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Kareem and Bruce Lee

Found this clip surfing for vintage All Star highlights this morning.  Obviously, I got a little sidetracked:

The footage, from Game of Death, gives a great illustration both of the kind of athlete Kareem was, and also the size of his world view.  A couple years back, when Andy sat down with Kareem, the Cap talked about his relationship with the late martial arts icon:

AK: Did your friendship and training with Bruce Lee help you with your approach to basketball, either mentally or physically?

KAJ:
Oh, definitely. Bruce, more or less, backed up what I had learned from John Wooden. The whole thing about being prepared and understanding your own skills. What you have to offer and what you don't have to offer. Channeling to your approach to everything specific. It was just an echo of John Wooden, from Hong Kong as opposed to Indiana. You have to be committed. You have to be prepared. You have to be willing to sacrifice to be totally prepared. To be in shape and understand the nature of competition. And he wanted to do that.

AK: How did you guys meet?

KAJ
: I studied a little martial arts between my sophomore and junior years in New York. And when I came back out to L.A., I wanted to continue my studies. So I went to a gentleman that was publishing a martial arts magazine and I said, "Where can I go to study? I'm out there at UCLA." And he said, "Bruce Lee lives out there." And I was a little put off, because I had started the aikido, which is the Japanese style. And Bruce did Chinese style, so I was gonna have to start over. But he said, "No, no. Bruce is really unique, because it's an eclectic style. You should go have a talk with him." I called him and he invited me over to his house. We talked and immediately got be friends. And he liked the fact that I was a trained athlete coming through the door. It wasn't like I had to get in shape. And I was easily won over by the logic and approach to his style. We were friends from that day on.

Cool stuff.

UPDATE: I think this comment from The D properly summarizes the Kareem/Bruce nexus:

Seriously, my brain cannot comprehend the unbelievable coolness of Bruce Lee giving Kareem jeet-kun-do lessons. I need to go lie down.

BK

 
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30th anniversary of the film's release.....very interesting BK.

KAJ - wearing the bruin blue - nice touch.

And did anyone else think they both looked really skinny? Is that just the filming.

Anyhow - a nice distraction for the day.

THANKS BK!

GO LAKERS!

Bruce was doing "Street MMA" before beer busting got a lot of ink on my body MMA.

My thoughts on the JO for Marion deal.

Toronto gets cap relief in the form of a guy who looks like a praying mantis when he shoots.

Miami gets some size on the interior that will hopefully stay healthy.

The Eastern Conf playoffs is going to be a serious gauntlet. Boston, Cleveland or Orlando just got a tougher second round match-up. Miami is currently the 5th seed and with this trade will probably move past Atlanta for the 4 seed. That puts Atlanta and Detroit in the bottom half of the seedings which will make for tough first round match-ups.

Also - can I go off subject........ Elgin Baylor.

After 22 apparently misery filled years with the Clips... shouldn't the Lakers reach out to their HOF'er, extend the hand and bring him back home where he belongs? No matter what your personal opinion on the subject - this is an NBA legend and his whole career was with the Lakers. He shouldn't end it like this especially with a crappy organization like the Clips.

From wiki: With his superb athletic talents and all-round game, Baylor was seen as the kind of player who could save a franchise, and he did. According to Minneapolis Lakers owner Bob Short in a 1971 interview with the Los Angeles Times: "If he had turned me down then, I would have been out of business. The club would have gone bankrupt."

"He was one of the most spectacular shooters the game has ever known", Baylor's longtime teammate Jerry West told HOOP magazine in 1992. "I hear people talking about forwards today and I haven't seen many that can compare with him."

Mamba - I solemnly and humbly ask for the "bring home Elgin Baylor" bandwagon.

Long Live the Legends and GO LAKERS!

"PHOENIX -- Michael Jordan, John Stockton and David Robinson are among 16 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame."

Great. Now we're going to have to endure endless debates in the sports media about whether or not Jordan should get in.

So, two more things that sensei Kareem needs to impart to his disciple Drew when he returns from injury:

1. "You have to be committed. You have to be prepared. You have to be willing to sacrifice to be totally prepared. To be in shape and understand the nature of competition."

2. Please, please, please, teach him the skyhook...

*.........................................................................*
BRING HOME ELGIN BAYLOR - BANDWAGON
*..........................................................................*
(01) PSYCHED LAKER GIRL - OWNER - After 22 apparently misery filled years with the Clips.
.. shouldn't the Lakers reach out to their HOF'er, extend the hand and bring him back home
where he belongs? No matter what your personal opinion on the subject - this is an NBA l
egend and his whole career was with the Lakers. He shouldn't end it like this especially
with a crappy organization like the Clips.
(02) MAMBA24 -DRIVER
(03) JON K. RIDING SHIOTGUN


Now that Miami dealt their salary cap chip to Toronto instead of PHX, I wonder if this rumored proposal of Amare for LaFrentz will go through. That would make Portland pretty scary. I'd be curious to see how Nate would juggle that line-up. Either Aldridge or Amare off the bench would be pretty formidable or maybe they'd put him at the 3 spot.

