Amar'e Stoudemire flew out to Texas in August to spend a couple weeks under the tutelage of Hakeem Olajuwon. Besides being one of New York's primary nemeses of the nineties, the man they call the Dream is a friend and former teammate of Mike Woodson and a willing, if pricey, instructor who's helped to refine the games of numerous NBA players (most notably LeBron James). Amar'e, who desperately needed to get back on track after a rough 2011-2012 season, sounded pretty thrilled after his time with Olajuwon, and now some other Knicks are signed up for Dream School as well.
Chris Broussard first reported Olajuwon's intention to New York next week to meet the Knicks at their training facility in Greenburgh. A gaggle of Knicks have already assembled there for some "pre-training camp" activities, and Olajuwon will spend anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks with those guys, building off of whatever work he's done with Stoudemire. Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Marcus Camby are expected to join Stoudemire as Olajuwon's chief pupils, and their teacher already has some idea of what his curriculum will be:
"It shouldn't be Amare just staying in the post because he can be a scorer in the paint and outside," Olajuwon said. "It's the same thing for Carmelo. He can score in the post and outside. So if Carmelo is in the post, Amare can be at the foul line and he can make that shot. If Amare's in the post, Carmelo can make the shot from the free-throw line, too. They shouldn't be competing against each other; they should be complementing each other. They need each other to win."
Indeed! Olajuwon went on to say that Chandler ought to have a few more moves at his disposal when the ball's in his hands, which also sounds on point. All of this, to me, is more encouraging than anything Amar'e did by himself. Every player benefits from practicing some new moves, but what New York really needs is to get Anthony, Stoudemire, and Chandler on the same page. For these Knicks to ever resemble a contender, Melo and Amar'e need to supplement each other's games, and Amar'e and Chandler need to stop colliding in the paint. Dream or no Dream, it's a splendid idea to get all of them in the same room, working on the same stuff, and steeping in one another's court presence. They ought to be listening to all the same music, reading the same books, and riding three-seat bicycles together (Camby can sit on the handlebars if he wants). A frontcourt with some semblance of synchrony could really make a difference for the Knicks, and Dream School seems like one step in that direction. Cool.
(As a side note, yeah, it's pretty funny to see the Knicks offer Patrick Ewing a D-League job, then invite one of his archenemies in to train their star players. It's not like they're hiring Olajuwon for real, though. Not yet, anyway.)