Since the work stoppage forced NBA games to be cancelled during the 2011-12 season, one of the more consistent questions that have been asked of Suns players since returning to the Valley has been about how they have stayed in shape and what they did to work out during the lockout.
Few had the experience that Marcin Gortat and Garrett Siler had.
With the help of Phoenix Suns General Manager Lance Blanks, Gortat and Siler were given the opportunity to work out with Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon.
“It was a great experience obviously to work with the guy who has the best post game of all time,” Gortat said Monday. “It was a huge honor for me, for Garrett, and we definitely believed we learned something.”
The two Suns worked with Olajuwon and his “entourage” for three hours a day for six days where they worked on footwork and other basics of playing in the low post.
“The first three days Hakeem had a lot of juice to run with us, later on he kind of slowed down,” explained Gortat.
Gortat believes his game has improved as a result of this experience and feels more confident out on the floor. When asked if we might see some Hakeem moves out there on the floor, Gortat explained how he will still play his game but might throw a few shakes and spin moves in from time to time.
“They (the Suns) are expecting a lot of things. To start showing those dream shakes, pump fakes and everything,” said Gortat. “If there is an opportunity I can hit someone with some Hakeem stuff, I’m going to try to do it. But I am just going to play a simple game, score, play defense.”
Other notes from Monday at the U.S. Airways Center, just about the entire Suns roster has arrived at the U.S. Airways Center for volunteer workouts. The five to arrive Monday was Gortat, Siler, Hakeem Warrick, Jared Dudley and first round pick Markieff Morris.
The only players under contract with the team that are yet to show are Gani Lawal, Vince Carter and Mickael Pietrus.
Training camp is expected to get started on Saturday from Grand Canyon University.
For more on the Phoenix Suns as they get ready for the 2011-12 season, follow Jared Cohen on Twitter at @JaredPros2Preps.