I take that back. The deal that would be really scary is PHX sending Amare to Cleveland for Wally's expiring deal. There's no redundancy there. It would basically be a non-stop ferocious onslaught at the rim with the occasional 3pt shot.

PSYCHED LAKER GIIRL You are bringing me to teares.

Bruce was doing "Street MMA" before beer busting got a lot of ink on my body MMA.
Posted by: Charles | February 13, 2009 at 11:00 AM

NOW THAT'S WHAT I',M TALKING ABOUT

Great. Now we're going to have to endure endless debates in the sports media about
whether or not Jordan should get in. Posted by: lakers_sth | February 13, 2009 at 11:09 AM

Good One!

2. Please, please, please, teach him the skyhook...


Posted by: The Snake | February 13, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Being that this is a Bruce Lee/Be like water thing, maybe the skyhook isn't Bynum's thing. He does a pretty good hook already, and has a good jumper. The kid seriously has nice touch. But if the sky hook isn't his thing, he shouldn't keep forcing himself to do it. Kareem may be unique in that he is the only person alive to do it with the accuracy that he does. There are alot of better players who couldn't master that shot.

Man, Kareem had some dirty feet back then.

Lakers_sth - Marion does look like a praying mantis when he shoots.

Listened to Ric Bucher comment on this trade and couldn't really listen because of the bile and nauseousness that rose up. Remember the whole "Kobe will not be wearing a Laker uniform in 2008" crap? So that just ruined it for me.

Both clubs will be reinvigorated because of the new members but I don't see any major changes that will make them contenders like Pau did with us.

Every time I see Pau play I thank God he's on our team.

'nuff said.
LTLL

"Kareem may be unique in that he is the only person alive to do it with the accuracy that he does. There are alot of better players who couldn't master that shot."

Any explanation on why the skyhook seems to be a Kareem-only domain???

Wait a minute!

Didn't Kobeblitz say that Shaq was the most athletic
big man ever???

The Heat won't win with this O'neal.

I just went to Marion's wikipedia page trying to find out why he's called the Matrix instead of the Mantis (found out Kenny Smith named him that but no explanation why) and underneath NBA statistics it read "smalled p***s ever". LOL. Looks like it has since been removed.

Nice distraction.

I totally hate to see Kareem get walloped like that. Still, I guess that he deserves it because his kicks are soooo bad. Finally, I guess that seeing Bruce Lee only having slightly more seriousness than Charlie Chaplin relieves the tension.

Is that scene the highlight of the film for Lakers' fans? Can anyone recall if it has a plot that makes seeing the rest of it worthwhile??

GOOOoooOO Kobe and Pau in the All-Stars and
GOOOooOOOO LAKERS!!!

Interesting stats on the Waltons.

The old man Bill was a career 13.3 ppg and 10.5 rpg. Luke is currently 4.1 ppg and 2.1 rpg. If Luke could just elevate his game to be HALF AS GOOD as his old man's, his ppg will improve by 62% and his rpg will improve by 150%. He would be candidate for the Most Improved Player! Would it be too much to ask of Luke to be HALF AS GOOD as his dad?

I think the turning point in the fight was when Bruce stepped on Kareems foot. He just wasn't the same after that.

That acting is worse than the old western spaghetti films

BD

AK and BK,

Great thread! Two of my most favorite stars in the world: Bruce and Kareem.

Westwood was the center of the world while Wooden was working his magic.

Tom

AK/BK,

I think that KAJ's best movie role was in Airplane.

No Korey, I'm not theorizing, I'm saying what I saw.

Against Tony Parker yes Trevor had success but that was against Tony Parker who is very fast yet not as skilled offensively as either D-Will or CP3.

If you don't like the CP3 example then I'll use D-Wade as well who is lightning fast and quick as well and very skilled who could play PG as well as SG. When Trevor guarded Flash he didn't have much success against Kobe who really did a lock down defense on Wade.

I'm not trying to pick up debates. Just seeing how I saw Trevor's performance on other points guards whose name is not Tony Parker.

LTLF,

Nice comparison about that Luke Walton stalker

-KB Blitz

No Hobbit,

I said Shaq was the most dominant big of *His* time. After Hakeem was out of his prime Shaq was the best big man in the league. Sure Ewing and Robinson were great as well but they weren't the dominating force Shaq was after Hakeem was past his prime.

The most athletic big man ever was Wilt Chamberlain. Kareem trained real well in Yoga and with Bruce Lee but Chamberlain was the perfect match in size and athleticism.

