Michael Olowokandi Had No Use for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Advice
In an editorial piece for ESPN, Kareem takes the immortal Kandi Man to task for refusing to listen to him (and others) back in the day, and blames that sort of attitude for Olowokandi’s disappoiting career: “Many teams are spending too much money on marginal talent. Most of the owners would tell you they have no problem paying the star-caliber players at the present rates, but they object to the salaries of players on the roster who don’t contribute enough. So we can probably expect to see the owners push for some form of a hard salary cap that will make it possible for the various franchises to lose some of the deadwood collecting big money as they ride the bench. This problem, too, is not really the players’ fault. The league has taken in a huge influx of unproven talent by drafting and signing very young players. In the old days, college was a great place for players to mature and learn the game. Now, with an entry age of 19, we see too many pampered, immature and uncoachable players coming into the NBA. I believe this has hurt both the pro game and the college game. The colleges are losing their best players to the pros, and the NBA has to keep these players on the bench while they (hopefully) develop the basketball IQ and maturity to play at the NBA level. However, that development doesn’t always happen; there are way too many washouts. I have seen this process firsthand. When I coached for the Clippers, I had to deal with Michael Olowokandi, a player who perfectly fit the description ‘talented but uncoachable.’ At practice, I would attempt to point out Mr. Olowokandi’s faults to him, ones he constantly repeated and resulted in lost possessions for the team or personal fouls that sent him to the bench. His reaction to my attempts to correct his bad habits was to take my input as a personal insult and embarrassment. He told me point-blank that he would not be criticized in front of the team. He stuck to his word and, as a result, had very few successful moments on the court playing the way he wanted to play. He took his place on the list of athletically gifted washouts who have been in and out of the league in the past 10 years.”
WOW!! Im baffled by this, You gotta be crazy or just not a fan of basketball to not wanna listen to kareem
I mean...the guy is so stubborn, that it took cops using two tasers to bring him down when he was arrested back in '04. Lol
Kandi was a hack. Worthless, and undeserving of his contract. Even with his two DECENT seasons with LAC. Anyone rememebr him getting blocked by the rim on a dunk attempt?
Here's a terrific KandiMan vid.
I put Olowokandi in the same class as Eddy Curry & Benoit Benjamin....They had the size and post skills to have been much better then what they became..
I look at the career of Mutombo,he was nowhere near as talent as those guys ..But he had desire, worked to get better and he listened to what others had to say..Now he's on the verge of the Hall of Fame and Olowokandi, Curry and Benjamin would be always known as lazy, uncoachable and out of shape BUSTS..
And who said McDunkin doesnt post Basketball Related Stuff? lol
I wish nba greats would bash on current players a little more, at least be more brutally honest about them. Their are way too many Olowokandi's in the league today. too much attitude and not enough game. How do you give a guy the $ when he doesn't have the mind and heart to reach his ceiling? If I saw Olowokandi on the street i'd roll my eyes at that dummy
Incredible a total bust can ignore advice from the highest NBA points scorer ever!
You do have to pretty much not be willing to listen to advise at all/be dumb to be a 7'0 260 bust though. I'm not surprised, there was no other logical explanation. The fact that he didn't listen to arguably the best big man to ever play basketball is more concerning though.
But I have to say, Olowokandi is not the first big man who has rejected advice from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Shaq was a player Kareem reached out to multiple times, and rejected to work with him. Kareem once sarcastically said, "Shaq is too good to be coached by me." Yes, it is well publicized he worked with Andrew Bynum, and while Bynum was more receptive, here is a good little read from a couple years ago:
Here is another good one, this even has him giving to Bynum's willingness to learn:
Still, I think that there is more to this than straight up rejecting Kareem's advice. You have to ask yourself why teams have never been willing to give Kareem what he wants, which is a significant coaching position on an NBA team. Yes, you would see him behind the Lakers bench, and his work with Bynum was well publicized, but I think that in essence, Kareem might be a REALLY difficult person to work with. As much as Bynum says he had nothing to do with Kareem being demoted (first article), I remember hearing a lot about Bynum wanting to separate himself from him as a mentor.
Here is something from Kareem's wikipedia page, and could indeed possibly tell you why it has been hard for Kareem to communicate with others in coaching:
Since 2005, Abdul-Jabbar has served as special assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar had been interested in coaching since his retirement, and given the influence he had on the league, he thought that the opportunity would present itself. However, during his playing years, Abdul-Jabbar had developed a reputation of being introverted and sullen. He did not speak to the press, leading to the impression that he disliked them. In his biography My Life, Magic Johnson recalls instances when Abdul-Jabbar brushed him off when Magic (as a ball boy) asked for his autograph, Abdul-Jabbar froze out reporters who gave him a too enthusiastic handshake or even hugged him, and refused to stop reading the newspaper while giving an interview. Many basketball observers, in addition to Abdul-Jabbar, believe that Kareem's reticence, whether through disdain for the press corps or simply because of introversion, contributed to the dearth of coaching opportunities offered to Abdul-Jabbar by the NBA. In his words, he said he had a mindset he could not overcome, and proceeded through his career oblivious to the effect his reticence may have had on his coaching prospects in the future. Abdul-Jabbar said: "I didn't understand that I also had affected people that way and that's what it was all about. I always saw it like they were trying to pry. I was way too suspicious and I paid a price for it." Since he began lobbying for a coaching position in 1995, he has managed to obtain only low-level assistant and scouting jobs in the NBA, and a head coaching position only in a minor professional league.
Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament wrote the song "Sweet Lew" about a similar incident when he met Abdul-Jabbar whom he "idolized" at a charity game and got a "complete lack of response or interest". Ament was upset by the incident. The song appears on the Pearl Jam's B-Sides compilation Lost Dogs.
Abdul-Jabbar has worked as an assistant for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Seattle SuperSonics, helping mentor, among others, their young centers, Michael Olowokandi and Jerome James. Abdul-Jabbar was the head coach of the Oklahoma Storm of the United States Basketball League in 2002, leading the team to the league's championship that season, but he failed to land the head coaching position at Columbia University a year later. He then worked as a scout for the New York Knicks. Finally, on September 2, 2005, he returned to the Lakers as a special assistant to Phil Jackson to help the Lakers' centers, and in particular their young draftee Andrew Bynum. Abdul-Jabbar's influence has been credited with Bynum's emergence as a more talented NBA center. Abdul-Jabbar has also served as a volunteer coach at Alchesay High School on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Whiteriver, Arizona in 1998.
Personally, I find Kareem to be incredibly well versed and intelligent, but, than again, I never met with him. Nonetheless, Olowokandi not wanting to be called out in front of teammates probably means that Kareem might have been pretty harsh. I can not say, I wasn't there, but I think there are probably more factors in this than the "Kandi Man", rejecting the teachings of one of the greatest basketball players of All-Time. Olowokandi lacked good hands and in a broad sense, a concept of the game. He was huge, and his athleticism was decent, but being big and athletic only help you in being a basketball player, they do not give you fundamental ability. I am guessing Kareem is probably more in the right in this instance, but I just wanted to provide food for thought for those who ask, "How could a player not eat up every word he says?" Olowokandi was not alone, which is sad, but could in some part be due to possibly the methods of the person teaching it.
This guy is right up there with Kwame as one of the biggest bust at the number 1 slot in nba history.....
Here are probably the worst 5 worst #1 overall picks in NBA history since 1970:
1) LaRue Martin (1972)
2) Kwame Brown (2001)
3) Michael Olowokandi (1998)
4) Kent Benson (1977)
5) Pervis Ellison (1989)
I felt that the moment he was drafted he was GROSSLY overated. I never believed in this guy for one second. I felt that it had become a growing trend for teams to take risks on guys who were "late bloomers" or were overly impressed because their scoring and rebound averages had tripled or quadroupled from one year to the next in college ball. So if you ask me the guy was lucky to EVEN get the opportunity, but now after reading this crap, I feel he was totally undeserving of anything he ever received. To shun the advice of the leagues all time leader in scoring...I mean really, how dumb can you be???
Just by listening to how Kareem reacts to other prominent basketball news (Pippen: the statue issue), I would not be surprised at all to learn of him being extremely hard to work with or for. There is more than just talent involved in knowing how to help others improve and I have seen very little evidence that Kareem is a better coach or mentor than most assistants in the NBA.
For years teams have favored big men over perimter players..
Hard to believe it NOW...But if Jordan had waited until 1985 to turn pro,he would've went 4th,behind Ewing,Tisdale and BENOIT BEJAMIN..LMAO
Yeah, the Kandiman. Problem was he was so physically talented that you couldn't NOT take him in that draft. 7 feet, 270 lbs, 35" max vert and a 7'8" wingspan. Plus he had a soft touch. For him it was ALL mental. He was a head case from day one, and any bigman who does not take advice from Kareem is a moron. If you think Kareem is harsh, I must assume you were NEVER COACHED. All coaches I know and have had have been harsh and critical.
DAMN! Kareem dropped that ether on kandi man and the league as a whole..........I always wondered why he went #1....Then i remember watching his interviews and realizing how intellegent & well spoken he came off....He probably blew away scouts with his intellect add his physcical presence, he probably had the clippers front office going ape sh#t LOL....
Anyone else remember that baptism a young amare gave him.....that dunk was ridclous ,I had that slam poster for years on my wall.............
What an ass-clown. Sign of poor attitude and immaturity. Greg Popovich is well publisized for reaming Tim Duncan in practices and even during timeouts! Duncan is arguably the best PF ever and he doesn't say a peep.
I can't even see the name Kwame Brown without hearing Stephen A. Smith's voice screaming 'KWAH-MAY Brown, he is a bona fide scrub...no disrespect to the guy but he can't play the game of basketball'
Stephen A. Smith is a joke.
Btw, MikeyV, you are correct in hearing that Bynum wanted to seperate himself from Cap. Btwm just so happens that Kwame actually in fact turned down Kareem's offer to work with him when he began tutoring Bynum. The reasoning though behind kwame was that in his own mind he was a pf, not a center. While he may have envisioned himself a 4, LAL had him playing the 5 so any help you can get is worth taking. Chris Mihm didn't hesitate to take a few lessons. Actually, if I recall, not long after hearing this wa when Mihm had his career game against Seattle where he also ultimately ended his career with a bad ankle injury that never properly healed.