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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar feels 'slighted' he doesn't have a statue outside Staples Center

59194035Despite his accomplishments as the NBA's all-time leading scorer and winning five of his six championships with the Lakers, former Laker and UCLA product Kareem Abdul-Jabbar  believes his popularity among Angelenos and within the Laker organization remains low because of his introverted personality. 

In a wide-ranging interview with the Sporting News' Steve Greenberg, Abdul-Jabbar says those reasons points to the fact that he hasn't been honored with a Lakers statue outside Staples Center.

"There hasn't been any talk of it," Abdul-Jabbar said. "I don't understand that. It's either an oversight or they're taking me for granted. 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."

Staples Center features three Lakers statues, including Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn and Jerry West, which was unveiled in February during NBA All-Star weekend. Staples Center also features statues depicting hockey player Wayne Gretzky and boxer Oscar De La Hoya. Johnson's statue was dedicated during the NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles in 2004, while Hearn's statue was unveiled last season. The six-time NBA MVP expressed even more disappointment in a statement released subsequently by his business manager.

"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."

Lakers spokesman John Black disagreed with Abdul-Jabbar's characterization, telling Greenberg that the Lakers have informed Abdul-Jabbar that the next Laker statue will feature him, although there is no specified timetable. Abdul-Jabbar has long felt that his skeptical attitude and stoic nature toward the press was made more apparent compared with Johnson's media-savvy personality. But Abdul-Jabbar's contention that the Lakers haven't considered featuring a statue of him is factually wrong. 

In Jeanie Buss' book, 'Laker Girl,' she mentioned that it was her "dream" to commission another statue for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, but that she was conflicted over whether it should depict West or Abdul-Jabbar. "It's a tough choice," she wrote. In a sit-down interview with The Times' last November, Buss said that while there aren't any definitive plans for a statue unveiling featuring Abdul-Jabbar, she expressed confidence that it would eventually happen.

"I would have to think so," Buss said. "I would have to think he'd be the natural fit. There's so many great Lakers, but certainly Kareem stands among some of the greatest of all time."

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks for Brian Winters, Junior Bridgeman, Dave Meyers and Elmore Smith in 1975. Credit: Carol Francavilla / Associated Press

 
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This all just makes Kareem seems so whiny. It'll happen. Patience is virtue.

It's too bad Kareem made that public. Now, if he gets the recognition, it will seem more like an attempt to un-slight him.

That's a beautiful pic of Kareem and the Sky-Hook over Parish. Kareem was so graceful with that shot. There's no doubt that there should be a statue of Kareem and that Sky-Hook.

Go Lakers!

One thing you have to love about the way the Mavs are playing right now is how they are shooting the basketball. With today’s emphasis on physically athletic marvels like LeBron James, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, and Dwight Howard – NBA players built like NFL players – it’s a real pleasure to see a team whose expertise is shooting the basketball. Shades of James Naismith. Lack of good shooting skills is why I haven’t jumped on the LeBron, Blake, and Rondo bandwagons.
...
So what a pleasure watching Dirk swish the nets an incredible 36 times out of 39 attempts from the field and the free throw line. Or watching Jason Terry bomb from beyond the arc. Or watching J.J. Berea leave Thunder defenders in the dust like he did to Lakers defenders. Sometimes we forget that the way you really win the game of basketball at any level is by putting the damn ball in the basket. The Mavs are reminding other teams there are times when great offense can defeat great defense.
...
Watching the great performances last night by Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant brought to mind concerns as to whether age, injuries, and mileage have taken their measure of Kobe Bryant’s game. This was the first playoffs I can remember where Kobe did not have one of those “unguardable” games where he could just not be stopped – like Dirk and Durant had in last night’s West Finals. Here’s hoping that Kobe is right and all he needs to do is get healthy and work this summer.
...
It was also educational to see the zebras treat Dirk with the same respect he seems to treat them. When was the last time we ever saw Kobe shoot 24 free throws while not even attacking the rim? Same with what should have been a flagrant foul by Dirk on Durant for pushing him while he was in the air trying to make a layup. For Dirk, it was just a shooting foul while for Kobe, it was a flagrant. Kobe and the Lakers in general need to STFU and just play ball rather than always complaining.
...
After reading Plaschke’s column and watching Jeff Van Gundy on last night’s broadcast, it seems pretty obvious to me that the guy is using the playoffs as his platform to lobby for the Lakers gig. While I’ve always held both Van Gundy’s in mild disdain, I have to admit that Jeff could very likely be the type of candidate that the Lakers front office could consider due to his defensive orientation. It also seems to me that the Lakers timetable does not bode well for the obvious candidates such as Brian Shaw or Rick Adelman, both of whom are being considered for other head coaching jobs.
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TOM


Laker Tom,

I was thinking those things too but in a scattered thought sorta way.
Thanks for creating something coherent in a really well put together post.