-KB Blitz

Any feelings on David Carradine taking Bruce Lee's role?

With apologies to the Big Bang, the ending of The Thin Man, and Miles Davis walking into Charlie Parker's session, the meeting between Kareem and Bruce Lee must have been the coolest moment in the history of the universe.

Seriously, my brain cannot comprehend the unbelievable coolness of Bruce Lee giving Kareem jeet-kun-do lessons. I need to go lie down.

Aikido... that's why the skyhook flows...
Tenchi nage= heaven and earth

GO LAKERS!

Any explanation on why the skyhook seems to be a Kareem-only domain???


Posted by: The Snake | February 13, 2009 at 12:09 PM

I seriously don't know. If I had a clue, I'd share it, but it seem so weird that a shot so dominant cannot be emulated to even a servicable proficiency by any center, forward, or guard.

Hope you didn't take offense at my suggestion BTW. Bynum's been working at it for a couple of years now, but he seems to have developed his face up jumper before the skyhook.

#4

"Oh, definitely. Bruce, more or less, backed up what I had learned from John Wooden. The whole thing about being prepared and understanding your own skills. What you have to offer and what you don't have to offer. Channeling to your approach to everything specific.

You have to be committed. You have to be prepared. You have to be willing to sacrifice to be totally prepared. To be in shape and understand the nature of competition. "
kareem abdul jabbar


because it is a long weekend and no games, please grade all the lakers players from 1 to 10 based on what kareem said above.

Personally, Kobe is a 10. how about the rest?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


#4,
To your post about last night's game, You bet it was!

I love watching the Devils whoop Cali schools in anything.

Kareem -- super athlete and HOF basketball player -- absolutely horrible actor!

Blitz,
OK, so we're on the same game-watching page...

So we agree he's effective against Tony Parker who is the lead guard on probably our main adversary in the West.

THAT is a pretty important matchup if you ask me.

Against CP3, that's a headache matchup by the trio of Ariza, Fisher, and Farmar should give CP3 some different looks. Ariza has the ability to play back off of CP3 and challenge shots so that's probably the best philosophy to let CP3 shoot rather than let him drive anyway. Whereas CP3 could just body and shoot over Fisher and Farmar, Ariza can challenge with length and hops.

Against DWade? Come on man! You cant just bring up the VERY best players in the league and say Ariza can't stop them...Nobody can! DWade isn't even a PG anyway, he's a SG. Chalmers is their PG. But anyway, you may be right about Wade cuz he can be physical. Wade in the big picture is irrelevant because he's on a bad East team.

The important matchups are Tony Parker, CP3, Rajon Rondo, Mo Williams, and Deron Williams.

I'd say Ariza is a pretty good matchup for Parker, Rondo, CP3 and Mo Williams and a OK match for Deron cuz Deron has strength.

Those matchups makes Ariza very very very important to this championship run...

in 2003, Studio Museum in Harlem had a group show called "Black Belt" dealing with the Black -Asian fusion of the 70-ies. the artist Patty Chang through editing, inserted herself in the role of Bruce Lee and fought Kareem. It was kinda funny, but not really. The best part was that I was acquainted with the Kareem Lee connection. They had also the full version of this movie and many photographs and documents of their connection.

when kareem wants to kick or punch, there is no target, lee is too short. and the irony is at the beginning where Kareem sits on the Throne. maybe it was a preview that he will be a King in his sport. His foot mark is the most artistic and conceptual shot of the film and the imprint is a metaphor for the im-print Kareem will leave in basketball.

Pig Miller, thanks for the reply! Awesome win, Glasser really came through in the clutch.

Are you gonna make it to any all-star events? I was out there for the last all-star game, and I got to go the Jam Session. It was a fun event; got to see Jason Kidd's rookie class practice, I think I got an autograph or 2. Good times...

Sorry Korey but Ariza has more important assignments than any of those point guards save for Parker

Mo Williams is not the primary threat the King is and Derek is better at Mo Williams actually.

CP3 has torched any Laker play put on him last game. Kobe is the best defender I've seen on him.

Kobe always guards Rondo to save more energy offense wise unless in the end of games where he guards Pierce at times. Ariza can handle Pierce at times but will overpower him too. Same could be said of D-Will.

Only thing you have is TP and I believe it's more that TP is super fast (breaking Leandro Barbossa's ankles). TP is still not as skilled as either CP3 and D-Will. More skilled point guards will not be as easy for Trevor.

One more thing,

"Against DWade? Come on man! You cant just bring up the VERY best players in the league and say Ariza can't stop them...Nobody can!"

Kobe can has when he decides to play lock down defense. Lebron also has done a great job defensive wise on Wade and other players.

