Olajuwon, Rockets discussing role

The Houston Rockets are working to hire Hakeem Olajuwon to work with Dwight Howard and Omer Asik, general manager Daryl Morey told The Houston Chronicle.

Olajuwon, 50, has become a tutor for NBA big men but the Rockets want their all-time leading scorer to mentor their current centers as an official team employee.

"We are going to bring him in as full-time as is possible," Morey told the newspaper Sunday. "It's not done, but we have mutual interest to get it done, and we've had some early discussions.

"We want him to work with Dwight and Omer, and he wants to do that."

Olajuwon -- who was with Rockets personnel in Los Angeles earlier this month when the team made its initial pitch to Howard at the opening of free agency -- has worked with Howard in the past. He also was at Howard's news conference Saturday when he was introduced by the Rockets after signing a four-year contract worth about $88 million.

"He has improved so much," Olajuwon told the newspaper. "I like with the Houston Rockets he will get a chance to show his true potential. That's exciting. The last two years, he has not really been given that opportunity to really, really express his game, his comfort level and confidence. Here he has a team that is willing to do that. They want him to do that."

Olajuwon, who was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, is the Rockets' all-time leader in several categories, including points (26,511), rebounds (13,382), blocks (3,740) and steals (2,088). The 12-time All-Star was the NBA's MVP in 2003-04 and was named the NBA Finals MVP in back-to-back seasons (1994, '95) after leading Houston to consecutive titles.