If there was a statue for every Laker "Great", it would look like Easter Island!!

I remember when Kareem was in his final year. Every NBA city paid their respects to Kareem with a ceremony and a gift before every road Laker game. I have never seen anything of this sort for any player since. Kareem is an icon to the game of basketball even more than he is a Laker icon. But it is up to the Lakers to get him a statue. There is no other living legend of the game who's more deserving than Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Go Lakers!

Bay to LA

Well said, no one is right 100% of the time. But knowing the kind of person we are dealing with, the PSP doubt he does come back and face the rap music. And even if he does, he will probably spin the whole thing round and round again till we all get dizzy, scream and rant at some people, and then go on a third hiatus ...

Kareem should have a statue but it will come in due time. Can't wait for game 2 of the baby bulls against Princess James and her band of merry women.

Thanks
PSP Officer

Your first clue about Miss M Chandler is

she's been 14 years old for 2 years now

lol

Don't worry about "Cap'n." We all know that you should've been there before Magic and Chick. It's the way of the world man. Just roll a "fattie" and been done with it. Dwight will soon be in town and then you'll have a real protégé on your hands. All will be well again and Buss already has you in mind for something special.

If Kareem gets a statue, will Bynum get one too? Like Master, like pupil!

Kareem immortalized with the sky hook and Bynum with the shirt off.
2 memorable images.

I expect Bynum's statue to have great reinforcement, especially in the knee region. Things break in time…

As a fan of "another team", even I feel a statue to the great Kareem is long overdue. That having been said, he has always been a whiner. Perhaps if the PERSON was nicer to other people, this would already have happened:

From his book, "Giant Steps" - " The Celtics beat us that year because the refs let Dave Cowens, who is white, crawl all over my back."

From his book, "Giant Steps" - "The Trail Blazers beat us that year because the league was trying to promote Bill Walton, who is white."

Regardless, we need separation of the player and the person, and a statue to the second greatest center of all-time is long overdue in LA........just like a statue to THE greatest of all-time is long, long, LONG overdue in Boston!!

Oh, cry me a river, Kareem. Since when does not seeing yourself monumentalized in a statue equate to a “total lack of acknowledgement”? You sound like a spoiled four-year-old who’s been given every toy in the store yet who still whines because the kid next door just got a new lollipop.

Why did De la Hoya get one before Kareem?

I can't believe he is whining about a damn statue. He is self-centered and he may have been a great player, but not every great player has a statue. Just for whining, he doesn't deserve one.

First of all Cap, stop being a baby. You'll get your statue.

But hopefully Elgin Baylor will get his first.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Kareem with the Sky Hook statue should have been at the Forum, at Staples Center, and every street corner in downtown LA. The dude is an icon and there will never be another like him, and he is a Laker through-and-through. It has been a great sign of disrespect that he doesn't even have statue at Staples. However, given that LA is a city of glitz and glamour over substance, this oversight is not surprising in the least...

I really think this is out of character for Kareem - I would feel more proud if I were him, in that the Lakers are saving his statue for later - how could he actually believe he'd never get one?

Understandable that he would feel slighted. He won most of his championships while with the Lakers; he was the key component (along with Magic of course) of the showtime Lakers. As much as we consider Magic the greatest Laker ever, you can't just forget perhaps the all-time greatest player in Kareem. He needs a home.

Should his statue be in Milwaukee?

LOL

Elgin may have been a Laker for life, and a leader of the Lakers for so many years. Of course, he never could beat Boston...

Kareem on the other hand is the opposite.

Kareem richly deserves a statue at Staples. Enough said.

My knee jerk reaction to Van Gundy was "hell no" - but mostly because he's a Laker hater and tool on TV.

Yet, if you actually think about what he did as a coach...

Van Gundy >>> Adelman
Van Gundy>> Sloan

Van Gundy ??? Shaw

And Dunleavy is a no-no

@LROB ... Thanks for the Lou Reed. Always makes my day.
...
Looking at NBADraft.com mock draft, I see they have the Lakers drafting four shooting guards in the first round:
...
1. Travis Leslie, 6-4 202# SG from Georgia (http://www.nbadraft.net/players/travis-leslie)
2. David Lightly, 6-6, 220# SG from Ohio State (http://www.nbadraft.net/players/david-lighty)
3. DeAndre Liggins, 6-6, 190# SG, from Kentucky (http://www.nbadraft.net/players/deandre-liggins)
4. Justin Hurtt, 6-4, 195# SG from Tulsa (http://www.nbadraft.net/players/justin-hurtt).
...
They also have a consensus mock draft and here are the Lakers 4 second round selections:
...
1. Nikola Mirotic, 6-10, 225# PF from Montenegro (http://www.nbadraft.net/players/nikola-mirotic)
2. Demtri McCamey, 6-3, 203# PG from Illinois (http://www.nbadraft.net/players/demetri-mccamey)
3. Davis Bertans, 6-10, 211# SF from Latvia (http://www.nbadraft.net/players/davis-bertans) Supposedly the best shooter from Europe since Dirk – compared to Korver.
4. Nikola Vucevic, 6-10 240# PF from USC (http://www.nbadraft.net/players/nikola-vucevic)
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TOM

Magic never won it without Kareem - Kareem won it without Magic - enough said, if Magic has one, Kareem gets one.

