Hakeem Olajuwon surprised everybody last week when he heaped a ton of praise on the newly-formed dynamic duo of Dwight Howard and Jeremy Lin. His optimism over how well they’d play together was interesting for several reasons, but the most notable ones were his confidence in Howard’s health and his faith in Lin’s ability to bounce back after something of an underwhelming first season with the Houston Rockets. And of course that’s to say nothing of the fact that, with James Harden still in the mix, it’s unlikely that Howard and Lin will get a chance to develop all that much chemistry.
Still, Olajuwon was adamant.
"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,'” he said.
Later in the week, while speaking to the good folks at My Fox Houston, Lin expressed a bit of surprise at the things that Olajuwon had said.
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"I think anybody and Dwight is a deadly combination," he said.
"I'm just very humbled and flattered," Lin added. "I didn't think he was going to go and say that. It's different for someone to say that, but for him to say that it's just like 'wow,' coming from one of the best whoever did it in the post. Maybe I might find myself down there a little more, but definitely not major given our personnel and our team and our style, but maybe here and there definitely."
Does Olajuwon’s endorsement mean that the Rockets are guaranteed to have a successful year? Of course not. But the guy is one of the best NBA players of all time, so having a stamp of approval from him definitely isn’t anything to sneeze at.