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Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn and Jerry West statue inductions filled with emotion and humility

Magic-statue_350 Here is the ironic part about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's frustration over not having a statue: Magic Johnson tweeted Abdul-Jabbar deserved one "before me," Jerry West expressed embarrassment during his statue unveiling and argued others, including Abdul-Jabbar, were more deserving and the Lakers had long maintained Abdul-Jabbar soon would have one.

I can't properly describe the setting to Johnson's statue ceremony during All-Star weekend in 2004 because I wasn't there, but his public sentiments before and after reflected a much more thankful and humble outlook than Abdul-Jabbar's sentiments that his delayed statue induction symbolized one of many examples of what he called a "fractured" relationship with the Lakers.

A humble, reflective and appreciative atmosphere took place at both statue unveilings for the late legendary broadcaster Chick Hearn and Jerry West, the former Laker who brought the organization's first NBA championship in 1972 and later seven more as a general manager. One can only imagine what Hearn would've said about his own statue unveiling April 19, 2010, hours before a Lakers' playoff game at Staples Center, but there were plenty -- including his wife, Marge, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak, former Lakers James Worthy and Byron Scott, Lakers broadcaster Stu Lantz and Kings play-by-play announcer Bob Miller -- who filled in the details by offering endless stories about how Hearn's telecasts united the Lakers organization and fans.

And though West predicted no one would show up to his statue unveiling during All-Star weekend in February, the likes of Johnson, Elgin Baylor, David Stern, Jerry Buss, Jeanie Buss, Kupchak, Worthy, Pat Riley, Shaquille O'Neal, Pau Gasol, Mike Dunleavy and Abdul-Jabbar attended.

The media accounts of Johnson's induction ceremony mentioned how the event provided a perfect celebration for a man who many thought would soon pass after he announced in 1991 that he contracted HIV. When Hearn's bronze statue was unveiled, showcasing the man who called 3,338 consecutive Lakers games wearing a headset and appearing as if he's in midsentence while calling a game, Marge sat next to the statue, kissed her right hand and then placed it on the cheek of her husband's statue. "This is as good as it gets, to have this in your life," she said. "Fabulous day. Just fabulous." And when West pulled the rope to uncover his statue, suddenly his never-ending anxiety over losses and other teammates not getting a similar honor temporarily went away. "To think of a little boy who had an opportunity to live his dream, and maybe to exceed it, that is very special," West said, fighting back tears.

Whether you view Abdul-Jabbar's public outcry over the statue as petty or believe the Lakers are at fault, it's likely both sides would agree that the setting surrounding Abdul-Jabbar's induction ceremony won't have the same feel. Sure, plenty in the organization will come out. Sure, plenty likely will share memorable stories about Abdul-Jabbar. And perhaps it'll help patch up things regarding Abdul-Jabbar's relationship with the Lakers, one he believes won't ever be salvaged. Regardless, the setting likely will feel more like a surprise party the host put on himself, meaning the spontaneity and raw emotion will feel forced and less uniting as it was during the other three statue inductions. 

RELATED:

Lakers respond to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's contention that he hasn't been treated with enough respect

Question-and-answer session: Kareem doesn't expect his relationship with team to continue

All Things Lakers database

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

Photo: Magic Johnson's statue near Staples Center might be joined by one of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the not-so-distant future. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

 
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I was at Jerry West's statue's unveiling and what made it a truly special moment about all was Jerry West's humility during it all.

The fact that Jerry West was obviously uncomfortable with all the praise he received just made you love the guy that much more and feel that much more thankful for everything he has brought Laker Nation.

I think it's time we roll out Elgin Baylor statue next. A guy who had to overcome true racism, was paid next-to-nothing, and would serve in the Army all week and then fly down to play with the Lakers on the weekends and average 40 points a game.

If anyone needs to be honored next, it's Elgin Baylor.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!!

hobbitmage,

How could no one know that Bynum wasn't working with Cap anymore (or significantly less) as of 2 years ago. It made the news.

