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Lakers respond to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's contention that the organization hasn't treated him with enough respect

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In a Q&A with former Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar published Thursday morning on this blog, he talked about his "fractured" relationship with the organization, suggesting as he did in a recent Sporting News interview that a symbol of this is the lack of a statue honoring the Lakers star outside Staples Center.

I passed the interview along to Lakers spokesman John Black to give the team the opportunity to comment on it, along with three specific questions that came out of Abdul-Jabbar's interview. Since he spoke with the Sporting News in a report focusing on how he felt slighted at not having a statue, Abdul-Jabbar said that Linda Rambis, the Lakers’ manager of special projects, had told his publicist, Deborah Morales, that he would be the next Laker to have a statue but didn’t specify when.

"Linda Rambis did place a call to Deborah Morales yesterday due to the puzzling comments that have come out the past few days," Black wrote in an email. "However, Deborah has been made aware, as has Kareem, for quite a while that we plan on putting up a statue of Kareem, and that it would be the next statue erected, so to say that her call yesterday was to inform about this would be incorrect."

As a Lakers special assistant coach for the last six seasons, working with center Andrew Bynum, Abdul-Jabbar said he had to take an unspecified paycut in 2009, which he described as “drastic," even though he said his role wasn't reduced.  He said he was only willing to stay because he was diagnosed in November 2009 with a rare form of leukemia and needed the health insurance.

"When Kareem was initially hired six years ago as a Special Assistant Coach," Black wrote, "he worked regularly at practices and before games in a mentoring role with Andrew Bynum. After a few years, Andrew no longer needed such a time-consuming effort with Kareem, so the amount of work needed was lessened, therefore Kareem’s schedule and workload was lessened. In reflecting the lesser work and hours, Kareem’s salary was adjusted. However, as with all employees here, we do not discuss compensation or contract issues, therefore will not go into details regarding Kareem’s pay."

Lastly, even if Abdul-Jabbar were to receive a statue, it might not make much difference in the state of his relationship with the Lakers. He expressed disinterest in remaining on the Lakers’ staff, referring to himself an "outsider,"  and argued, "They don’t really value my presence there like they value other people.”

"It's hard to define what the 'relationship' with Kareem is, as with any individuals, relationships vary," Black wrote after I asked him how the Lakers would characterize their relationship with Abdul-Jabbar. "Speaking personally, since I was an intern in 1982, Kareem has been very friendly to me, even having dinner with me, which is a great memory of mine. Although various other people referred to him as surly and such, my personal dealings with him have never been such, and I have always enjoyed the conversations with him on topics such as books, music and things other than basketball, and I would consider our relationship to be very friendly.

"Beyond that, since we hired him, I have also always enjoyed my direct dealings with him in terms of arranging interviews and other aspects relating to Kareem doing PR for the Lakers," Black continued. "I would like to consider my personal relationship with him to be excellent. As for others in our organization who I’ve spoken to, I have not found one person who doesn’t like Kareem. Overall, I’d say the Lakers have been pleased to have him back in our organization the last several years, and we are proud of having him as part of the Lakers legacy."

ALSO:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says Lakers don't value his presence

T.J. Simers: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a monument to entitlement

Mark Heisler: Coach selection, and the Lakers' future, is in owners' hands

-- Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 2009. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

 
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Putting tools like Twitter in the hands of professional athletes and celebrities is like giving children a loaded gun to play with. Every public relations consultant out there should be advising their clients to resist the lure of tweeting with their fans. It can only lead to disappointment and disillusionment. Kareem’s tweets about his dissatisfaction with the Lakers for their failure to erect a statue of him in front of Staples center is a perfect example of it can undermine a celebrity’s public relations image.

I have always loved Kareem as a player and a person. While Magic might have had the million megawatt smile that captured your heart, I always found Kareem to be a more intelligent, serious, and socially aware individual. While I can understand the frustration of fans with whom the Cap might have appeared to have been rude, they need to have some sympathy for what it must have been like for Kareem as the league’s premier superstar, a Goliath for all of the David’s to hate.

Starting with how John Wooden secluded a young Lew Alcindor from the media when he was at UCLA, Kareem struggled to come to grips with his stardom and all the attention it attracted. I think fans need to understand how different his situation was compared to Magic and other more outgoing stars. What Kareem contributed to the legacy that is today’s Los Angeles Lakers cannot be denied or trivialized. As much as Jerry and Magic, he deserves to be respected and loved by all Lakers fans.