Kobe will have one with one more ring. I'm glad that traveling ball salesman from LSU will never get one. But, I'll accept his jersey in the rafters.

Yes the Mavs are great ... blah .. blah .. It takes a great team to do it when the pressure is on. Many people thought the Mavs would lose to Portland - so there was little pressure on them. Now that the pressure is getting more intense and especially in the finals -- lets' see what they do. I have seen this team flame the f-out every time the pressure is turned up.

He should only feel slighted if Bruce Lee gets a statue before him.

That is all.

DBDH!

He's already been guaranteed and he's whining about it? Wow. Kareem is smarter than that. Wait, this involves social matters. No, he's not. Meeting him was seriously one of the most single deflating experiences of my life. He's honest, was an amazing player and his books are probably very cool, but he's a humorless misanthrope that could never handle his fame with grace and perspective. The one shining ray of hope was when he said it warmed his heart when fans replaced many of his apparently extensive jazz collection when his house burned down. People have said it before, but there's a reason a guy with such an impressive NBA resume (I'd honestly say it compares favorably with Jordan's) and plenty of knowledge has never even gotten an NBA assistant-coaching job (beyond a special assistant job).

I don't give a rat's ass if he gets a statue or not.

@LROB ... Here’s a great version of A Perfect Day... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2JXy1Z9ovs&NR=1
The question is can you ID each of the contributors?
If anyone can, I would bet on LROB. LOL.
.............................................................
TOM


Kareem was the face of the Lakers before Magic arrived. He deserved his statue long ago, so if the decision has already been made that he is next...THEN GET R DONE! Jesus H Christ people! 5 Laker rings AND 3 more banners at UCLA, what more should he do to be considered an LA sports icon? The man was moody at times, self-admittedly so, but how does that factor into what he did on the court? GIVE KAREEM HIS STATUE!!!

I agree, Elgin Baylor definitely deserves one as well but lets face it more people think of the Clippers when he is mentioned...and thats just tragic.

BTW...Micheal Cooper should be in the Basketball Hall of Fame as the best defender of his era, not to mention a damn good clutch shooter. Lets fix that too while we're at it

Also, it's really unfair of Kareem to separate himself from our Laker family just b/c his statue isn't up yet..... Kareem is a legend and a true Laker great, but c'mon how is he going to attack his purple & gold family like his??? ....I think this year's playoff disaster might have something to do with his outward bitterness

Nobody should ever expect to be honored, or ask to be honored (which is pretty much what he did in that interview)

Wow imagine this a guy like Oscar Dela Hoya gets a statue at Staples during or even after getting beaten to the pulp by Pacquiao. Kareem on the other hand is one of the all time Laker greats and couldn't get one?

Kareem "The Diva" Abdul- Jabbar

I have to agree with Kareem. He has been jaded due to his low key personality. He deserves the respect and recognition. Even Dr. Buss admits the priority.

If anything his statue belongs at U.C.L.A's newly renovated Polly Pavilion next to John Wooden's.

That would be the ultimate compliment!

Go Bruins!

Kareem should have received a statue long time ago. Perhaps he is sensing his mortality now with the cancer issue and would love to see it while he is alive. That is why he talked about it. Kareem is a 6 time world champ and holds or has held just about every record in the book. He is the reason I became a laker fan. I remembered watching LA play philly and kareem was wearing the goggles and I thought he looked like a super hero. The rest is history. Kareem exemplifies teamwork, something Kobe should learn about.

