Les Probably Won't Release Dream...More

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Jeff, Jan 22, 2001.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    Really interesting stuff on Olajuwon from the Chron. Sounds like a different guy:

    Olajuwon sets his mind on Rockets' team goals
    By JONATHAN FEIGEN
    Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle


    Hakeem Olajuwon knew just how to spend his 38th birthday on Sunday.

    "Practice and go home and relax with an ice pack," he said.

    After that, however, he was not sure exactly what would happen next, or perhaps even what he wanted from the Rockets to mark the occasion.

    "I don't want to try to put myself in an area where you feel you are trying to fit in," said Olajuwon. "There are many teams that want you to come help them instead of fighting to get into a situation."

    Olajuwon was vague about issues he might have with Rockets role and solutions he could seek. He did not say he wanted to leave the Rockets and spoke extensively about "contributing" during their second half of the season.

    "The goal is to win and to accomplish our goal, which is to get to the playoffs," he said. "That's what I would like to accomplish. At this stage of my career, I want to contribute. There's nothing really to prove. I want to contribute, make a difference with a team."

    Olajuwon practiced with the Rockets for the first time this month on Sunday and reported more difficulty with his conditioning than with the swollen right knee that forced him to miss the Rockets' past 11 games. He and coach Rudy Tomjanovich said Olajuwon would not play in Denver on Tuesday, but that he could be ready to return by Wednesday's game against the 76ers at Compaq Center.

    Olajuwon has, sources said, suggested that the Rockets trade or waive him. On Sunday, he would not address his conversations with team officials or whether he would more directly ask Rockets owner Leslie Alexander to release him.

    Asked if he would request his release, Olajuwon said, "I would talk about that (publicly) only after we know the clear direction.

    "I don't have any choice. I'm under contract. I have to finish out. We talk about business. When you have a contract, you ask for different things that can be worked out."

    Clearly enjoying his post-practice competitions with Carlos Rogers and Maurice Taylor and describing himself as the Rockets' "big brother," Olajuwon said his happiness for the rest of this season does not concern him.

    Instead, he seemed concerned with maintaining an amicable relationship with the franchise beyond this season. Though he would not say whether he thought it was time to move on, he did sound as if his future with the team is unresolved.

    "Basketball does not determine my happiness. I'm happy, period," he said. "The question is over the best situation for everybody, to make a good decision where everybody is happy, where I could come back here and talk to the guys and feel free, not feel a stranger. I've come too far with this team to get in that situation. This is more of a gentleman thing.

    "I think it's open. Naturally, I love Houston. Houston is always my home. I can play somewhere else and come back home. But this is my home. The fans in Houston have been gracious to me. I am very grateful to them.

    "But there is nothing to be blown out of proportion. I want it on good terms, everybody's happy, this is a good decision for everybody -- not frustration, mad. We have come too far. All my career is on this team. I don't want to do anything to that."

    The chance of the Rockets working a trade for Olajuwon is remote because of salary-cap rules, his $16.5 million salary this season and the Rockets' determination to be well under the cap come summer.

    Olajuwon was scheduled to meet with Alexander last week when he could have more formerly requested to be placed on waivers. Alexander, sources said Sunday, does plan to meet with Olajuwon on Wednesday, but he is not considering releasing him. In fact, sources said Alexander plans to try to make Olajuwon more comfortable with playing his last season with the Rockets in his current role.

    "After Les talks with him," a source close to both Alexander and Olajuwon said, "I think everything will be fine with Hakeem."


    Though he has not attended the games he has missed this month, Olajuwon said he has been watching the Rockets on television and remains confident in the team in general and in his ability to contribute.

    "Naturally, I enjoy watching them play," he said. "The game was exciting, especially when you know the players. You look at things you can talk to them about after (the games).

    "You'd like to complement that, not to take anything away from them.

    "At this stage of my career, I just want to have fun, enjoy the basketball. I want to see where I can really make a difference. The goal is to win together. At this stage of my career, I don't want to be needed. I don't need that. We have guys that are very, very talented. Just a little bit you give them can make a big difference."


    Olajuwon said he was happy with the first full practice test of his knee. The problem, a cyst that caused swelling when he worked out, developed Dec. 21 against the Lakers and has kept him out of action since Dec. 30.

    "It was good to have him back, and I thought he looked OK. He did good," Tomjanovich said. "We started right out working on the running game, so of course he was a little winded."

    Said forward Maurice Taylor: "He looked good. The thing about Dream is no matter how much time he has off, how much time he's on the court, he looks the same, exactly the same. He was doing the things he was doing before he got hurt. I'm looking forward to him coming back and playing center. He's been calling me the smallest center in the league and some college teams. I don't like that too much. We definitely need him down there."