Until you’ve walked a few miles in Kareem’s shoes, I suggest that you put aside any bitter memories and give the guy who may well be the GLOAT the break he deserves. I refuse to lower my gratitude or respect for this great Laker player because of a few possibly inappropriate tweets. He was and will always be a heroic figure to me who deserves to be given some slack as he tries to come to grips with his legacy. Don’t let inconsequential incidents like this undermine the greatness that was Kareem.
.............................................................
TOM

“When I decided I wanted to try coaching, the Lakers were one of the first people I contacted, and they had no interest in me as a coach. The reason I got the shot with coaching the Lakers is because Andrew Bynum said he thought he could learn from me. [Lakers General Manager] Mitch Kupchak mentioned it to Phil [Jackson]. Phil said, ‘That’s probably a good idea.’ That’s how it came around. If Andrew hadn’t said what he said, I wouldn’t have gotten a shot at it.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Another interesting tidbit that I never knew about how Kareem got hired to work with Drew. It’s a perfect example of how Drew’s mind works. Kudos to Drew for having the vision and moxie to speak up in favor of Kareem working with him. There is little doubt that Kareem was a great influence on a young Andrew Bynum. Makes you wonder if it was just money that led the Lakers to let KAJ go.
…………………………….
TOM

Jim Black wrote: "When Kareem was initially hired six years ago as a Special Assistant Coach," Black wrote, "he worked regularly at practices and before games in a mentoring role with Andrew Bynum. After a few years, Andrew no longer needed such a time-consuming effort with Kareem, so the amount of work needed was lessened, therefore Kareem’s schedule and workload was lessened.

my response: Who, on God's green earth, determined that Bynum did not
need such mentoring? If Bynum had become an all-star there would be
some validity to that opinion. Given that Bynum has not sniffed any type
of accolade in the NBA, this was a bad decision.

LakerTom,

How come you're not taking Bynum to task over this? Btw, Bynum's words
predate this comment and also clearly stated that he wanted to go his own
way rather than learning more from Kareem in Kareem's way.

Y'all may consider my question a small nugget of substance in the midst of
the troll feeding frenzy. Yes, Island Priest & Mary Chandler ... I'm referring
to y'all.

Jon K …. The obvious solution is to build a half-court monument with a basket and two complete sets of Lakers teams. Team 1 would be Wilt, Elgin, Jerry, Gail, and Mikan. Team 2 would be Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Kobe, and Cooper. On the sidelines, we could have two benches with the honorable mentionable players like Shaq, Horry, Gasol, Fisher, Byron, etc. How much fun to wander around that half court and all the statues. It would be the most visceral team HOF in the entire world.
……………………………..
TOM


@HOBBITMAGE … I never read anywhere that Drew specifically said he no longer wanted to work with Kareem. And while you could truthfully contend that Drew would need less help from Kareem after working with him for several years, I suspect the move was made more to save money than anything else. One thing that seems sure to me is that Drew is a far better player today due to KAJ.
……………………………..
TOM


LakerTom,

"Putting tools like Twitter in the hands of professional athletes and celebrities is like giving children a loaded gun to play with."

Amen.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

LakerTom,

"The obvious solution is to build a half-court monument with a basket and two complete sets of Lakers teams. Team 1 would be Wilt, Elgin, Jerry, Gail, and Mikan. Team 2 would be Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Kobe, and Cooper. On the sidelines, we could have two benches with the honorable mentionable players like Shaq, Horry, Gasol, Fisher, Byron, etc. How much fun to wander around that half court and all the statues. It would be the most visceral team HOF in the entire world."

Utterly brilliant.

Perfect, dude. Perfect.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Mark Medina,

Kareem sure complains a lot for a guy who has endured 1/8th the suffering and obstacles to success as Elgin Baylor.

As of today, I'd much rather see a statue of Elgin Baylor erected before Kareem.

Mark, is there any way Elgin Baylor could be reached for comment?

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

While I sympathize with Kareem and think he is mostly CORRECT in his gripes I also believe he has handled everything rather POORLY from the start -not just the recent complaint about the statue.

So not knowing in exact details what went on in private I can only say that the blame lies with both Kareem and the Lakers. Both sides could have handled the situation much, much better.

Sad that it comes down to this.

what Tom said

I think Kareem feels slighted by NBA in general and not just the Lakers.
It's true that his name is rarely mentioned when people talk about greatest players.
He also hasn't had success with coaching gigs.

However, a lot of it is due to his own doing.
His social and personal skills have been awkward despite being a intelligent and brilliant person.

Tim 4 Show - what on earth are you talking about?

I'd say 11 World Titles (where he was THE key player), 2 as the first Black Head Coach in the game, 2 NCAA titles and 1 Gold Medal in addition to FIVE MVP awards warrant a TOKEN of respect on your part - I "love" lakers fans. You can't give anyone else any respect at all. It's got nothing to do with rings. In the same way Kareem revolutionized the college game, Russell re-invented the pro game with his rebounding, defense and outlet passes. Magic is THE best PG ever, MJ is the best SG ever............and Bill Russell is the best center ever - get over yourself!!

