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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar demands your adulation

scottpriest May 18, 2011 Uncategorized 5 Comments

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Just days after Bill Russell was told that he would be receiving a statue of his likeness in Boston, commemorating his basketball and civil rights accomplishments, another star center from years goneby is crying out that he deserves the same honor. And wouldn't you know, it's a Laker.

Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won five world championships as a Los Angeles Laker and remains the NBA's all-time leading scorer, believes the franchise owes him a statue outside Staples Center and feels "slighted" that it hasn't already happened.

[...]

"I don't understand (it). It's either an oversight or they're taking me for granted," Abdul-Jabbar told The Sporting News in a recent interview. "I'm not going to try to read people's minds, but it doesn't make me happy. It's definitely a slight. I feel slighted."

"I am highly offended by the total lack of acknowledgement of my contribution to Laker success," Abdul-Jabbar was quoted as saying. "I guess being the lynchpin for five world championships is not considered significant enough in terms of being part of Laker history."

You'd think Kareem would read the news. Russell gets his, responds by being uneasy about the accolade, and the world applauds. Humility — especially coming from someone who was disrespected personally for much of his life (and then professionally when LeBron switched from MJ's 23 to Russell's 6 this year because he felt MJ deserved respect and no one should wear the number) — is generally rewarded by the public.

Crying that you deserve accolades — personal accolades — the best way to come off like, as Bill Simmons loves to say, a ninny. There's no question that Kareem was one of the greats, and he probably does deserve a statue around the arena (at least more so than Wayne Gretzky, who only played 6.5 years in Los Angeles and never won a cup). But asking for it is not the way to get it. And ultimately, shouldn't those five titles be enough? Get a life, Kareem.

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/mdsample greenbeand

    fyi neither owner from the lakers or clippers own the staple center

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f5d5008970c Jester00

    funny read when it was a game Magic talks about about Kareem being a jerk to people great read by the way (or listen if you perfer audiobooks).

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011570792716970b Christopher

    Thanks for reminding me about LeBron’s switching of the numbers and his utter disrespect to Bill Russell. I had almost forgotten yet another reason I want the Bulls (or anyone, really) to wipe out the Heat’s season and in particular make it that LeBron never, ever has a ring.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/frickenwaaaltaaah frickenWaaaltaaah

    Ugh…you know what is not classy…slamming Kareem for this. Guys please, step back and really look at this mess. Slam the Lakers, not Kareem.
    He did not “cry out” for this. An interviewer asked him and he responded honestly about how he felt about the situation. What’s he supposed to do, lie? Pretend it doesn’t hurt him? Dodge the question? Why should he?
    How many other living ‘all time scoring leaders’ or their sport’s equivalent thereof do you see barely any appreciation for?
    How should he feel? The guy is 60+ and ~7ft tall. Who knows how long he has left, and the Lakers have kept him at more than arms length for ~2 decades now. Oh sure, they’re glad to have him come back and work with Andrew Bynum, but then they apparently wouldn’t even pay him a playoff bonus share. It’s like ‘hey, but what have you done for us lately Kareem?’
    It sucks that Kareem doesn’t seem to have mellowed much with age…but then again, wasn’t our new ownership group key to creating the opening for Russ, for the sea change in how the media treated him?
    In other words…if history went just a little bit differently, Russ could be the one feeling hurt and slighted…and the press would be treating him like a complainer when he was just answering a question honestly. After all, Russ got that treatment from a lot of people in the media for a looooong time; I mean the kind of treatment where everything gets twisted around to make him the bad guy in the story.
    Remember…what would any sane person have done if they ran the Celtics when Larry Bird retired? You’d put him on track to do whatever he wanted to do with the team. What happened? He got pushed out because he was such a hard headed, pain in the ass to deal with, and we got M.L. Carr instead. And I’ll say it again, Russ probably would never gotten this rebirth of his legend, this long deserved appreciation with the old regime still around.
    We’re lucky fans to have such a great bunch of owners taking care of ‘our team’ now.
    And maybe it’s just LA being flakey. They goofed on Tex Winter too before it was basically too late.
    And yeah Magic got a statue already. Here’s the stuff that should be obvious about that: Magic is A) enormously popular and charismatic…everyone remembers that smile he played with…B) the Magic-Bird rivalry pretty much saved the NBA, or at least it dramatically raised the profile of the league and made a lot of people filthy stinking rich, and C) he got HIV and people thought it was an imminent death sentence. So yeah, Magic didn’t have to wait very long for a statue.
    I really don’t know their story, but if Dr Buss and Kareem need to bury the hatchet, they should do it before it’s too late.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/hilary8484 Hilary8484

    Even assuming that the Laker organization should have shown Kareem more love, his response would still be pathetic and whiny.
    He could have expressed his hurt without sounding whiny or patting himself on the back so much. If he was such a great player (and he was), shouldn’t his accomplishments speak for themselves?
    Anyone– war hero, world leader, basketball player– who acts entitled to a monument sounds like an idiot.
    Keep on mocking those Lakers!