NBA superstar Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon can add both mentor and now entrepreneur to his long list of accomplishments, but more on the latter later. The retired Nigerian-American legend is best known for his extraordinary trajectory playing for the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors between the years of 1984 and 2002. He would later be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame back in 2008. His extensive list of accomplishments also awarded him the nickname “The Dream” for his gracefulness on the court.
With a history of accolades under his belt, who would’ve suspected that one day he’d help influence the career of future MVP LeBron James. LeBron James is an NBA player who is currently Cleveland Cavaliers’ MVP player. He’s won two NBA championships, was awarded Most Valuable Player, won two NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, and the list of accolades are endless for this rising star. However, these triumphs were no overnight success – his famous moves on the court were finessed by his mentor “The Dream” aka Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon.
LeBron is one of many who’ve gone onto success post training with the legendary player – accomplished players include Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Amare Stoudmire, JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried – but when it came to LeBron, he showed Olajuwon a determination that would separate him from the pack. Olajuwon saw a hunger in LeBron; a desire for perfection that he had once experienced himself as a former player. They’d work upon countless hours of drills and repetition at Olajuwon’s ranch in Katy, TX. During training, Olajuwon embraced LeBron’s talents and yet were able to perfect it to its current championship level status. Needless to say, the two would develop a close bond as both teacher and pupil. Olajuwon would later admit to press the reasoning behind their close-knit friendship which was attributed to LeBron’s humility and drive from the very first day of meeting. To see LeBron shine on the court with his famous “Dream Shake,” (Olajuwon’s legendary move) has been a true dream (pun intended). Olajuwon’s training would propel LeBron into stardom and the two have fostered a friendship that has flourished in recent years. Olajuwon has openly discussed LeBron’s success and firmly believes he has surpassed his fellow comrades because of LeBron’s determination since day one. Olajuwon can only hope that with success and the passing years, that it won’t deter LeBron’s future performance on the court.
As for Olajuwon, he continues to train and has now patent the name “The Dream.” He has also teamed up the sneaker brand Etonic (of which has recently re-launched) to promote his new sneakers The Dream Hall of Fame, Street Fighter, and the Trans Am Trainer. The full apparel line includes lifestyle gear and personally designed basketball shoes all in honor of his unforgettable legacy known as “The Dream Shake.”
By Roz Baron