For those who missed it, Arenas recently slammed Olajuwon for charging $50,000 to train current NBA players during the offseason. The former NBA guard blasted Olajuwon and criticized his old-school style of play, noting that it's not even desirable today. Arenas added that The Dream should be “ashamed” for trying to make money through the young players.
“Nobody wants that Hakeem Olajuwon skyhook. You should be ashamed of yourself. Charging these young whippersnappers $50,000. When you came into the league in 1984, you weren't getting $50,000 a game. You’re trying to make the money back through the youth!” Arenas exclaimed.
Of course there are a lot of things wrong about what Gilbert Arenas said. First and foremost, Hakeem Olajuwon is simply trying to make the most of his skills and experience. That's pretty normal even in the usual job market. Even the current generation of NBA players sometimes charge fees from children when conducting summer camps.
For his part, Ralph Sampson pointed out that Olajuwon is well worth the pay he's getting contrary to what Arenas is trying to say. While Arenas implied that players today can't learn anything from the Rockets icon, Sampson has a different opinion.
“Gilbert, I respect his game to whatever degree, but when you try to compare that to ‘The Dream,' Hakeem Olajuwon, big man back in the day, the skill-set and the footwork that Hakeem had, [Arenas] needs to go back and look at some more film because I don't think he really knows what the hell he’s talking about,” Sampson said on SiriusXM NBA Radio.
“You gotta understand that footwork, and the game today, is all about footwork.”
Sampson couldn't have said it any better. While it's true that the modern NBA playing style has little appreciation to big men with post-up plays, there's still something to be learned from the old days. As the four-time All-Star said, footwork is eternal.
It remains to be seen if Arenas will respond to Sampson's take on his comments. Given how he has not held back in sharing his opinion, though, it might not be long before we hear from Agent Zero.