I was here CHASTISING him for this... was everyone asleep?

In your article you mentioned he contracted the AIDS virus. AIDS is a immunodeficiency disease as a result of the actions of the HIV, which is the virus. So, the correction should be made that he contracted HIV. Sorry, I'm a physician, I tend to get carried away sometimes.

Abdul is as callous as when he disown his own parents by becoming KAJ. Everything else is pretty much the result of his own doing. What good is it to all Lakers, UCLA, Bucks fans to receive acknowledgement of their cheers from old deprecated Kareem, when he rejected them all when he was some body. I rather have O'Neal first before Kareem.

Time for a reality check! Lets start a Elgin Baylor for next statue bandwagon. It would send the right message to all parties involved.


@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

As a result of this petulant whining, I'd almost rather see a statue of Mike Penberthy than Kareem at this point. There's not nearly as much pleasure in giving someone something that they've been publicly whining about, and I'm sure Penberthy would be appropriately surprised and grateful.

I was at Jerry West's statue's unveiling and what made it a truly special moment about all was Jerry West's humility during it all.
The fact that Jerry West was obviously uncomfortable with all the praise he received just made you love the guy that much more and feel that much more thankful for everything he has brought Laker Nation.
Jon K.

Dude...How soon has everyone forgot. That Jerry decided to take his talents to Minnesota because he felt Phil has moved him out and he had no voice and dis-respected in the direction the team was going. Pissed off with the good doctor for not supporting him. They had their problems for years, so don't give me this CRAP about how great Jerry and the Lakers organization got along.

LRob - you mean Kareem won the Bill Russell award at age 38?
Thanks, I did not know that!!
Posted by: Giant Green Bald Headed Lunatic | May 19, 2011 at 05:17 PM
---------------------
Giant Green,

You’re not going to get me to say anything negative about Russ. He’s the greatest winner in team sports history. I respect his legacy too much. He retired when he was 35 and Kareem entered the league the next year. I do wish Russ would have stuck around a few seasons to battle Kareem.

The sweetest part about Kareem winning the Finals MVP was he did it against what some consider the best front line ever :-) Then for good measure at the ripe young age of 39 Kareem dropped 40pts on Houston twin towers in the 86 playoffs.

"Whether you view Abdul-Jabbar's public outcry over the statue as petty or believe the Lakers are at fault, it's likely both sides would agree that the setting surrounding Abdul-Jabbar's induction ceremony won't have the same feel. Sure, plenty in the organization will come out. Sure, plenty likely will share memorable stories about Abdul-Jabbar. And perhaps it'll help patch up things regarding Kareem's relationship with the Lakers, one he believes won't ever be salvaged. Regardless, the setting likely will feel more like a surprise party the host put on himself, meaning the spontaneity and raw emotion will feel forced and less uniting as it was during the other three statue inductions. "


Medina:

I couldn't disagree more with this statement and I will tell you why later in this post but the first thing most bloggers must realize is the old adage......"NEVER JUDGE A MAN UNTIL YOU'VE WALKED IN HIS SHOES"

A lot of people tend to not empathize with Kareem because they've never sacrificed anything in their lives or achieved anything of significance for which to be recognized. Kareem's basketball resume is astonishing and in my opinion ranks #1 as the greatest to ever play the game. When MJ is given that title people tend to forget or ignore the fact that Kareem has 6 Titles as well (5 with the Lakers) He has 6 MVP awards (more than Jordan) .........He is the games all-time leading scorer.........He brought LA 3 NCAA Titles.........that's 8 National Titles for the city of LA. He was so dominant that the college rules were changed because of him............the no dunk rule (which was another slight......but that's another story altogether)

