal in all of this? Nowhere. She’s rarely seen on the show now and doesn’t participate in the production’s inane, staged bits.

Now I will go back to blissfully ignoring this show.