Putting John Blacks comments in tandem with Kareem's, I'd say this boils down to the Lakers not ACTIVELY trying to find ways to use Kareem's unique understanding, skills, and abilities within the organization. Instead, they defaulted to the "oh, he's not really working with Andrew as much now, so let's cut his pay to compensate for reduced workload"

If your employer did that, and you were perhaps one of the greatest employees EVER, would you not feel a bit slighted? Sure, the Lakers position here is understandable, but we're talking about Kareem!

Did anyone ever ask Kareem what HE wanted?

I'm guessing no.

Which is why this whole thing has blown up. The Lakers never bothered to find out how Cap was doing and whether or not he was happy with the current arrangement. He obviously wasn't.

The next statues should be Elgin Baylor and Marcel Dionne.

Then they can put up Kareem. Someday Worthy, Shaq, & Goodrich should be there. As for Wilt - sorry - but he's a 76er more than a Laker.

I alway thought Kareem got the short in of the stick when folks start calling certain players the "goat" and barely mentioned his name. Some called Kareem surly but I thought he was shy and cautious of the media. Just think, some folk have the nerve to call "the big red head" the greatest Bruin which I beg to differ, for heaven sake, they outlaw the dunk when Kareem played.. I don't want to put player against player but for me I would take Kareem (in his prime) over Jordan (a great player in his prime) any day.
Kareem, I just wish you could have kept this in house and moved on. You're better this this and you deserved better.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!.....by Jon K.

CAN YOU PLEASE REMOVE THAT WORDINGS WHENEVER YOU BLOG.
It's so annoying. Just bring it back when the 2011-2012 season starts. SO DUMB....were not playing anymore!!!

Three R's:

Rings, rebounds, R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

I love Kareem and appreciate what he did for the lakers, i think he deserves a statue but i think he just has to wait it out. I mean we all know Magic/Kobe is the greatest laker depending on who you ask. So of course Magic's statue was done first and rightly so.

Jerry West did contribute 11 rings to the lakers (1 as a player and 10 as a result of the teams he built) so yea, that was a no brainer, and he had to wait till recently.
The Lakers have always been classy and they do right by their own, so this whining by kareem was totally uncalled for.
U wanted a coaching position and called the lakers? C'mon now, Jordan never called Chicago, you know where evil green's own ppl, larry bird is with the pacers.
Phil jackson is a Ny knick, you get own job, just like the rest of us who never call our colleges to offer us a job. kareem was appreciated (paid millions) when he played with the lakers.
But this sense of entitlement is ridiculous.

LakerTom,

I think the best idea is to dig all those statues and move them to a separate building very near to Staples as the Hollywood Basketball Hall of Fame museum. Then charge $ 5 per entry and $20 for residents of Boston leprechaun district. lol! Because if we talk of all star statues, we will run out of space around the Staples area. In fact, Southern California is the source of future stars in NBA from Westbrook, Paul Pierce, Gilbert Arenas, Gibson, Love and now Griffin. More to come, actually some of them just passed by SoCal like Kevin Love but since he acquired fame when he became a Bruin, he's now a SoCal boy. Therefore, to make money to all these stars and future stars construct another museum with interactive bios and gossips about their lives to make it more Hollywood. lol again!

Yes, you were right about Kareem's intelligence. First of all, he would not last until age 42 playing that role if the fella has intelligence of ordinary athlete. He took care of his body, developed a new shooting technique that was hard to block and compiled double digit points for so many years competing with the broadcast of the golden voice. Kareem was shooting while Chick was talking on the airwaves. You ask Kareem about American history whether about the story of the black slavery or the plight of the pioneering Native Americans, he will conduct a lecture out from it. Now we go to the present generation of stars, ask Shannon Brown or D. Rose or Durant - who is Jefferson Davis? I doubt if they can give you the right answer. You ask Kareem about Jazz, he will surpass the talent of our blog maestro, LRob with regards to his jazz collection. As I said in my previous posts, he feels unappreciated of that untapped intelligence because it is not being used by this organization. How many intelligent people that you know who are rude? Too many isn't it and many did not make money in their retirement because they were always misunderstood. The best behavior and most accommodating always wearing smiles are the sales and marketing people like Magic J. Another success group who end up as a CEO without that high IQ but knows how to maneuver people, play inside politics, good in a** kissing and also a quiet worker "yes-man" just like Mitch K. lmao.

KAJ was a great, very educated and appears he needs a sit down with management. Keep it in the family. He loves the lakers, but his ego is hurt. Be the bigger man Dr. B
Lets focus on 2012 and KB number 6.

Hey Kareem, why not STFU...you're timing is terrible. You know you are next in line and deservedly so.

Hey guys. Sorry for the delay in responses. I was putting together a writeup on Kareem's comments, John Black's responses, etc, for the paper edition and was on the phone for a bit. I will try to see if I can get in touch with Baylor, although he has been out of the limelight since he's had an ongoing lawsuit with the Clippers.