In addition to being bright, electic and a person of diverse interests, Kareem was a singularly unique talent who won 8 titles in Los Angeles, including three at UCLA. He was the most dominant college ATHLETE of all time and a 6-time NBA MVP. If being bronzed were based solely on accomplishments, his perhaps should have been the FIRST statue to go up outside Staples. Now here's the flip side. As Lakers beat writer for the L.A. Times, I covered Kareem throughout his years in L.A. Heck, I wrote the story for the Times when he was first traded here from Milwaukee. In the media, I spent as much time on the periphery of Kareem as anyone. And I say periphery, because that is where he made sure he kept you. Simple truth: Kareem simply was a very difficult guy to interact with. Cold. Aloof. Standoffish. Distant. Unapproachable. Sometimes just flat out mean. So no statue? Well, of course not. Apparently it isn't enough to be able to shoot a pretty skyhook through a hoop. Or score almost 40,ooo points. You have to be a human being, too, and have just a smidge of personal warmth and decency to have statues erected in your honor. I understand that while still fundamentally introverted, Kareem has changed in later life; possibly the cancer diagnosis and battling a life-threatening disease has softened a few of the hard, angry edges. Personally, I can't say if this is true for sure. But if Kareem wanted to be loved, and revered, more thought should have gone into his public personna and the way he presented himself to the media and public, and especially the way he treated others, in his two-plus decades in the spotlight. Ask yourself this: What characteristics do all those honored with statues outside Staples Center possess? Chick, Jerry, Oscar, Magic, Gretzky...They were popular, and in most cases they were warm, and also media friendly. Ppeople generally liked them and could connect to them. Kareem is unequivocally one of the five greatest NBA legends who ever lived in terms of pure accomplishments. But in life, you also reap what you sow. And as a personality, you can't sugarcoat the truth: Kareem was a pretty grim reaper.

Nice picture of the Captain and the Chief Robert Parish. Both of them are masters of karate like Hobbit. Well at least Hobbit claims to train in a dojo and is a kung fu expert. But if his martial arts skills is as poor as his basketball knowledge I am sure he constantly gets beaten up 50 something year old women.

Ted very interesting take on Kareem. How does Kareem personality compares with Kobe?

Sorry Ms. Buss, but Kareem wasn't one of the greatest Lakers of all time. He was the greatest Laker, period. Check his stats; nobody comes close.

@ Eric, I agree with you!

Whats up with our old players lately, poppin off something wicked, first Magic with "blow up the team" now Kareem! sheesh!

I do agree he needs his own statue tho...

i need to repeat ...tacos' point: Nobody should ever expect to be honored, or ask to be honored (which is pretty much what he did in that interview).

talk about awkward...

why did dela hoya get one at all???????????

Kareem is correct. He's the all-time scoring leader in the NBA after all, and everyone knows that extroverted people are more ingratiating than introverts. A personality-type difference should not keep this all-time great from receiving his just due.

Give the man his statue!!!

kareem will get his due! the player i believe deserves a statue too, is elgin baylor. he was the Lakers first, true superstar. an undersized power forward, 6'5", 225 lbs., baylor did it all for L.A. in the 1960-61 season averaged 34.8 ppg and 19.8 rpg. the reason he doesn't get as much credit as jerry west, is because he never won an nba title. baylor's knee problems finally caught up with him. unfortunately for elgin, he retired 9 games into the 1971-72 season, the one where L.A. finally got their first nba title, along with 33 game winning streak. if anyone deserves to have statue in his likeness, it's surely baylor!

Kareem deserves a statue a long time ago! I dont care if he was nice to the press or not. As a long time Laker and UCLA basketball fan all i cared about was what Kareem did on the basketball court. I liked it that he was a quiet guy that minded his own business and did not sell out to all the nonsense. He was not the face of HIV like Magic Johnson became and that is because Kareem stayed out of trouble. That is a tribute in itself. Kareem did not go to college at Michigan State or West Virginia like Magic Johnson or Jerry West. He went to school right here at UCLA and was the greatest Bruin player ever winning 3 championships and bringing all that pride to the city of LA. I remember those years and how great it was to see UCLA play unbeatable basketball with Kareem. That set the stage for the Lakers success. First it was UCLA that put LA on the basketball map and then came the Lakers. Kareem won 5 championships with the Lakers and is the NBA scoring leader with a point total that no one really comes close to! A Laker is arguably the greatest basketball player ever after Michael Jordan and he does not have a statue at Staples Center? Kareem should be up there immortalized with his awesome skyhook before Magic Johnson.

@ Ted, the guy said he's an introvert! Introverted people don't have the ability to turn on the charm like the more gregarious extroverts. Those who try come off as phony and nothing more. I agree with those who suggest Kobe is similarly surly. The difference is that the media these days MUST cater to him, while they were very critical of Kareem.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, formerly Lew Alcindor, of Ucla, Milwaukee Buck, and Laker lore, was the greatest player of all time. The championship always went through him. How many titles did MJ win when Kareem was in the league? Zero. How many titles did Magic win after Kareem retired? Zero. 'Nuff said. And John Wooden agrees w/ me.

i have had the misfortune of dealing with this guy several times where i was volunteering and he is a complete prima donna schmuck with zero gratitude for anyone. this seems par for the course.

Should have included the "statue" clause in your contract Kareem. BTW, didn't you get paid for playing???

Don't feel bad Cap, you occupy a very, very large part of all Laker's fans hearts. Besides, they really cheapened any value for those statues once Oscar de la Joya got one. I mean...really? Oscar de la who???

