Andew Bogut has all of the tools to be a special player in the NBA.
So far in his NBA career he has been a solid player, but has not developed his game to an elite level.
Bogut should consider seeking out a mentor to help him work out some of the holes in his game. There are three legends in particular that would work well with Bogut.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may have been the best center to ever to lace up sneakers and play on an NBA court. He won a record six MVPs, as well as six NBA Championships. He is the NBA all-time scoring leader.
Simply put, his resume speaks for itself.
There is so much young players like Andrew Bogut could learn from a man like Kareem. Most recently, Abdul-Jabbar was a coach for the Los Angles Lakers, working with Andrew Bynum. Many people credit Abdul-Jabbar for the growth of Bynum as a solid big man in the NBA.
It would be interesting to see Abdul-Jabbar come full circle and return to the team that gave him his start, the Milwaukee Bucks. Bogut would benefit incredibly working with a legendary player like Kareem. He would be able to learn some of the basic fundamentals of the game that came so effortlessly for Kareem.
Bogut is already a great shot blocker, but there is room to improve his overall defensive game. Kareem, having been selected to the NBA All-Defensive team 11 times, could help Bogut to improve his foot work, leverage in the post and timing with help defense to help him reach elite status as a defensive player.
Has there ever been a shot more effective that the Abdul-Jabbar sky hook?
Many players have tried to duplicate this deadly shot, but no one was more effective than Kareem. When done correctly, the shot is nearly unstoppable. Bogut uses something similar to the sky hook in a running hook in the lane, but the results are mixed.
Abdul-Jabbar could teach Bogut the finer points of the sky hook and what makes it so effective. A big difference between the two players taking the shot is the release point. Abdul-Jabbar was able to release the ball with full extension at the apex of fully extended body. Bogut currently releases the ball much lower that his fully extended body can reach, making the shot easier to defend.
Even if the Bucks can not bring Abdul-Jabbar on as a coach, Bogut should seek him out during this down time for the NBA. Who knows when or if this years NBA season will start, so Bogut could be spending this time with a player like Kareem to take his game to the next level.
Hakeem Olajuwon is arguably the greatest center in NBA history.
Taking everything into consideration from his play on the court, to his relationship with his teammates, to his efforts in the community, no one was a more complete player than Hakeem. If Bogut could become half the player Hakeem was, fans of Milwaukee would be truly blessed.
Hakeem Olajuwon was one of the smoothest big men to ever play. Being such a big player in the NBA can sometimes lead to a stiffness or awkwardness on the court. Bogut sometimes seems a bit robotic. He plods up and down the court and has little ball skills outside the block.
Working with Hakeem would do wonders for Bogut. He could teach him how to use more fluid motions on offense.
Remember the "Dream Shake?" For a position that usually sees players banging into other players to back them down in the post, Hakeem used finesse and misdirection to free up easy looks at the basket. If
Bogut could learn to bang in the post one play, and come back and use a move similar to the "Dream Shake" on the next, how could the opposing team defend him?
Beyond offense, Hakeem was a complete player. He could improve Bogut's passing, stealing, rebounding and overall game.
Bringing Olajuwon on as a coach for the Bucks seems unlikely. He spends most of his time in his Jordan. But he has shown a willingness to work with NBA centers before.
Being a fellow international player, I believe if Bogut sought out Olajuwon, the two could work together to help get Bogut to an elite NBA status.
The closest reflection to an NBA legend of skill set and circumstance to Andew Bogut may be Bill Walton.
Many people know Walton as a goofy-looking sportscaster, but the man had serious game is his day. Walton was not overly athletic, and spent a large part of his career dealing with injuries.
Sound like anyone we know?
Walton never had the flashy numbers a lot of NBA greats had. But it was the completeness of his game that made him elite. It was his work ethic that garnered him success.
Walton could work with Bogut to improve the little things in his game. Being of a similar size and athletic ability, Walton could show Bogut what he was able to do improve his game and deal with injuries.
Walton could create turnovers, rebound, pass, score and block shots. He truly was a five-tool player. And while he never truly dominated offensively, he may be the best reflection of what Bucks fans could hope Bogut develops into.
Walton is not likely to give up his cushy broadcasting job for coaching, but with the NBA lockout not looking like it will be going anywhere, he may have some free time to work with a player like Bogut. A mentorship from Walton to Bogut would yield great results for the Buck's center going forward in his career.
Andrew Bogut is a solid player. There are not too many centers out there that you can say are currently better than he is.
But so far in his NBA career, he has not reached that elite status as a player. Part of the problem can be contributed to the fact that it is hard to coach someone on how to play big when you are a foot taller than them.
Working with a legendary big man and having them as a mentor can coach Bogut up, and show him some of the finer points of being a dominant NBA center in this league.