LakerTom,

you wrote: I never read anywhere that Drew specifically said he no longer wanted to work with Kareem. And while you could truthfully contend that Drew would need less help from Kareem after working with him for several years, I suspect the move was made more to save money than anything else.

my response: With respect, you are incorrect and your memory is slipping.
*I* specifically brought this up when Bynum went to Italy and Kareem
announced that he had cancer. To be clear, he did not say "I don't want to
work with Kareem anymore." I was going to rehash history, but it's better
if you read it yourself. Again.

http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2009/10/andrew-bynum-is-dropping-kareem/

Abdul-Jabbar expressed disappointment in Bynum and the situation, saying that “I think there are things that have to do with basketball that he could learn but he’s getting on in years.” Bynum said he understood his mentor’s feelings, but that it’s not personal and just a natural evolution for him in his career.

http://www.insidesocal.com/lakers/2009/10/has-bynum-outgrown-kareem.html

Abdul-Jabbar expressed disappointment in Bynum and the situation, saying that ``I think there are things that have to do with basketball that he could learn but he's getting on in years.''

Bynum said he understood his mentor's feelings, but that it's not personal and just a natural evolution for him in his career.

``I understand where he's coming from,'' Bynum said. ``It's definitely tough (for him). As of right now, I have my direction and he's still helping me. As long as he doesn't stop helping me everything is going to be fine.''

Over the summer, the two had no contact.

Bynum said that was because he spent only about a week and a half in Los Angeles following the Lakers championship parade on June 17th.

After that, he took a 41-day vacation in Europe and Asia, then went back to Atlanta for a month and a half to work with his personal trainer, Sean Zarzana.

-------------------------------

So ... the move was not about money. The move was about Bynum not
wanting to learn what "Kareem" thought he needed to learn. Which oddly
enough coincides with the information that came out at the end of last
season where Bynum was frustrated with his place in the Lakers, because
he wanted to be the offensive star and when Pau showed up he realized
that that wouldn't be the case.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1184609/2/index.htm

snippet:
Bynum always thought of himself as a scorer, able to shimmy around centers or shoot over forwards. But he was searching for a niche, and in a meeting with Jackson during the All-Star break, he lobbied to be L.A.'s new guard dog.


There was another article which spoke more about this, but I haven't been
able to find it with a quick search. What I've given should be enough to
substantiate the point I made. Kareem's reduced time with the Lakers was
based upon Bynum not the Lakers saving money. At least by what's
written in the articles.

LakerTom,

ps. so now that you know ... are you going to take Bynum to task for his
short-sightedness with Kareem?

I see a lot of conflict in Kareem. He doesn't advertise himself & is private yet is asking for a statue. He has the stats/career highlight to be considered the best ever over Jordan (6 rings, 6 mvps, scoring title and not even mentioning his UCLA career. I like to mention in arguments that Kareem had his image on a sneaker, was in movies, shaved his head and started a jazz label waaay before Jordan yet isn't the icon. Some of it promotion and some of it due to his personality) but isn't living off that but rather chooses to be an author & filmaker. So its really hard to honor someone who doesn't want the attention then all the sudden wants it.

I can understand how is upset he does not have a statue outside he was
a contributing factor to making the Lakers what they are today, a bit one, no pun intended. Embrace him and honor him and raise money for charity while doing so.

Seems kinda slimy for Black to slip in, "Although various other people referred to him as surly and such...."

It's time for Dr. Buss to reach out to Kareem and rectify this situation. Whether the slight is real or percieved...it makes the Laker organization look bad. The longer it lingers the worst it'll get, because each time Kareem is interviewed from this point forward he'll be asked about it.

I blame Mitch Kupkake for this debacle. Here is a man who signed Luke to a lifetime contract at $6 million per year. Plus he has Fisher a 50 year old man as his starting pg. Kobe is getting paid $24 million per year as well for fumbling the ball obviously. After these and other bonehead contracts poor Buss have little or no money left for the greatest laker ever statue. Remember Dr. Buss have a bunch of 19 year old biddies to keep happy. The one thing Buss loves more than his lakers and poker is beating.

If Lakers are in WCF, do you think we have these stories about KAJ? Nope. It attracted attention because it's coming from Soap Opera origin whether about Gasol, Kobe now Kareem. There is always something interesting to talk about the South land personalities or else the Conference Finals will be boring and it comes from an absentee, under performing team and under employed Superstar.

If you were Kareem, your student Drew get 13M, sloppy Gasol gets 17M, On & Off Odom get 9M with reality TV, perfumes on the side and Kobe 24M while KAJ may be getting 60K per year, or less. well, it's time to whine and squeak in order his systems gets oiled. How many of Kareem contemporaries getting this mega millions per year during their time? Therefore, if he barks loud today, he will paid by the media, a prologue for his book and somehow, JB might agree to settle to keep his mouth shut. If he remains quiet, then it's back 60K and low rate attention from everybody. Getting hate & praise from fans means the message is going through in full speed.