He also had a tremendous impact on Society along with Muhammad Ali with changing his name to Kareem Abdul Jabbar from Lew Alcindor............This is recognized by thinking people because Black people for the most part did not come to this country on the Nina, Pinta, or Santa Maria...............but Black people arrived in the west for the most part in the holds of Ships and were robbed of their names, culture, and minds and even until this very day still carry the names of their former slave-masters.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar is a legend and an icon not because that's the way I "feel"................. but by his remarkable accomplishments...........which should be the criteria that we should all be measured by. Magic never won a Title without Kareem................but Kareem won one without Magic. If you remove the emotion from the equation and measure each potential candidate on their respective merits...............Nobody tops Kareem or is more deserving to be immortalized than Kareem Abdul Jabbar..............You could make an argument maybe for the great Jerry West................because of all the roles he played for the Lakers..........but that's it!

I would imagine that Kareem is not complaining about THIS slight but probably this is the culmination of a series of slights by this organization some of whom believe you have a significance as long as you can throw a ball through a hoop..............but Kareem could offer so much more to this organization.

Here is a little test for you......................Who has more knowledge of the game? Kareem.............or................Phil Jackson?

I would suggest the well read Kareem Abdul Jabbar's incredible experience on so many levels would dwarf Phil Jackson's...................but for whatever reason most people would say Phil Jackson. I am sure Kareem had to feel some slight as he watched Phil Jackson get $12M while he was given some special assistant role with the team....................what a monumental waste of Kareem's experience and knowledge. This would be like a retired Luke Walton serving in a greater capacity with the Lakers than a retired Kobe Bryant...............assuming Kobe wanted a role in retirement with the team.

I think Kareem feels some slight because he was never given the opportunity to succeed or fail with this organization after he gave so much to it and brought so much joy to Laker fans through the years.


So I disagree with your statement Mark..................because this moment is now pregnant with an opportunity. If the hearts of Laker management are sincere they now have an opportunity to reach out to one of it's own and make things right..............remember it's not about being right or wrong..........it's about a member of your family feeling his contributions are not appreciated............it's about mending a relationship after your son says.........."Dad.........I feel like you never supported me all these years"

It's about repairing a marriage after your wife says to you................"I feel like all these years I put in raising our children that you just haven't appreciated what I've done for this family"

A real father or a real husband or a real leader of an organization would reach out to the one that feels slighted and say.........."I apologize if I ever made you feel slighted because that is not my intentions.............and I would like to extend an olive branch to you"

This is a moment pregnant with an opportunity to make the relationship stronger and bring a slighted family member back into the fold..........


As Micheal Corleone told Tom............" That's a great story............one of our people in the press would love a story like that"


I know I would..........

@hobbit/Tim-4-show - I also remember when Drew decided he would no longer work with Capt. I was disappointed also…but I do commend Drew for being a good student, like Kareem has said on several occasions.


@mclyne – Hey mon, rocking Steel Pulse…nice.

"Dude...How soon has everyone forgot. That Jerry decided to take his talents to Minnesota because he felt Phil has moved him out and he had no voice and dis-respected in the direction the team was going. Pissed off with the good doctor for not supporting him. They had their problems for years, so don't give me this CRAP about how great Jerry and the Lakers organization got along."

once more a guy giving HIS version of events as real, regardless of what the truth may or may not be. what's with this all-knowing attitude that some think that they can take about other people's unexpressed deepest feelings and events that they were never party to?

if this is the poster's opinion of feelings and events, that's cool, i'm not into arguing it. just don't promote your opinion as fact....

I'm just wondering, when the great Kareem's statue is finally unveiled,
if the great Saint will again be too busy to attend the ceremony.

What a wonderful thing it is that he's resting now.

LRob - much respect for your post!! Think you could pass along some of your knowledge and respect to Tim 4 Show?

pfunk36- Dude...Nice.