    Olajuwon has averaged 10.2 points and 6.4 rebounds in 29 games. With Kelvin Cato out with a partially torn rotator cuff and Jason Collier working his way back from knee surgery, the Rockets have played most of the past 11 games with no true center.

    "This team is playing good basketball," Olajuwon said. "The most important thing is to complement that. I don't want to take away.

    "The knee is much better. I just have to condition. That is the key now. Today was a chance to run up and down, back and in full practice. I don't want to start in Denver conditioning."

    Olajuwon said he believed he could add to the Rockets' qualities without taking anything away, even pointing to the Lakers' often-tempestuous mix of Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant as an example.

    "It should be natural," Olajuwon said. "After the Lakers game, I was watching an interview with Kobe and Bill Worrell and (Calvin) Murphy. (Bryant) talked so much sense about it's natural to play with Shaq, it's easy to play with Shaq. It's so natural. It's so easy to play with Shaq because it's not one or the other; you need both of them. That's what I'm saying. It's not one or the other; you need both of them.

    "It's not just me. You can tell the personality of this team is each guy; we have so much fun. I'm like a big brother for those guys. There's not a players' conflict."


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    Me fail English? That's unpossible.
     
  2. SmeggySmeg

    SmeggySmeg Contributing Member

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  3. ROXTXIA

    ROXTXIA Contributing Member

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    (sigh) Oh, well. What Hakeem says makes lots of sense. The 8-million-dollars kind of sense.
    So: genie, my only wish: Chris Webber.

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  4. Mango

    Mango Contributing Member

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    Getting brave messing with an Admin?

    Plus, are you trying to put me out of a job?

    What has gotten into you?


    Mango


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    We neeed more threads about Dream!
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    Donate Blood or be assimilated!

    [This message has been edited by Mango (edited January 21, 2001).]
     
  5. Raven Lunatic

    Raven Lunatic Contributing Member

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    Hakeem does sound very different in these quotes, and I hope he is coming to his senses, but one thing he said makes me kind of nervous.

    When he was discussing that the Lakers have the post game and the wing game, just like the Rockets can, Dream, maybe without realizing it, compared himself to Shaq, possibly indicating that Hakeem should get as many touches, which is obviously not true.

    Now I know I may be reading too much into this, but it is something to think about. Hopefully Dream doesn't think that the Rockets need to be run like the Lakers, with the post getting as many touches as Francis up top.

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    "Of course, everything looks bad if you remember it!"
    Homer Simpson

    [This message has been edited by RunninRaven (edited January 22, 2001).]
     
  6. Drewdog

    Drewdog Contributing Member

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    Thank God!!! Can we please end the BS Hakeem trade scenarios?

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    "Chucky who?" Charles Barkley
     
  7. Rockets R' Us

    Rockets R' Us Contributing Member

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    Ok take this for what you will. I know I'm gonna be slammed by 50,000 people on saying this, but I think Hakeem's staying. Why? Once again, take this for what you want. Fact: my dad was a radio DJ. Fact: My dad has met Hakeem. Fact: My dad has hakeem's home phone number. FACT. Now, the other day after my basketball game my dad came to pick me up and said that Hakeem was going nowhere. I of course told him the opposite,stating that he has been in talks with the Heat and their is no way he's gonna stay. He told me that he talked with Hakeem and asked him if he was gonna stay and Hakeem said he was gonna stay and retire. ONCE AGAIN TAKE THIS FOR WHAT YOU WILL. I HAVE NOT MADE THIS UP. Maybe my dad is just bs'ing and screwing with my mind but he was serious when he said it. I DONT KNOW. WARNING WARNING WARNING Hey, I'm no Doc Rocket......but that was just to add to your pondering session. What I'm thinking is, maybe Dream's just makin this up so that he can get back in the spotlight in his last year. He wants to be on the headlines again and surely something like this kind of publicity stunt would work.

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    Charles Barkley on TBS on the "fat track" poll: "What? 47% said I'd gain more.....why those.....they better be glad this is a family show."
     
  8. Plowman

    Plowman Contributing Member

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    oops!..sorry

    [This message has been edited by hardwood (edited January 22, 2001).]
     
  9. Plowman

    Plowman Contributing Member

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    IF, that is the case, then I would hope he would announce his retirement early, so we can pay homage to him.Since Dream still plays well enough to put a contending team over the hump,it would be sooo classy if he retired after this year.......There are such long odds , that we could overachieve and make that run,but it would seem the only way I think that he,and the organization don't do this,REGARDLESS of earlier comments.Assumming the timing was appropriate, it would be awesome.....Rockets R' Us ...makes sense, you either you go down as Bob Woodward or just get ribbed a little.

