Student Ronny Turiaf on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the Teacher
New Warrior Ronny Turiaf is blogging on Golden State's official website, and in his first post (from China!) he talks about one of his great mentors from his Laker days:
I have to tell you that yesterday at practice I got to see my man Kareem Abdul Jabaar. He has been a great force behind a lot of my success. He is not the type of guy that is going to speak his mind about your game too much...unless you want him to. When I was in Los Angeles, he would sit on the sideline and watch how I play - he could tell I was struggling and trying to pass the ball too much at certain times. He really helped me gain faith in myself and confidence in myself. He always worked on the Mikan drill with me before practice and he would always tell me: "Ronny, I know you are a great passer, but I want you to be able to score the ball and create fouls after you get offensive rebounds."
I remember last year during the playoffs against the Spurs, I got an offensive rebound and my first thought was to pass it, but then I remembered what he said so I went up and dunked the ball with Tim Duncan right next to me. After the play, I was pointing at him because we were just talking about doing that on the morning of the game. He said "Ronny, tonight, you are not passing the ball if you get an offensive rebound."
Kareem is a guy who was always there for me and whenever I was down I could always go to him and he would be that voice of reason. I can say that I am friends with Kareem Abdul Jabaar and that is pretty neat.