Whether he sounds whiny or he's just pointing out the obvious, the guy deserves it. 'Nuff said.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. One of the most recognized names in sports history. Perhaps even the greatest basketball player of all-time. He was a 3-time College Player of the Year, 3-time NCAA Champion, 6-time NBA MVP and 6-time NBA Champion. He was elected to 19 NBA All-Star games and is still the greatest scorer in NBA history. He has the most iconic shot in the history of basketball. He absolutely deserves a statue. The reason Kareem doesn't receive his due and is always slighted is because, quite frankly, nobody likes him. That may be the truth with most professional athletes, but to this day, Kareem just doesn't get it. He isn't liked by the media and isn't liked by the fans. Never has been. As a life long Laker fan, he has been the epitome of a dour, unapproachable, miserable person. Saying hello to Kareem is akin to a visit to the principal's office. It's too bad that he isn't given the credit he deserves, but he will never be beloved because he has never given back.

Kareem's complaint is likely about more than the statue. This is a guy who has long expressed an interest in becoming a coach, and bemoaned the lack of opportunities thrown his way. I don't really know what accounts for this (clearly his personality from his playing days plays a role), but the result is clear.

Look at the players Kareem played with on the Lakers who have been given coaching opportunities. Magic, B. Scott, Rambis, and Coop (WNBA) just to name a few. Throw in the likes of McAdoo (assistant to Riley, now Spoelstra) and others in the assistant ranks and you can see how he would feel slighted.

However, I have to say that I'm surprised by these comments. Kareem always seemed bigger than this sort of thing. Not just the complaining, but the need to be publicly honored with something like a statue. Frankly, it seems a little beneath the guy. I wonder how his brush with mortality has affected his view of this sort of thing. The fact is, if you're going to put a statue of a boxer or a hockey player (whose greatness preceded his time in L.A.), then honoring the leading scorer of all time, and the winningest player in team history seems like a no-brainer....

People like Kareem are funny. They spend their whole life making it very clear they want to be left alone and then in the end, they complain about not getting enough attention.

Give him a statue but lose the goggles and relax the shorts. No one needs to be remembered like that.

I think the big issue is Staples put a statue of Oscar De La Hoya in front of Staples. Why? How can you do that and ignore the marquee player of your primary tenant?

One statue of the chosen player, Magic, would be fine.

Kareem apparently is going to appear on The Colbert Report tonight on Comedy Central. Perhaps Colbert will have a statue for him, but that might slight Jon Stewart

@Kareem...I love you, man, but from your days at UCLA, with your too-cool-for-school, condescending and curt remarks to reporters and fans, which carried over into your pro career, to your whining that you, not Magic Johnson, should've won the 1980 NBA Finals MVP award, to this latest complaint about a statue, you just don't get it.

Either embrace your celebrity or sit back and ignore it like Bill Russell always did; without EVER asking for recognition from anyone other than his teammates.

You can't have it both ways.

A year ago I commented on JW getting a statue. Yes, he's the logo of NBA but I'm sure once you award someone then you should consider the other great Laker players. What happens now to Staples? It will be surrounded by statues from all kinds of sports basketball, hockey, boxing and also of course the golden voice.

Whoever thought the idea of putting up statues, they have now the problem of evaluating who should get one, what happens to the place itself? It will be crowded with statues similar to Florence Pallazo de Signoria.

Statues is just the smoke, the real fire was the coaching consideration whether assistant or head coach. If you admire the finish product in Drew, then you should also reward Kareem. What did Drew have done lately for his mentor? I have not heard anything significant. I wonder if he gave him a commission on his 14M salaries which he's enjoying now because of what Kareem taught him? Will Kobe request for statue in the future? You bet. Will Bynum, the beast ask for statue 20 years from now? I don't know if he will retire as a Laker. Who else?

A perfect summation, Bay to LA.

Not only the Lakers organization has taken him for granted not offered a statue for the greatest all-time leading scorer and winning five of his six championships with the Lakers, but the inability to offered him a permanent position as an Assistant Coach, instead they choose somebody unfamiliar to all of us, the Lakers fans, Chuck Person? I'm agreeing with Kareem there's no recognition for all that he has done for the Lakers.

If you have a jersey from LA Lakers hanging in the rafter, you get a statue. A pantheon of greats are needed outside Staples. Kareem should be a head coach somewhere. Bynum would suck if he wasn't tutored by him. He wasn't hired because he wasn't kissing ass as an assistant somewhere, and probably becasue he's a pothead, or was... but hey, gotta enjoy life! The SF Warriors should hire him, or Cooper.

What about Wild Chamberlain? I know he never played at Staple Center, but he was amazing. BTW I'm not a sports fan but when I thing of the Lakers I think of Wilt the Stilt.