Tim-4-show,

There were a number of people who mentioned this two years ago. Including
you & myself. :)

LakerTom,

I think you've missed my point. The point I raised was that Kareem's
activity level as a Lakers' coach dropped off about two years ago. 2009 to
be exact. The words of Kareem & Bynum are crystal clear. Bynum had his
own agenda & playing ball the way Kareem wanted him to play ball was
not part of that agenda. It was *NOT* about finances PER THE WORDS of
Kareem & Bynum which refutes your statement from earlier today.

you wrote: 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.

my response: Are you paying attention? Seriously. Are you paying
attention? Let me break this down for you:

The hullabaloo over the surgery meant that Pau got burned out at the
beginning of the season. AND HE PLAYED LIKE A CHUMP FOR THE
REST OF THE SEASON! And in case you haven't been paying attention:
THE LAKERS ARE OUT OF THE PLAYOFFS SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE
OF PAU PLAYING LIKE A CHUMP!!!

Notice that I didn't say that the Lakers are out because Bynum played like
a chump. He didn't. However, his behavior had a negative impact on Pau.

In your defense of Bynum, over the years, you've pointed out that w/ Bynum
at starting C the Lakers have won championships while others, including
myself, have argued that it was Pau's play which was more instrumental in
winning the championship. Evidence of that is this post season where Bynum's
play was good and Pau's wasn't and were not playing anymore.

re: not having direct words from Bynum on this matter. W/ respect, you're
incorrect. Bynum clearly indicated that it was his decision to not spend time
with Kareem and to go to Italy. It was in the article I posted and in the
snippet I posted.

re: What Drew and the Lakers may or may not have felt. Once again, your
love for Bynum is actually clouding the issue. Allow me to clarify things.
Andrew Bynum HAS NOT WON 1 STINKING ACCOLADE IN THE NBA!
With that being the case, any argument about diminishing returns is
just flatulence. It's pure BS. Bynum hasn't been an all-star. He hasn't
won the rebounding championship. He hasn't been an MVP. He hasn't
shown that he's the best C in the league. To be perfectly honest, in the last
3 years Bynum has had ~ 3 months of good/excellent play. That ratio
SUCKS! And just so we're clear on this, Bynum's excellent play happened
after the all-star break and before the playoffs *THIS* year. He got taken
out by Tyson Chandler & Brendan Haywood of the Mavs, in the playoffs
this year. I would submit to you that history suggests that he has a long way
to go in terms of being the next great Lakers center. Therefore, it was
incumbent upon him to suck up as much knowledge as possible from Kareem.
Given his play last year and this year ... He should quit tinkering with cars
and go back to be a student. You do recall a flagrant 2 and ejection for the
incident with JJ Barea don't you?

re: Kareem's questionable personal skills. Excuse me? Have you been
Kareem's student? I believe one of the articles on the relationship b/n
Kareem & Bynum talked about Kareem going over to Bynum's house
and working on game tape with him. I'm going to try and say this again to
make sure we're on the same page vs. a knee-jerk reaction by you to promote
Bynum at any expense. Arguably the greatest center to ever play the game
agreed to take Bynum on as a personal student. A personal project. Per
the student's words, per the teacher's words, the student felt that he had
outgrown the teacher even though he has done nothing close to what the
teacher had accomplished & you're response to this is to imply that Kareem's
"questionable" personal skills led to diminishing returns for a student who
has accomplished nothing on his own?

Maybe if Bynum had kept on with Kareem he would have made more of an
impact and we'd still be playing? Maybe if Bynum had kept studying
instead of building cars ... he wouldn't have gone to the World Cup and gotten
surgery? Maybe if he'd been a better student he's have averaged 15+
rebounds for the entire year? Maybe those "diminishing returns" would
be the Lakers still playing and actually completing a 3-peat this year?

I'm having a hard time understanding why you'd throw Kareem under the
bus to promote Bynum, given that the Lakers lost to the Mavs this year.
It's not logical.

Coming back to the main point of my original post. Kareem had a reduced
role based upon the *DESIRES* of Bynum, per the words of Kareem &
Bynum. There is no evidence to support any other opinion. i.e. You can't
make the argument that the Lakers suspended the relationship to save a
few grand.