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    [This message has been edited by hardwood (edited January 22, 2001).]
     
  10. ROXTXIA

    ROXTXIA Contributing Member

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    I don't want to say you're wrong about Dream and what your dad said. I don't want to be one of the 50,000. But someone can say something publicly and think something else in private. If Hakeem wanted to retire gracefully, this isn't the way to do it. Tell you the truth, Hakeem should play another year or two. He can still give a solid 24 minutes a game. But you could be right, anything is possible at this time, i.e., "I'm sick of all this BS, maybe I'll just retire."

    Still, I have my doubts.

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  11. Dr of Dunk

    Dr of Dunk Clutch Crew

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    Poor Jeff... he's been getting blasted at every move lately. Off-topic posts, can't be funny, re-posting existing threads... what's next?

    www.saveourjeff.com

    [​IMG]

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    "No Brain Grant, no trade." -- Typos are a bitch as ZRB is holding Rocket trades hostage while he seeks a brain. Conspiracy theorists say this would explain why Hakeem has yet to be traded...
     
  12. Rockets R' Us

    Rockets R' Us Contributing Member

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    LOL [​IMG]

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    Charles Barkley on TBS on the "fat track" poll: "What? 47% said I'd gain more.....why those.....they better be glad this is a family show."
     
  13. Lil Francis

    Lil Francis Member

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    Thats a damn good wish.


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    President of the Steve Francis, Jamal Crawford,Larry Hughes, and Charles Woodson fan club.
     
  14. Ace

    Ace Contributing Member

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    LOL. First funny SaveOurRockets.com reference in a long time. [​IMG]

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    Nederland 2002

    Rocketman95 on board. Check out his latest game recaps.

    [This message has been edited by Ace (edited January 23, 2001).]
     
  15. Nolen

    Nolen Contributing Member

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    Translation:

    "I don't want to try to put myself in an area where you feel you are trying to fit in," said Olajuwon.

    I don't want to work on the new sets that Rudy has drawn up. I don't want to be passing from the high post. I don't want to work on intricate timing of picks and cuts to the basket. I don't want to work at 'fitting in' with Steve and Cuttino's game.

    "There are many teams that want you to come help them instead of fighting to get into a situation."

    Miami, Phoenix and LA all told me they really need me. I don't think I'll have to do all this silly stuff if I play for them.

    Asked if he would request his release, Olajuwon said, "I would talk about that (publicly) only after we know the clear direction."

    I'm not going to owe up to that unless I know Les will let me go.

    "Basketball does not determine my happiness. I'm happy, period," he said. "The question is over the best situation for everybody, to make a good decision where everybody is happy,"

    The question is: can we work out a trade where I can be happy and play on a contending team that needs me, and the Rockets get some players they need too?

    "...where I could come back here and talk to the guys and feel free, not feel a stranger. I've come too far with this team to get in that situation. This is more of a gentleman thing."

    ...and after such a trade, I could still come and hang with the boys and everything would be cool. I wouldn't want the guys to think I'm a jerk. No hard feelings, but this is a business. And I've done enough for this franchise that people shouldn't freak on me if I leave.

    "I think it's open. Naturally, I love Houston. Houston is always my home. I can play somewhere else and come back home. But this is my home. The fans in Houston have been gracious to me. I am very grateful to them."

    It's all love, baby. Even if I leave, my heart is here, you guys know that. The fans have been good to me, and I've been good to ya'll.

    "It was good to have him back, and I thought he looked OK. He did good," Tomjanovich said. "We started right out working on the running game, so of course he was a little winded."

    He's practicing. He still doesn't fit our running game.

    "It should be natural," Olajuwon said. "After the Lakers game, I was watching an interview with Kobe and Bill Worrell and (Calvin) Murphy. (Bryant) talked so much sense about it's natural to play with Shaq, it's easy to play with Shaq. It's so natural. It's so easy to play with Shaq because it's not one or the other; you need both of them. That's what I'm saying. It's not one or the other; you need both of them."

    Look, it's not that hard. Surely, fitting Steve and Cat's game with mine can be a natural process. They've got the same thing in LA, trying to fit a dominating perimiter player with dominating big man, like me.
     
  16. ROCKETBOOSTER

    ROCKETBOOSTER Member

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    Hmmm...I wonder what Dream is saying to Les in his office right about now?

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  17. Plowman

    Plowman Contributing Member

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    Too bad we don't have a secret camera in one of those great white shark eyes , that appear on the horrible Rocket Jammies!I'm sure they are placed all over Les's office in pictures and posters.

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    [This message has been edited by hardwood (edited January 24, 2001).]
     
  18. dc rock

    dc rock Contributing Member

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