In a big WTF of the day, Gilbert Arenas went in on one of the game’s all-time greats when he cirticized Houston Rockets Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon for charging $50k per training session at his big man school. On his podcast, Arenas said:
“Nobody wants the Hakeem Olajuwon sky hook. Nobody wants none of that... 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 grand for that bull----. 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 you gonna do the moves on? Wembanyama?”
Look, I wasn’t even going to dignify this unhinged rant with a post, but it’s slow season right now and anything other than the KPJ disaster is a-okay by me at this point. First, Hakeem wasn’t the guy who patented the sky hook — that was Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Second, people do want to train with Hakeem and have. Players over the years have included Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudamire and many others. Current players include Alperen Sengun and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Third, anyone who has watched even a few minutes of Hakeem’s game should realize there are numerous facets of his repertoire that carry over, including treating big man footwork like guard footwork (big men are more like guards than ever), and though Hakeem didn’t shoot the three in his day, he had a money jump shot and there’s not too many people out there who don’t think he easily could have shot threes if that was the state of the game during his time.
In fact, Hakeem’s game was so advanced and so guard-like when it came to mis-direction, ball-handling (his right-handed crossover was unstoppable) and footwork, you could even consider him the forefather to the modern big man of today.
Arenas currently reeks of jealousy (how many guys are going to him for training period, let alone at $50k per pop) and a serious lack of knowledge, but thankfully, it appears by many of the social media comments, that most NBA fans aren’t taking this ridiculous rant very seriously.