***LakerTom***


I absolutely LOVED your post about walking in Kareem's shoes! Brilliant!


***Tim-4-show***


I completely agree with you, the Lakers blew this, in my opinion as well. You take care of your family! Dr. Buss, move on this right quick! Kareem may not be Magic in your eyes, but he was so fundamentally crucial in the success of your brand, your Lakers. Without Kareem, the Lakers today would not be what they are, the most lucrative and successful franchise in the NBA. Dr. Buss, you need to take care of this man, this is not about a bronze statue, it's about having been treated like an outsider for decades now, after being so very responsible for so much of its success on the court! It's a damn shame you have neglected this situation to the point that it had to boil over onto the public arena. And now, your brand has lost some of its luster, and you're solely responsible for this, Dr. Buss, and only you can make it better.


**Edwin**


Great insight into the '60's generation. was always of the opinion that the baby-boomers were a whinning bunch. I mean, they grew up in the '50's, in the great post-war boom, with washing machines, TVs, vaccum cleaners, toasters. They were spoiled children (the very FIRST spoiled generation in America). Then they went to Vietnam and complained about it to no end and smoked pot and did drugs to escape (as if WWI and WWII vets had a picnic in those god-awful trenches -- they were real men). This is not to diminsh the monumental sacrifices of Vietnam vets as a whole, by no means, but there was always an element of "self" and "me" amongst the baby-boomer generation and it continues to this day, this, even though the '60's were sold as the "we" generation.


*LongTimeLakerFan*


Once again, you get it wrong... Kareem's complaint is not about getting a statue (he knows he will), it's more about being neglected for 20 years and passed over for coaching positions, real or imagined. TJ Simmers says as much, because Kareem just had his exit interview with Kupchak on Monday, and Mitch probably told him he would not be in the Laker's coaching plans next year, and within hours, this whole thing explodes in the public arena about Kareem being "slighted" over not getting a statue. It's more like getting slighted over not getting a real coaching opportunity in Lakerdom.


In fact, you're the one who seems petty for bringing up how Kareem didn't give you an autograph or had his bodyguard "shoo" you away. Bringing that stuff up from his playing days is pure petty, bro.

I know Staples Center is first known as the Lakers home,any other teams who play there are considered "tenants." But here's a hypothetical situation: Lets say the Clippers win 2 or 3 championships in the Blake Griffin era and they still play at Staples,do they put up a statue for him?

Also how about a statue for Kings announcer Bob Miller(even though the press box is named for him) he's been the voice of the Kings since 1973,of course Gretzky deserves his monument for his contributions to hockey in SoCal but for many people growing up watching and listening to the Kings Bob Miller has been the constant.

Way to say the truth pfunk!

I think its rather unfair to assert that the other statue unveilings have been filled with humility but KAJ is not. KAJ feels insulted and I dont think the others ever felt insulted by the Lakers, so its a very different dynamic. I find it odd that you havent critically assessed the Lakers assertion that there will be a statue, but there isnt one and hasnt been one. Whats taking so long? And why Magic before Kareem? There is something here that the Lakers arent owning up to - might not be as bad as KAJ suggests, but something is here that is untoward.

Also,


Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm 99% sure that the Rolce Royce that was given to Kareem in 1988 was a gift from his teammates, not from Jerry Buss.


Moreover, I remember back in 2002-2003, when the former Minneapolis Laker great, George Michan (who was the greatest center of his generation, someone Bill Russel idolized), died and his family couldn't afford his funeral expenses, it wasn't the Laker organization and the Buss family that came to the aid of the Michans, but rather, it was one Shaquille O'Neal who wrote a check and paid for the expenses.


I remember thinking back then, boy, that Dr. Buss is a penny wise and a pound stupid. And cheap (when it comes to just about everything except paying his superstar players, that he will do). I thought for sure the Laker family would come to Michan's aid -- after all, the guy and his teams won the Lakers 5 championships, which not only puts them at near par with the Celtics, but also adds greatly to the Laker mystique, brand and gold standard.

