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<  Yao on the court, and his most recent game  ~  When the Old Giant Meets the New Giant

PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 6:34 pm
User avatarPosts: 7735Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 10:06 pm
pryuen,

Thanks for the translation and pictures. Hopefully Yao learnt some lessons from Hakeem.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 6:48 pm
User avatarPosts: 59329Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am
Man......what a great day for Big Yao. Hope he's finally got it there into his head: 'You are the biggest player on the court. You need to go in and change the game. You need to be dominant.'

Quote:

http://www.nba.com/rockets/news/Yao_get ... 53-34.html

Tuesday May 22, 2007 5:15 PM

Big Man Clinic
Yao gets first tutorial with Olajuwon during private workout at Toyota Center

Damien Pierce
Rockets.com Staff Writer


HOUSTON -- Yao Ming wants to become the most dominating center in the NBA.

Who better to learn from than Hakeem Olajuwon?

The Rockets' current marquee big man received his first individual tutorial from the greatest player in franchise history Tuesday afternoon during a private workout on the main court at Toyota Center.

Speaking after a 1-1/2 hour workout of studying Olajuwon's footwork and practice regimen, Yao gushed over the lessons he learned from one of the most dominating big men in the game's history.

The most important advice from Olajuwon? Develop a dominating attitude.

"I'm learning the mentality from him," said Yao, who had been unable to workout with Olajuwon in the past because of other offseason obligations. "I don't know how many times I heard him talk about being dominant. That's why he can be 'The Dream.' The mentality is the biggest difference between him and me right now. I hope not far in the future that I can do things like him."


Yao doesn't appear to be that far away.

During his fifth season in the league, the Rockets center drew praise around the league for his dominating level of play before being sidetracked with a fractured bone below his right knee. He missed almost two months before returning for the final month of the season and playoffs. Yao averaged a career-best 25.0 points and 9.4 rebounds, earning him a selection on the All-NBA's second team.

Olajuwon, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, said that Yao is certainly on the verge of being the league's most dominating big man.

"It's amazing how agile he is for a guy of that size," Olajuwon said of the 7-foot-6, 310-pound center. "He's so smart because he understands the game. He's just looking for the things that he can do so that he can enhance the skills that he's already got. He just has to dominate the game. He has so many advantages because of his size and skill so I'm just showing him little things that he can do to consistently be a dominating player. It will be scary to see what he can do in the future."

So where does Yao have to get better? Yao had plenty of thoughts on that after evaluating his own game following the playoffs.

Despite averaging a double-double in the seven-game series against the Utah Jazz, Yao was frustrated with his play after the Rockets failed to get past the first round for the third time in his career. He led the team in turnovers and, at times, struggled to get into an offensive rhythm even though Utah didn't immediately double him. Yao also had trouble on defensive end, particularly when he faced the quicker Carlos Boozer or had to provide help defense when guards penetrated the lane.

That's what led him to seek Olajuwon's advice.

Unsurprisingly, the former star was happy to give it. The Rockets great talked with the younger center at length about everything from developing Yao's mentality to his defense. He said Yao should mimic the defense of former Utah center Mark Eaton, a defender that gave Olajuwon trouble in the past because of his size and shot-blocking ability.

"He has to take advantage of his size, meaning when he's in the lane, the lane is closed," Olajuwon said of Yao. "He should block everything that comes in there. By standing up, he's very difficult to shoot over. He has all the tools and all the potential. By adding little things to his game, he can be dominating."

Yao believes he could add some of Olajuwon's offense as well. He was amazed by Olajuwon's pivot moves and hopes to add some of them to his own game. Olajuwon showed Yao how to get to the paint from various positions and how to score off one dribble.

"His moves looks easy on television, but when you actually do it and there is contact on your body, it's different," Yao said. "I'm going to do what he taught me every day. I need to do it a couple hundred times a day and get myself used to it. I then need to use those moves in a live game, maybe in an international team game. That's a good place to try a new skill."

Since he doesn't have as many obligations with the Chinese national team this summer, Yao plans to work on what he learned from Olajuwon. He'd also like to workout with Olajuwon more in the future, although neither has scheduled a future meeting yet.

But in their first practice together, Yao certainly picked up Olajuwon's main message.

"He's got two championship rings," Yao said. "I'm not saying I figured out everything today, but I hear him. 'You are the biggest player on the court. You need to go in and change the game. You need to be dominant.' He repeated that time and time again. I feel a little bit different. I feel his heart."


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:11 pm
Posts: 757Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2003 7:09 pm
Who's gonna teach Yao how to rebound? That aside from his defense on the P'N'R is probably the weakest part of his game!