If this is not profitable, how many threads have been issued out from this topic.

there is PLENTY of room ALL AROUND the staples center.
I would love to see ANY and ALL Laker "personalities/players" that truly "deserves" a spot in a "ring of Laker legends" to have one, regardless of any other teams he may have played for.
Statues are cheap compared to the contributions these players made to the overall Lakers history/brand/glory. Quite obviously, the Lakers would not be the franchise they are today without these people.
having said that, who would YOU, put in that ring Laker fan?...

Abdul Jabbar?
Baylor?
dancing Barry? (just kidding)
Riley?
Kobe?
"iron man" AC Green?
Michael Cooooooooper?
B. Scott?
Shaq?
Goodrich?
"big game" James Worthy?
Chamberlain?
what an awesome lineup of statues THAT would be!

I guess Kareem forgot about the Rolls Royce Doc Buss bought for him.
A Rolls Royce.
As a gift.

And maybe Kareem forgot that Buss paid for a tennis court to be installed in his Hawaii home.

He complains that the Lakers haven't offered him a coaching job. How many other teams have offered him a coaching position?

Maybe it has something to do with his interpersonal skills, or lack thereof.

And now he complains because a statue hasn't yet been resurrected in his honor fast enough for his liking.

And he says the Lakers are ungrateful towards him.

Buy a mirror Kareem.

This interview with Jerry West really strikes me in this point in time. He seemed ashamed that he actually was going to be inducted

http://lakersblog.latimes.com/lakersblog/2010/12/jerry-west-and-james-worthy-laker-statue.html

>>>I alway thought Kareem got the short in of the stick when folks start calling
>>>certain players the "goat" and barely mentioned his name

I totally agree with that.

It's funny how the Jordanists all seem to ignore any player who wasn't a guard in their MJ was the GOAT theories.

Kobe's not really in the discussion yet, and Jordan probably edges out Magic and Bird for guys 6'9" and under.

But the GOAT discussion should also include Kareem and Bill Russell, at least. Maybe Wilt as well.

How much a statue cost anyway? $50,000 the maximum. That is a drop in the bucket for the money Kareem made for Dr. Buss. I remembered the first laker game i watched as a pre teen and i saw kareem with the goggles and i thought that was cool. i became a life long laker fan from that day to this. I watched kareem battle and sometimes conquer moses malone, robert parish, the original twin towers ralph sampson and olajuwon, james edwards and bill laimbeer, artis gilmore etc etc. I think kareem won the finals mvp in 1985 at the age of 38. he also starred in movies like airplane and game of death. he actually trained with the martial arts master bruce lee and is a real black belt unlike the false internet tough guy hobbit.

>>>I blame Mitch Kupkake for this debacle. Here is a man who signed Luke to a
>>>lifetime contract at $6 million per year.

LOL. How did Luke get in the conversation?

I noticed that they've started erecting a new Luke Walton statue outside of Staples Center. Could that be why you brought him up?

Is it possible that the lack of respect Kareem receives from the Lakers is directly related to the surly attitude that prevailed throughout his entire playing career? I have some strong suspicions that he pissed off Jerry Buss in some way when he was a player, hence the treatment he has received.

I have been a huge Laker fan my whole life, beginning the year before Magic was drafted. I always loved Kareem, and I do believe he deserves a statue. However, when I was 12 years old, he was such a jerk when I politely asked him if he would sign a copy of his autobiography, "Giant Steps." I asked him before the game, and he told me to wait in the player's parking lot after the game and he would do it (he was pretty rude when he told me that). My dad and I waited after the game until he showed up, and he told me "no" when he saw me, got into his car, and drove off. The unsigned copy of "Giant Steps" sits on my bookshelf--I never read it because I was so upset at the way he treated me as a kid.

Though I know Kareem is still probably the best center--maybe even player--to have ever played the game, this image still sticks in my mind when I think of him. From what I have read over the years, he left this bitter taste in the mouths of most people he came in contact with (even some coaches and teammates), so it is not a huge surprise that he is still waiting for his statue and that no team has asked him to be a head coach. Karma is a bitch, Kareem.

Why would anyone think that a statue will satisfy Kareem? This guy was paid millions of dollars by the Lakers during his playing days. The team was actively involved in what to this day is the most lengthy and "respectful" retirement party, stretching a whole season.

Upon retirement, his number was retired and placed in the rafters where future generations of Laker fans will look upon it. Later, he was given a part-time gig coaching ONE player, for which he not only got paid a decent amount but also got health insurance--something a middle-aged guy with leukemia ought to value a little more than a damn piece of bronze.

That stuff wasn't enough. He wanted to keep his salary despite his workload being reduced (at the request of the ONE player he was hired to coach). Now he's complaining that this part time, single-player coaching gig didn't give him a playoff share the way the FULL TIME assistants who slave all year long, working LONG hours, traveling with the team and coaching ALL the players get.

