Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tweets that he's 100% cancer free
In a news item that will bring a dose of perspective to Lakers fans in angst over the team's latest struggles, former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tweeted Friday, "I am 100% cancer free!!"
Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer and winner of six NBA titles, including five during the Lakers' "Showtime Era," was diagnosed in November of 2009 with a rare form of leukemia, Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow that produces cancerous blood cells. He told The Times' Broderick Turner at the time that the long-term prognosis regarding his health was good and that he could manage his condition by taking oral medication on a daily basis, consulting his specialist every other month and frequently getting his blood analyzed.
"My last blood test looked great -- feeling great," Abdul-Jabbar tweeted, "Looking forward to sharing my film premiere in NYC and LA as well as the VOD release 2/15."
Abdul-Jabbar is referring to his feature-length documentary, "On the Shoulders of Giants," which focuses on the Harlem Renaissance. In addition to the Feb. 15 release date for video on demand, the documentary will also be shown Feb. 17 from 6-9 p.m. at the Belasco Theater. Abdul-Jabbar is also in his sixth season as a special assistant coach, where he has worked extensively with Andrew Bynum and can be seen at most home games. He told The Times' Mike Bresnahan last November he's had medical checkups every eight weeks, a consistent approach that led to the excellent news Friday surrounding Abdul-Jabbar's health.
"The fact that you can manage the disease means that you can live your life," Abdul-Jabbar told Turner last year. "The fact that you have to go and get your blood analyzed and consult with your doctor might be a minor inconvenience, or you have to take your medication every day. But if you do these things, you can lead a normal life."
Photo: Former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with his patented sky hook against Robert Parish and the Boston Celtics. Credit: Carol Francavilla / Associated Press
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