Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon, in his new role with the Houston Rockets as the team's player development specialist, is very impressed with what point guard Jeremy Lin brings to the table.
Olajuwon joined Rockets head coach Kevin McHale and members of his staff last week in Colorado where they worked with Lin and center Dwight Howard.
While Olajuwon's role is mainly to work with the team's big men, he said he is not just limited to the bigs and Lin really caught his attention.
"In Aspen I worked with Jeremy Lin a little bit in the post and I was very impressed," Olajuwon said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "He has a nice post move. I said 'how come you are not using that in a game.' He said 'I played like that in college' and Olajuwon pointed out to Lin 'If you catch those little guys in the game that guard you, your advantage should be in the post.'
"I was told Jeremy's very, very strong. If he's stronger than a guy, take him in the post. The post is not just for big men. The post is for anybody that can take advantage of their size. Take him down in the post."
This was Olajuwon's second time to work with Howard in his new role with the franchise, but his first chance help Lin.
"It was fun," Olajuwon said. "The first thing I told him when I saw him shooting, you hear from different people, a lot of them say he cannot shoot. So I went to him and I said 'I thought you can't shoot,' because the way he was shooting, I was very impressed. He was working on his shot. He was shooting tough shots and was making them.
"So I went to him (and said) I thought you can't shoot and he was laughing. He really has been working on his shot and I love his work ethic."
Olajuwon believes Lin is a very important asset for the Rockets.
"To be on the right team, which he is right now, he can really help and play his role very well and be effective," Olajuwon said. "There's no pressure on him now.
"It's on Dwight and James (Harden). His position is crucial for the team's success and he can play that role very well."
And Lin's role includes getting the basketball to Howard.
"Just the little offense I saw, that combination is very deadly and you can see that both of them are very excited seeing that 'wow, we bring the right ingredients together,' " Olajuwon said.
"When you see players that are dedicated to succeed it gives you that window to see what kind of season that we're looking for."
Olajuwon remains impressed with what he has seen with Howard as he prepares for the upcoming season.
"Dwight can clearly dominate this league comfortably," Olajuwon said. "He has everything that he needs and he has desire and work ethic to do it."
During the interview with FOX 26 Sports Olajuwon took time out to "correct" quotes that were recently attributed to him in a story where he reportedly said Howard is "raw."
"That was insulting," Olajuwon said. "The guy's been in the league for 10 years. Every time I work with him, I see him train, I'm more impressed to see how much talent and how far he can take it.
"So how can you say that kind of player is raw. I was very upset because that was insulting to me and to Dwight."
The former Rockets star expects Howard to benefit a great deal from working with McHale.
The two played against each other back in the day.
"Getting the chance to work with him now, I'm even more impressed because of his communication with the players and also tremendous respect that he's been there.
"He's a good teacher. He's a good communicator. He's a demanding guy who knows he can win and he's a winner and that attitude carries over."
Olajuwon said McHale's boss, owner Leslie Alexander, is also a winner.
"The city should be very proud to have an owner like Les," Olajuwon said. "He puts the right people in the right places. That's the sign of a leader.
"He's not afraid to take a risk. He will spend. He wants to win. He's a winner."
And Olajuwon believes Alexander's team has the opportunity to be a big winner.
"This team, they have everything they need, a complete team," Olajuwon said.
"This team is a legitimate contender."