Kareem is the greatest. Period. Magic is more "current" to fans, so he received the statute.

Forget the stoic label, Kareem is a man of principle and quiet dignity, something unheard of today.

Cool, but let's build it in Milwaukee, were it belongs !

Poor "whiny" Kareem! If anyone should feel slighted it's Elgin Baylor! If you look at the history of the Lakers back to their original home in Minneapolis, MN, there would not have been an L.A. Lakers team without Elgin Baylor! The Minneapolis lakers were $500,000.00 in the Red when Elgin left Seattle University to play for them. At that time $500,000.00 was a huge amount of money. Elgin turned the team around and put them into the Black. Only because of him did L.A. have a Laker team!

Maybe he is more ill than he has let on. Perhaps the medication he is taking clouds his thinking. His time may be shorter than we know and he would like to have a chance to see his statue. He was a helluva player.

I agree with Kareem. A large portion of the Laker fans were not even alive during his UCLA career. For those who do not remember, the NCAA paid Kareem (then Lew Alcindor) the ultimate compliment: the NCAA changed the rules of the game to compensate for Kareem's dominance by outlawing the dunk. After Kareem graduated and went to the NBA they again made the dunk legal.

I cannot name anyone else who was so good that they changed the rules of the game; I am not saying it hasn't happened, I just haven't heard of it. If you look at Kareem's body of work, West, Kobe, Magic, Baylor, although excellent, do not compare.

Peter


I'm confident Kareem will get his statue. It's unfortunate that it's a statue that he needs to confirm his greatness!

Kareem - "Truly loved your sky hook, showtime, and your professionalism on and off the court."

Go Lakers!!!

Kareem was a product of the early 60's when Negros were not treated well, he was an intelligent no nonsense Man. He did not play in the Olympics because of the treatment of Negros at the time. Im sure the treatment of his people influenced his name/religion change. He demanded respect as a Black man at a time when it it did not come easy. He could not change into a happy go lucky non threatening media catering Magic type. But then we always like our heros to smile, then, like our governor, or mayor, or our point guard, their infidelities are tolerable. But you should admire this man for his dignity and for his game. A true Laker/basketball fan knows the sky hook was truly a one of a kind thing of beauty and it is missed. Immortalize it...now.

College Basketball Changed the Dunk rule while Kareem was at UCLA...NO DUNKING, can you believe it ...because Kareem was so dominate. When Kareem was a Freshman at UCLA, the Freshman team beat the Varsity team that had just won the national championship.If you combine his college career and pro...He is the Greatest Player of All time and no other athlete represents Los Angeles more than Him. One mans Opinion: trash the De La Hoya Statue,that was a payoff for oscar to bring boxing to staples/nokia...NO WAY does he belong with the great Superstars at staples,was just a above average boxer at best

The Man deserve a dam Statue! Then Kobe and Worthy next!

Its all a joke anyway!so what you don't have a statue , love that you've been a statue in peoples minds. Plus its kids dying everywhere, its people not eating everywhere, and a government that think your the minority. lets wake up the more we stay out these celeb's life the more we can get on with ours

I think no players or any person on this planet should have a statue. I don't care how great of an athlete you were in any sport. I think its wrong, it is another example in our society giving credit to false idols then giving the glory to god.

It also shows the ego of sports in general. It is unnecessary to do this and I bet its another bill for tax payers that is a long list in sports.

I feel sorry for him, seeing an enemy in every doorway. Yes, an awesome player, and good man inside it all. Once when Kareem, Russel, Walton, Wilt were gathered, Wilt leaned in and asked "Coach, who starts at center?". Wooden said "Which one won 3 NCAA championships?". Conclusion: you have to get close for a long time to know him and like him. But, Kareem, it's on YOU to solve your own problems. Reach out a little, and people will reach back.

Kareem should have been acknowledged before
Magic and then Magic of course should have been acknowledged.

Give the man a statue already!

Who gets a statue outside Staples? The player with the best lifetime stats? Most championships? The best combined college/pro record? The best smile? None of those. Pure and simple, the stautes of pro athletes outside Staples Center are based on what best promotes Staples Center/LA Live/whatever Anshultz, Roski and Co. are selling. So let's not - including you, Cap - worry about what a commercial expression, or lack thereof, says about a man's life and work. Everyone posting recognizes Kareem's contributions to basketball and the Lakers. Whether that's less or more than Magic's, Michael's, Elgin's or Russell's is a tough one. What we can say for sure is that a statue in front of Staples not only doesn't help us answer that, it doesn't even enter into the discussion.

Kareem deserves a statue and LAkers have screwed it up. It should not have been made public news.

Those criticizing Kareem, go take a hike.

Lakers will get Gundy as their coach. New new guards and LAkers bench suck. Trade Bynum and GAsol plus the guards and Walton for Superman and Chris Paul.