Then he got mad that he wasn't handed a "proper" coaching job. Today it's a statue that he didn't (yet) receive.

Seriously, the Captain has really proven himself to be a rather ungrateful former employee if you look at the bigger picture. Must be nice to have been "disrespected" in these ways....

cap has always seemed to have had a difficult time with the media going back to power memorial h.s. and maybe back to jr. high. the media didn't know what to do with him.the essence of him has always been his intellect, which is not typically in keeping with the public perception of athletes.i think that not being one of life's cheerleaders has fueled this perception. and he clearly didn't help himself to reinvent his public persona. karma can be a b*tch if you are not paying attention. afterall, you can't be that inaccessable if you expect to live in the public world. you just can't have it both ways. magic realized this when he was most likely about ten. karma can really be something if you are not paying attention!

Life Long you took my quote out of context. Because Mitch Kupkake is squandering Dr. Buss money on bad contracts, poor Jerry has little money to honor the Captain. They even cut kareem's pay man....I'm looking forward to the OKC vs MAVS tonight. Dirk NoWINski getting 24 free throws should not be celebrated but condemned by all right thinking fans. Why the sudden push for the mavs by stern. I want to see fair competition. The mavs beat us like we stole something fair and square and don't need any help. i expect the dynamic duo of durant/westbrook to even the series.

I don't get Mitch Kupchak's statue. Who's on that committee??

funny how we have all these posts about what Kareem thinks before we had even one about the Laker's response. that includes a poll, where we're asked to give an opinion with only half the "story".

hey, let's just put statues everywhere. hey, the man needs a statue even though statues are anathema to Muslims.

actually, i'd love to see a KAJ statue. i'd love to see a Wilt and a Baylor statue too. so what? none of this is news. it's fun to talk about, but why is the Times treating it like news? it's just some "he said, she said" and in this case Kareem is the "she"....

LakerTom,

You do remember that Drew called KAJ Wilt the first time they met, right?

Mud calling kareem a she is low class. But what do i expect from a kobe fan? Your name is fitting as a description of your character. Weall brag about catching boston in championships and it was a player like kareem who helped us win 5. This is how we treat a champion like this? Kareem is everything kobe is not including a great team mate, integrity, intelligent etc etc.

"....I'm looking forward to the OKC vs MAVS tonight. Dirk NoWINski getting 24 free throws should not be celebrated but condemned by all right thinking fans"
-island priest

This just gives more credibility to many of my friends' beleif that the NBA is fixed.

I watched game one and it was unbelievable the calls Dirk was getting. Each defender was called for a foul as long as they were an inch from dirk's body- no matter if they touched him or not. RIDICULOUS.

Mark Medina,

The contrast between Jerry West and Kareem is striking.

If Kareem is so honestly concerned with civil rights and "Standing On The Shoulders of Giants", he should be rattling the doors at Staples screaming that Elgin Baylor should have the next statue.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Haven't posted any music in awhile.
My first of the day.

Steel Pulse:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FphO_5BZuKk&feature=related

island priest, you are either a consumate troll or a very stupid person.

what i said about Kareem is that i would like to see him get his props, but his complaining on twitter is the kind of thing that i would expect from a petulant female, not a seasoned veteran of public life. i said that the twitter bruhaha is not news, it's just relationship drama, like the kind from yo mama(or less rhyming, from a pain-in-the butt girlfriend who always needs to be told how much she is loved).

island priest, you're typical of the average fair weather fan who likes whoever's winning, repeats heresay as though it's truth, and is willing to print outright fabrications to be "right". if Kareem has so much more integrity, then why does he want a statue at all? devout muslims do not approve of graven images. they do not worship athletes.

was Kareem great? yes, indeed. i preferred Wilt's game, however. especially before he wrecked his wheel in 69....

am i forever thankful to Kareem for what he did for the Lakers? you bet!

do i think a Rolls Royce, the retiring of his number, a swimming pool, a good salary and a year long retirement party are 'nuff respect. indeed i do, even though, as i said, i want him to get his statue(if he stops whining and complaining first).

excuse me, not "pool", tennis court. d'oh....

oh and by the way, "priest"-
i'm always LOW class. i never want to be confused with the sister marrying, father killing, greedy "noble" class....

But the GOAT discussion should also include Kareem and Bill Russell, at least. Maybe Wilt as well.

Posted by: LongTimeLakerFan | May 19, 2011 at 03:45 PM
-----------------
LTLF,

Kareem has the vote for my GOAT. No one in the history of the game went head to head with many HOFers as Kareem. And only one outplayed him for a 2-3 stretch and that was Moses. To win the MVP of the finals at 38yrs old is a feat that will be unbreakable as the Lakers 33 game winning streak.

LRob - you mean Kareem won the Bill Russell award at age 38?

Thanks, I did not know that!!

