The Houston Rockets are known to be the team with great centers, starting from Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson to Yao Ming and Dwight Howard.
Sampson in particular has recently wrote a short post regarding Dwight Howard, explaining how to better use his talent. And being one of those, who played with one of the most talented NBA centers, Hakeem Olajuwon, Sampson was honest regarding Howard’s capabilities.
“It’s been fun watching the development of Dwight this year. I talked with Hakeem Olajuwon a bit about Dwight. Dwight isn’t gonna have a Dream Shake. Dwight is Dwight,” Sampson said in a post on LegendsCorner.
“Maybe he’ll be able to incorporate some more moves, but Dwight is an athlete. He’s a raw, pure athlete who can jump, run, rebound and block shots. He’s a great player at what he does,” Sampson said.
Former NBA center further spoke about Howard’s passion for basketball, and what people expect from him on the court.
“I get asked about Dwight’s passion to play basketball quite often,” Sampson said. “I’ve known him since high school. He’s a guy that likes to joke around. Some people have asked him to be more serious – you could see that during his time in Los Angeles.”
Sampson believes people need to understand Howard, and let him be the way he is.
“You’ve got to let Dwight be who he is,” he said. “Houston has a rich history of big men leading the Rockets to NBA Championships. He has to get that championship mindset in his head. Maybe getting some players around him that say “let’s get down and dirty and win a championship” will help accomplish that.”
Sampson then compared Dwight to Kobe Bryant, with whom Howard spent one season in LA.
“Kobe is a killer at everything he wants to do,” according to Sampson. “Dwight is not that same type of person. It did help that Kobe had Phil Jackson, who was able to mold and get the maximum potential out of every individual player.”
“With Dwight, you’ve got to let him be who he is and put him on the court in situations where he will succeed,” Sampson believes.
The #1 pick in the 1983 NBA Draft, the 7’4 Ralph Sampson spent 9 seasons in the league (1983-1992), playing for Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Bullets. He played in total of 456 NBA games (started in 363), averaging 15.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.6 bpg in 29.8 mpg.
Having retired from the NBA, Sampson played eight games for Unicaja Ronda of the Spanish League during the 1991–92 season. In 2012, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
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