Wow, talk about someone full of themselves. Maybe his crying and whining has something to do with it?

I think there is a whole lot more to this than a statue. I'm pretty sure Kareem was not guarantee a spot in the organization going forward, so this verbal jab over a statue is just fluff. My guess is Kareem wanted an assistant coach position regardless of whose the coach next year and Mitch and Dr. Buss said no.

Without a doubt LA as to some degree disrespected " The Cap". In any other town where a player of status was both a legend for the local college and pro team, you would have parks, streets, malls, golf courses, etc... named after that player. Here people have so some degree taken Kareem for granted. Yes he wasn't best interview or the most willing to give autographs in parking lot. But what he did on the floor was well...magically (even before Magic).

I thought it was poor judgement when it was announced that Jerry West was getting a statue this year...why couldn't they both been honored together? (I even asked this question to Mr. Plascke on one of his chats). Jeanie claims it was a tough decision...it was more like a cheap decision. With the knowledge that Kareem had just spent the last couple of years battling cancer you would have thought there would've been more push within the Laker organization to get this done. Again I say you need to read between the lines...there is something else here at play...and I bet we'll find out more in the coming da

I think there is a whole lot more to this than a statue. I'm pretty sure Kareem was not guarantee a spot in the organization going forward, so this verbal jab over a statue is just fluff. My guess is Kareem wanted an assistant coach position regardless of whose the coach next year and Mitch and Dr. Buss said no.

Without a doubt LA has to some degree disrespected " The Cap". In any other town where a player of his status was both a legend for the local college and pro team, you would have parks, streets, malls, golf courses, etc... named after that player. Here people have to some degree taken Kareem for granted. Yes he wasn't best interview or the most willing to give autographs in parking lot. But what he did on the floor was well...magically (even before Magic).

I thought it was poor judgement when it was announced that Jerry West was getting a statue this year...why couldn't they both been honored together? (I even asked this question to Mr. Plascke on one of his chats). Jeanie claims it was a tough decision...it was more like a cheap decision. With the knowledge that Kareem had just spent the last couple of years battling cancer you would have thought there would've been more push within the Laker organization to get this done. Again I say you need to read between the lines...there is something else here at play...and I bet we'll find out more in the coming days

Wa-a-a-a-a-a-a!!!!!!

The sound from Kareem.

Maybe I should change his diaper or he's hungry.

Poor sad little man.....no one loves him.

REALLY!!

PLEASE!!

Hey, Kareem......

Ask John Wooden.......we know he isn't very proud of you at this moment.

Guess you didn't learn as much from him as you need.

Class in session.

Sad little man!!

it's been a while, tr ue - during the playoffs against Kobe landed a skyhook from
center court while running from courtleft to courtright. "just like Magic used to
do" said the announcer, unaware it was Kareem's shot. He made the game bigger, flashier, more athletic, not all by himself, but, hey, he was here in media
town, they loved him then, where are they now? a whiner? say what you will, he
was the first guy to wear those large protective glasses - because opposing players kept whacking his face. he kept on playing.

Could someone explain to me why Magic Johnson and Wayne Gretzky each have a statue at Staples since neither ever played there?

As for Kareem, he's acting like a whiny brat. John Wooden must be spinning in his grave.

It's always best to just let someone else lay glory on you, rather than you pitching for it yourself.

I think Kareem hurt himself with this admission.

No athlete DESERVES a statue, not even Jordan. That's what the various halls of fames are for.

A statue should be reserved for someone who left something of eternal value for mankind, not because he won basketball championships, hit lots of homeruns, engineered championship drives in the fourth quarter, or won the Triple Crown by 31 lengths (sorry, Secretariat), etc.

Where's the statue for Erin Gruwell (Freedom Writers), who changed the lives of 150 kids who were headed nowhere? How about foster parents? How about single moms who work three jobs and sacrifice everything so their kids stay together and get through school? There are countless people in this society who truly deserve statues.

Get in line Kareem, and all the rest of you once, current, and future pampered athletes who just can't get enough idolatry thrown at themselves.

A lot of other people ought to get bronzed before you.

Kareem is a bitter man. No statue will be big enough to change that. Kareem wakes up bitter about the weather before he looks out his bedroom window.

Relax Kareem...your time will come & the fact that John Black mentions having already talked to you about it makes it look like you're trying to force the Lakers' hand to build it sooner. Just heard sports talk radio mentioning that Kareem's sullen attitude over the years hasn't helped his chances.

Kareem has done much for his sport on the court, but it's not a coincidence that the 4 local heroes who already DO have statues at Staples did a lot for their respective sports both on AND OFF the court.