The man wants a statue for playing basketball? How about statue's for Seal Team 6? How about Statue's for all the Law enforcement personnel who died in the line of duty. How about a statue for Capt. Sully? How about Statue’s for the people who made great changes in our society? How about a statue for the family man trying to support his family in S.Calif? This man wants a statue for playing basketball? Kareem go back to your pot field and smoke a blunt then you can be a statue all day long. You don’t get a statue for doing your job. Sit down.
Athlete’s have the fattest heads in the world and they could not change a tire on a car.

mud looks like you have been practicing for the Priest. Very good. When Medina goes on vacation and carries this evil moderation with him we will do battle. Be that as it may you said you like wilt game better. it is impossible for you to have watched wilt play when you are in your early 20s.

EMILY T wrote:


I have been a huge Laker fan my whole life, beginning the year before Magic was drafted. I always loved Kareem, and I do believe he deserves a statue. However, when I was 12 years old, he was such a jerk when I politely asked him if he would sign a copy of his autobiography, "Giant Steps." I asked him before the game, and he told me to wait in the player's parking lot after the game and he would do it (he was pretty rude when he told me that). My dad and I waited after the game until he showed up, and he told me "no" when he saw me, got into his car, and drove off. The unsigned copy of "Giant Steps" sits on my bookshelf--I never read it because I was so upset at the way he treated me as a kid.

2 months before Magic announced he had AIDS, I saw him at a bar in Lansing Michigan and talk about JERKS-He wouldn't sign my $100 bill even after I showed him how Pat Riley signed my $20 (nothing bigger when I met him in Hawaii the year they acquired Mychal Tompson) and you want to talk about Karma!!!!

One thing is for sure. Being unprofessional and complaining about it isn't going to make it any better.

Going to Dr. Buss and asking how you can help the organization improve going forward, that might have been a better idea.

Statues, frankly, are for dead people.

"Look at me" is childish.

This is similar to FOX and the Dodgers kicking former players and coaches to the curb. I have never heard Phil or and Laker management person publicly praise Kareem for his coaching Bynum.

Why does Laker management suddenly not know how to take care of their own, privately or publicly?


@P ANG … LOL. I do remember Drew calling Kareem Wilt when he first met him. What a situation for a 17-year old kid to be in. 2 injury plagued years of high school basketball and you’re on the Lakers and being coached by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Those are everybody’s dream come true.
…………………………………………………
@EDWIN … I do like the idea of a half-court with all the Laker great. And not at the Wax Museum but real bronze works of art. With all the statues making game sense like a frozen moment with Chick on the sidelines calling the action. And you could walk around the players on the half-court. Cool.
…………………………………………………
@HOBBITMAGE … Thanks for the articles. Not saying this is your motive (because I know you well enough to believe it isn’t) but I always find it fascinating how player critics will search high and low to find any nugget to support their belief that Drew is not doing the right things. Problem is that nuggets are just that – nuggets. And you can always find something about anybody. It’s like the hullabaloo over postponing the surgery. To me, these are isolated incidents that say little about the character, trustworthiness, drive, talent, value or prospects of Andrew Bynum. It’s how he plays that counts.

In this case, we still do not have any specific quote from Drew about the situation. Whose to say that Kareem misinterpreted the situation? At best, he is obviously capable of overreacting when judging situations where he was disappointed. Maybe the Lakers and/or Drew genuinely felt that Drew did not need as much time with Kareem as before? Maybe six years of having someone with questionable personal skills critique your every move became tiresome and no longer constructive for Drew? I would guess that Drew and the Lakers felt there were diminishing returns continuing to work with Kareem. Anyway, I see no reason to rake Drew over the coals about something that is nothing.

And that’s not saying that there still weren’t things Drew could have learned from Kareem. But it’s not like this was Shaq and Kobe. I’ve read many complimentary comments about Drew from Cap which says to me that the whole thing was overblown and just the result of multiple forces – finances, maybe Kareem’s sullenness, Drew’s maturing and need for freedom, and even his need to spend time practicing other areas now that he was a starter. I just don’t think it’s anything really important.
…………………………………………………
TOM

Who cares? Probably the most over-rated center to ever touch a basketball!

Kareem ALWAYS has had trouble connecting with fans off the court & his self-promotional whining in this case is a prime example of his sullen attitude that has prevented him from ever being a FAN FAVORITE.

If it hadnt been for Magic Johnson, rescuing Kareem out of his self-pity syndrome, bringing an unprecedented enthusiasm to the Lakers & helping Pat Riley create the Showtime juggernaut of the 1980s, Jabbar would have continued on in his sullenness and retired as the NBA's all-time leading individual scorer but having only ONE NBA ring to his credit. That's the one he won with Milwaukee Bucks.

THAT is why Magic Johnson was honored with a statue long before Kareem & the fact that Kareem was already told that HIS would be the next statue makes his whole whining scenario even more ridiculous & classless.

Magic connected with the fans from Day One...Kareem has ALWAYS been distant & aloof from fans & is paying the price for that, even today.