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 8:13 pm
User avatarPosts: 59329Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am
A 3 minute plus of the one-on-one drill between the 2 giants

http://sports.163.com/07/0523/07/3F5NBDSA00051CA1.html


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:25 pm
User avatarPosts: 12417Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:27 pm
pryuen wrote:
A 3 minute plus of the one-on-one drill between the 2 giants

http://sports.163.com/07/0523/07/3F5NBDSA00051CA1.html
thanx for the link.

damn, in his mid 40s, Hakeem looks quicker than the 26-yr-old Yao :!:


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:27 pm
User avatarPosts: 7735Joined: Fri May 18, 2007 10:06 pm
yao2boki4_3 wrote:
Who's gonna teach Yao how to rebound? That aside from his defense on the P'N'R is probably the weakest part of his game!


I think one of the reasons why Yao isn't as a good rebound as he could be is down to attitude. Yao does a good job of boxing his man out but is then satisfied with letting his teammates get the rebound. That's why the rockets overall are a good rebounding team even without Yao dominating on the boards. However this has got to change especially if the rockets are to win in the play-offs. Yao has got to get it into his head that he must get every rebound himself.

Hakeem has got amazing footwork. It's good to see him teach Yao how to use some counter moves when defenses react to his initial move.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 9:47 pm
User avatarPosts: 59329Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am

From Associated Press...........


Quote:

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/05/ ... ajuwon.php

Yao works out with Olajuwon

The Associated Press
Published: May 22, 2007


HOUSTON: As long as he plays for the Houston Rockets, Yao Ming will always be compared to Hakeem Olajuwon. He might as well turn to "The Dream" for advice.

Yao worked out with Olajuwon at the Toyota Center on Tuesday, the cornerstone of the Rockets' future getting his first lesson from the greatest center in franchise history.

"For a young player, how many people get this chance?" Yao said. "I'm the honored one of those."

The 44-year-old Olajuwon is the National Basketball Association's career leader in blocked shots (3,830) and led the Rockets to their only two championships in 1994 and '95.

The reclusive Olajuwon sat next to team owner Les Alexander during the Rockets' loss to Utah in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series. Afterward, Yao eagerly accepted Olajuwon's offer to practice with him.

Olajuwon worked with Yao for about 90 minutes, picking apart Yao's post moves and giving him pep talks along the way.

"How do you dominate the game?" Olajuwon asked his attentive protege. "You are hardworking, you have the conditioning, you have the shots. You have everything. Now, you have to dominate."


Olajuwon showed off a few of his old moves, too, dropping in some baseline jumpers and jump hooks as easily as he did 10 years ago.

Yao hopes Olajuwon's killer instinct rubs off on him, too. By the end of their practice, Yao felt like it had.

"The biggest difference between him and me is the mentality," Yao said. "He's got two championship rings. I can hear very strongly from him, 'You are the biggest player on the court. You need to go in and change the game. You need to be dominant.' He repeated that time and time again. I feel a little bit different. I feel his heart."

Olajuwon retired after the 2001-02 season and the Rockets selected Yao with the first pick in the NBA's annual entry draft a few months later.

Yao has blossomed into one of the league's top centers, averaging 25 points and nine rebounds last season. But in this year's playoffs, he committed 33 turnovers against Utah.

"My average score is up, my average turnovers are also high this year," Yao said. "I need to work on that."

Olajuwon showed Yao how to get into the lane from various spots and score using a single dribble.

"If you get the ball here, they're in trouble," Olajuwon said. "You should score easily."

The two had no more workouts planned, but both seemed eager to schedule another.

"It was great, just to see that he has all the tools," Olajuwon said. "He is very smart. It's so much fun to work with a great player like him, who has all the potential. It's scary to see what he can really do by just adding little things to his game."

Yao will return to China later this summer and play with the national team and when he comes back in the fall, he'll have a new coach. The Rockets fired Jeff Van Gundy on Friday after four seasons and will reportedly hire Rick Adelman.

Yao played for Van Gundy for four seasons and lamented his firing.

"He gave me the best four years, so far, in my career," Yao said. "I appreciate what he did for me. I'm so sad to hear he's leaving. We knew a little bit before that it was going to happen. I'm still sad."


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 10:07 pm
Posts: 17908Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 1:31 pm
How come they did not plan more workouts? How many styles of scoring did Hakeem Olajuwon teach Yao?


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 12:36 am
Posts: 2750Location: HoustonJoined: Thu Feb 06, 2003 11:51 pm
So..when they played one on one...I wonder who got to 10 first? Hakeem or Yao? Or did they play HORSE lol


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 4:59 am
Posts: 247Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:05 am
Hakeem doesn't need to teach Yao how to play basketball; yao already has the skills; what yao lacks is the mental toughness. That's why DReam was telling Yao over and over to dominate. In the 4th quarter, he is the big fella, he needs to demand the ball. the offense needs to run through yao, not mcgrady during this time in the game. I was so frustrated watching the utah series especially game 7 because Yao was not demanding the ball. Also, yao needs to attack the basket during the 4th quarter; stop settling for these 10 foot turn around jump shots! attack or get fouled; christ he shoots almost 90% from the foul line. it's win win.


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