Doesnt anyone remember how Magic Johnson started his Laker career with such great exuberance & pure love for his sport that it even caused Kareem to break out of his dead-pan sullenness & show some enthusiasm for a change.

THAT is why Magic had a statue long before Kareem...Magic has always been great at RELATING to people, something that Kareem NEVER seemed comfortable with. His own sullenness is what has kept Kareem in the shadows of Laker history, while Magic has always basked joyfully in the limelight.

Kareem's lack of people skills still hinder him now, just like in the past...

Kareem was so whiny he sued a kid to keep him from having the same name! What a jerk. Quite a shame, Kareem had such a towering talent ... then became a crybaby!

He should have a lifelike paper mache statue made in full detail and set on a wheeled platform. This way every time he speaks of this "need" he can cart this thing around. Since this is now public he has to carry this media trash with him for a while. When he attends games he could bend it to fit courtside or have it fully erect for the locker room. How ridiculous!

Not only should Kareem Abdul Jabbar have a statue outside Staples (really should have been the first one) but also Lew Alcindor should have one outside the newly refurbished Pauley Pavillion. Pronto.

There's no doubt he should be a coach on some level by now, it appears that
people are distancing themselves from him because he has remained the
picture of aloof and distanced person. In Kareem's defense; everyone brings
something about themselves to the table whether it's in the form of noise,
silence, good or bad, pretty or ugly. He should be offered the same equal
opportunity that everyone receives.

It does amazes me how Kareem have to take a back seat to Magic when it comes
to the Lakers or anything basketball. Without Kareem there's no Magic,
Kareem won in the league long before Magic came along; however, different
personalities, but this man Kareem should not be taken for granted just
because a guy smiles a lot and the other don't. It was Kareem that turned
those assist that Magic gave into points and championships. It was Kareem
that made the Lakers a winner when the game was on the line and the team
needed that tough shot. Magic won a game against Philadelphia but it was
Kareem that brought them to that point and if not for a sprained ankle he
would have finished the job.

Don't overlook Kareem, he's special in a lot of different ways. The guy
should be first among any conversation when it comes to any honor of NBA
players; he was that great. Don't diminish his accomplishments by causing
him to speak out in a selfish way; he should have been considered and acted
upon long ago. Come on; Chick Herns before Kareem, Magic before Kareem,
Jerry West before Kareem or better yet; any player before Kareem besides the
names of Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, really ?

A question: What is Kareem's contact information (email)?

Thanks

Kareem deserves a statue, but the person who first brought excitement and excellence to Los Angeles was Elgin Baylor. It's too bad that he is more remembered for his Clipper career, because he was one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA. Who has the second highest single season scoring average in NBA history next to Wilt Chamberlain? Not MJ, not Ice, not Rick Barry. It was Elgin Baylor - who averaged 38.2 ppg one season. Elgin should get a statue as well, as Jerry West said at the dedication of his statue.

My question is what does a statue have to do with basketball. Ok one of the best of all time,great memories of his play. I'll say he wasn't the most politically correct guy during his time in the spot light. Pot smoking and supporting. Now would I ever forget who he was without a statue? Well of course not. Would his all time numbers change? Nope! Does he look silly trying to guilt the Buss's into doing it? Yup! It seems like a vanity issue. Will his championship rings tarnish if the statue isn't put up.In his mind maybe in my mind no.Someone please tell him that anyone who has a statue has never asked for it and once they do its not the same. He deserves one more than most but now its tainted in my mind as a fan of his I will always remember how it went down. His fans myself included are at fault. We should have said something long ago. His play was by far the prettiest but his statue now will be the ugliest!! SAD FOR HIM..

As a Lakers fan, I would actually prefer to have a KAJ statue vs. a Magic -I got HIV because I am bi-sexual, cheated on my wife & I always root AGAINST the Lakers - Johnson or an Oscar - got my ass beat by Pacquiao so bad I had to retire- DelaHoya statue. Maybe KAJ knows he's not going to live too much longer and that's why he's acting like a big baby. Whatever it is, there are other things in life that are far more important than statues in front of the Staples Center. KAJ will always be an Angelino legend regardless.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.................YES

Oscar De La Hoya........................NO

Give the big baby his little statue, already. He gets his ass kissed, but he wants his ass kissed really hard.

This is a matter of class. Kareem is a gentleman and not part of the glitter and fakery of the LA sports machine. He is one of the greatest athletes of all time and should have been honored first in the Laker family. But then, some of the people around the Lakers are pretty shallow and haven't any background in dignity and class. Whatever is on the outside isn't always the whole story on the Lakers. Just because someone has a private personality isn't a reason to overlook the greatest contributor to Laker history, putting several people not of his stature ahead of him. He should have had the first statue. That's just a fact.
There are great athletes and artists in all of history that don't share a public personality with their fans and admirers. In Los Angeles that seems to be a sin of sorts.


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