>>>The old man Bill was a career 13.3 ppg and 10.5 rpg.
>>>Luke is currently 4.1 ppg and 2.1 rpg. If Luke could just
>>>elevate his game blah blah blah

The one season that Luke saw big minutes for the whole season,
he averaged 11.4 points on 47% shooting (and 39% 3-point shooting).

Luke had 2 seasons when he averaged 10 & 12 minutes per game,
and that drags your average way down.

This season, Luke is only averaging 15.5 minutes a game,
and unfortunately his shooting has been the worst season
of his career.

I think Luke is going to EXPLODE after the all-star break.
He'll just blow up the league.

And then you'll have to call him Nuke Walton.

ohhh, so from Trade Walton to Nuke Walton. kinda extreme.

Blintz.

how can kobe save energy defending rondo, when rondo dribbles and runs all over the court. maybe he is defending him because fish can not?!

ELGIN BAYLOR NEVER DID ANYTHING FOR CLIPP FRANCHISE:

- Think of all the players (high draft 1-10) that he traded; even Lakers were the beneficiary of Elgin's generosity or plain stupidity
- When was the last time Clippers made it to the conference finals let alone the championship?
- Elgin was a great player but as a GM a BIG FLOP FLOP PHIZZ PHIZZ..
- Sad he leaving in such a sour note..
-However, please stop this RUBBISH about reinstating a FLOP at the executive level..
- Seems like some of you need a day job instead of picketing for a lost cause.. Maybe digging ditches is not a bad idea..
-Lastly Clipps need a fresh blood and a smart executive..

Laker Fan

Blitz,
didnt you just say that Ariza cant guard LBJ? So why are you now saying that that's an important matchup...

Look at the big picture...Against the Cavs, if you sik Ariza on Mo Williams and sik Kobe on LBJ then you have the best matchups possible... THAT'S why Mo Williams is important because he's their only other REAL threat. You shut him out and LBJ can beat the Lakers solo especially with Kobe hounding him...

Against the Celtics, Kobe and Ariza are going to cross-matched on Pierce/Rondo. So it's important that they are interchangeable in that neither is a terrible matchup. Eventually, Kobe is the only one who can really hold Pierce so he'll have to switch to pierce. At that point, Ariza will probably slide over to Rondo. And we are not even mentioning Allen! ONE OF the big reason we lost to the Celtics is cuz Kobe couldnt guard everyone. He guards Rondo, then Pierce/Allen go off. He guards Pierce then Allen goes off. etc. etc. Ariza gives us that defensive option especially for when inevitably Fish gets tired or gets in foul trouble vs. Allen.

And again, you have to look at things in the bigger picture. MJ had Pippen to take some of the defensive load away.Kobe needs the same. Good teams have multiple wing guys that can score and each of our main adversaries has athletics perimeter players that we ABSOLUTELY NEED Ariza for...

I'm not even sure where we are disagreeing here, but my only premise is Ariza brings a skill-set that isnt duplicated on our bench and is absolutely essential.

New post.

Does this mean Bynum will call Jet Li and get training lessons as well. Laker should get in the Amare sweepstakes and offer Odom and Farmar.

THANKS Mamba..........

Laker Fan - I wasn't calling for the Lakers to give him an executive position. How about something honorary, like Tommy Lasorda?

None of us knows what goes on behind closed doors - this could be similar to a bad marriage that you stuck with for the sake of the kids. Who knows?

Elgin is a Laker legend and Laker HOF'er - even w/o the Ring. So, it would be nice to have the Lakers embrace that with an ambassador-type position (no decision making). Then he can go through his retirement and beyond with a best in class NBA affiliation. At the end of the day, class wins out - and the the Lakers are the cream of the crop.

In this new era of "yes, we can" - aren't we supposed to be reaching out and helping those in need?

And finally - maybe, just maybe, it could drive old man scrooge Sterling back to San Diego or farther away.....

GO LAKERS!

Kareem was on Scrubs, too.

As a lifetime martial artist, I would encourage anyone reading this blog to train. It's never too late to start! Beyond self-defense, it teaches focus of mind, balance, grace, mind-body integration, and a healthy way of processing negative emotions (anger, fear).

I'm sure Kareem's martial training extended his career as it teaches proper body alignment and thus helps protect an athlete from injury, a lot like yoga.

Lakers Today... Lakers Tomorrow... Lakers Forever.

GO LAKERS!

Great clip BK. I love that movie.

Kung Fu movies are awesome to watch with your special lady friend.

Especially if she enjoys watching them, too.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar is one of the most epic, unassuming figures in sports. If I ever have a kid and he wants to be a pro athlete, my only condition is that he bears himself like the Cap, the original big fellah, the one and only.

I'll bet not too many NBA players know that about Kareem.

Typical irreverence.

It's pretty sad that Bruce Lee died so young, we can actuallt watch a lot of other films that is acted, directed and written by him.


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