- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Stoudemire is slated to work with Olajuwon in August at the Hall of Famer's Texas compound.
Olajuwon also tutored Stoudemire last summer in a one-week session that reportedly cost $50,000. This summer, the Hall of Famer expects Stoudemire to add to his arsenal in the post.
New York Knicks
"Once he’s comfortable, we can apply a little more innovation. If he’s moving good, it will be smoother and he’ll get good elevation, and he’ll get to another level," Olajuwon said in an interview with the New York Post.
Last summer, Stoudemire wowed Olajuwon with his athleticism. So the former Rockets center, who led Houston to back-to-back titles in the mid-'90s, believes he can get plenty done with Amar'e this time around.
“One week is excellent,” Olajuwon said. “It’s enough time, a very good time period with enough repetitions. I was amazed how athletic he is, shooting, jumping and running but he knew he had to develop his game to maximize it.”
Offense has never been a problem for Stoudemire. It's his defense and health that have been an issue for the Knicks.
Stoudemire was limited to just 29 regular-season games and a short stint in the playoffs due to knee ailments. He's played in just 84 of the Knicks' 165 games over the past two seasons. Knicks GM Glen Grunwald has not ruled out the possibility that Stoudemire will play next season on a minutes limit to protect his knees. Stoudemire is owed $45 million over the next two seasons.
When healthy, though, Stoudemire flashed a nice array of moves in the post last season.
He averaged 14.2 points on 57 percent shooting in the regular season.
Olajuwon hopes that Stoudemire's knees remain strong over the summer so he can continue to add to his repertoire in the post.
"Sometimes you can reverse [the negative impact of knee surgery] and the knees get stronger," Olajuwon said. "To be an All-Star, it’s not the goal right now. But for the Knicks to challenge Miami, they need him to be close to his potential, and all he needs is just a good season.”
Question: Are you optimistic that Stoudemire can provide strong post play for the Knicks next season?