With the long-term future uncertain, this is a huge upcoming season for Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The 2021 NBA Finals MVP is doing everything he can to help lead his team back to the basketball apex, which includes spending time with Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon.
Following the championship pair's workout, Antetokounmpo took to social media to share his heartfelt appreciation for the big man's tutelage. “I enjoy being a student of the game. Learn, respect and appreciate greatness,” he posted on X, via ClutchPoints. “Thank you Hakeem 34.”
Olajuwon apparently gave Antetokounmpo some valuable advice while the Bucks superstar honed his game at the University of Houston, the Nigerian's alma mater. Few centers have possessed the elite combination of supreme offensive touch and elite shot-blocking that the Houston Rockets legend exemplified in his storied, 18-year career. The Greek Freak, who is also of Nigerian descent, is already headed to Springfield, but that doesn't mean there isn't more for him to learn.
“I enjoy being a student of the game. Learn, respect and appreciate greatness. Thank you Hakeem 34.”
Giannis sat down with Hakeem Olajuwon after their workout 🙌
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) September 25, 2023
Antetokounmpo has fallen short of his and fans' colossal expectations in the playoffs the past couple seasons. Despite his prior protesting, this one-on-one time with Hakeem Olajuwon suggests that he is firmly in championship-or-failure mode going into the 2023-24 campaign.
Perhaps he just learned a couple of signature post moves that could counter the ramped-up defense he will inevitably face in the postseason. Olajuwon's mentorship costs a pretty penny, so hopefully Giannis Antetokounmpo soaked up all the knowledge that was made available to him.
The Bucks are intent on doing everything they can to extend their franchise pillar before he potentially hits the free agent market in a couple years. It would be a shame for him to bring his newfound HOF wisdom somewhere else.