My take on it is Kareem is a very intelligent, sensitive person, probably a little different socially than the rest of us. Does not mean he is a jerk or surly. It happens with creative folk they sometimes take things a little too intensely. Kareem will always be an LA treasure as a Bruin, Laker, and social activist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBRJ2qCx5VM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HK_Star_Bruce_Lee_16.jpg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1zgqq_-2SY

Just a little levity into this whole thing but maybe the Cap can get one in Hong Kong or Bosnia with Bruce.

Having very clear memories going back to his days as a freshman at UCLA and taped interviews from his Power Memorial HS days, it always appeared to me, even as a teenager that he was a very private person who happened to do a very public thing better than anyone else. However glamorous it might appear to those on the outside looking in, that can be a tough thing. The personal discomfort that comes with that is magnified maybe ten-fold when you're as bright, as sensitive and as introspective as Kareem clearly is.

He probably would have been happier and more comfortable in his skin were he a 5'10" exec at a jazz recording label. But that wasn't his fate.

So when he reacts in what could be seen as a moody way to things, I think it's that brilliant, socially awkward person we're seeing come out. Haven't you noticed how many brilliant people you've know who have a hard time around people? And they have nothing like Abdul-Jabbar's spotlight to deal with.

All I know is that there were no more championships for Magic, once Kareem retired. By the way DeLaHoya only fought chumps in Lost Wages, he would be the last person, I would put a statue of in front of Staples. Kareem is a proven winner and a better role model for kids than Magic and his questionable past.

KAJ - superstar but really really really rude!!!! i lost all respect for him as a person when i tried to get his autograph at the airport in Hawaii. Dude was a total douche. He was already retired.

Love him as a player but he didn't realize that fans still support you by buying the outrageously priced tickets, and jerseys, etc...

Grateful he was a Laker and that he helped win titles, but boy i can't stand how he comes across in person.

Elgin Baylor should be the next statue outside of Staples after these comments, period. One of the greatest players in NBA history, who actually played his entire career with the Lakers (8 finals). Lew Alcindor has always had a chip on his shoulder. His best years were in Milwaukee. We all know Magic carried the Lakers to those 5 championships (9 finals). Elgin next, then Kobe. No Wilt, no Kareem, no Shaq. Reward loyalty!

Amen, LakerTom!

LakerTom,

"The obvious solution is to build a half-court monument with a basket and two complete sets of Lakers teams. Team 1 would be Wilt, Elgin, Jerry, Gail, and Mikan. Team 2 would be Kareem, Magic, Worthy, Kobe, and Cooper. On the sidelines, we could have two benches with the honorable mentionable players like Shaq, Horry, Gasol, Fisher, Byron, etc. How much fun to wander around that half court and all the statues. It would be the most visceral team HOF in the entire world."

Utterly brilliant.

Perfect, dude. Perfect.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Posted by: Jon K. | May 19, 2011 at 01:32 PM


Amen, Jon K!

He was a premadonna in the seventies and he hasn't changed over the decades. He'll always be a premodonna.

This is just Laker crap! This old man should chill out and stop campaigning for statues, recognition and love. C'mon man

elgin baylor needs to be the next Lakers player to have a statue! he was L.A.'s first superstar. i hope the Lakers management doesn't hold it against him that he was in the clippers organization! i never could understand why the Lakers never gave elgin a job in their organization? i know he didn't win a ring in L.A. baylor's knees couldn't cope with the rigors of nba play during the 1971-72 season when L.A. won it's nba title. elgin retired 9 games into that historic season. PLEASE LAKERS MANAGEMENt, DON'T HOLD THAT AGAINST BAYLOR!

When The Lakers started erecting statues, my thought was, why isn't the greatest scorer in the history of the NBA the very first one to have the honor. Personalities aside, I agree with Kareem, although I do think he would have been better off keeping it to himself.

I'm starting to think that Kareem is right, that maybe the Lakers don't want him around. When Rambis took the Minnesota job two years ago, I remember thinking -- this will be a great opportunity for Kareem to become a full-time assistant coach and develop a bigger role with the team, no more of this "special" assistant stuff. Instead, he disappeared completely, and they hired somebody entirely new to the organization (Chuck Person). Now maybe that was a Phil thing, but we know that Kareem thinks he has something to contribute in a coaching capacity -- and to more than just Andrew Bynum. Are we to honestly believe that the Lakers can't find room for him even as an assistant? Well, not if they don't want him around, they can't. Maybe there's more to this story than Kareem's so-called "surly" personality. I'm starting to think so...

KAJ is nothng more than over entitled jerk. Always has been. He has no clue why Magic is so beloved and he is not? Too bad at 7'1" his mirror is too low to give himself an honest evaluation. If he was honest he would hate what he sees. A bitter recluse who is miserable and racist as well. Go home and shut up forever. The movie sucks


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