So what's a few thousand bucks to pay for a funeral? Not like you're being asked to pay for the funeral of some scrub former baller who played a few minutes for the Lakers, it was the legendary George Michan who played his whole career for the Lakers and made them the FIRST uber successful organization in the NBA, (years before the Celtics took center stage)!

After all this soap opera, I can only imagine how awkward the ceremony will be when he finally gets his statue ...


pfunk36,

Thanks for your post. A lot of folks don't remember how America reacted when Kareem changed his name.By reading some of the posts things have not changed its still the same.

There's no doubt that Kareem has been slighted in the respect category. If the Lakers have Cap riding coach on the airplane, that's pretty clear. While Kareem is all of the sudden outspoken about this issue, I don't think that it is his fault that this story has been entirely overblown by the media. If I were Kareem, a living legend of basketball, I'd feel slighted too.

Who cares about Kareem's personality? I sure don't. The man was maybe the greatest basketball player of all time. His trademark, the Sky Hook, is the single most devastating post move ever invented. And nobody can do as coordinated and graceful as Kareem.

I don't appreciate people coming down so hard on Kareem. He doesn't deserve that at all. People act like he's not being humble enough; What does Kareem have to be humble about? He's Kareem Abdul Jabbar! The man has a right to say what he feels. And the bottom line is, he's right! No athlete on planet Earth deserves a statue for playing basketball more than Kareem.

Go Lakers!

Here's a better way to handle this. Have the Lakers pay for a statue of Lew Alcinder at Pauley Pavilion. and throw in one for Keith Wilkes as well! They can post directions for the statues at the Dr. Jerry Buss statue at Staples.

Frankly I find this situation all very appropriate. Kareem's career and life has always been awkward. It seems John Wooden was the one basketball individual Kareem had total respect for - very telling.

G.Money,

Jerry West was never at Minnesota.

Dude, it would be so much better if you weren't here.

What do we play for? RINGS!!!

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

GO LAKERS!!!

Everyone is different. Kareem is obviously more sensitive than most, and his contributions are undeniable.

I would expect better, however, from someone as obviously intelligent and introspective.

Kareem should know that whining about a statue or about playoff shares is unbecoming at best.

It reminds me of the beautiful Bentley automobile that the Lakers' gave to Kareem during his retirement "tour". Kareem stated later that he had sold the car because it drove "like a bus".

Perhaps the situation is just the opposite of the one that KAJ describes: Kareem doesn't seem to appreciate the Lakers!

Kareem has had a bout with Cancer, it could come back and take him in a hurry. Maybe he would have been better served expressing his feelings regarding a statue directly to the lakers and not the press. Without the captian the lakers would not of had Showtime. Truly one of the all time greats. Kareem always had what seemed to be a misrable personality, this has hurt him. I think he is a mixture of shyness, being reserved,and being in the spotlight. Magic comes to life under these conditions Kareem shyed away. Dr. Buss you are the best owner a great city like Los Angeles can ask for. You put out a great product and deliver championships.Maybe it is time to give Kareem his due. He was and is a great Laker.It would be better to honor Kareem while he is still alive.


Get real, it is easy to be humble when you are getting what you want. I am sure Kareem would have said the same thing as these guys. Really, it is easy for the kid who is getting his cake and eating it also, to say, "Oh we should have given on to this other kid a piece first." Yeah, but mean while your face is stuffed with cake. Magic should have told the Lakers "post pone my statue and give one to Kareem." Are we all so naive? I am sure collectively both West and Magic could have pushed for a statue for Kareem, and refused to accept their honor until Kareem was justly treated, but they got theirs, lamented poor Kareem. "Geee I am so embrassased and humble," but yep here I am, Honor Me!!!! I am a big fan of Magic, never really saw West play, and haven't really cared for his comments on our Modern Laker Team, who has five championships under it's collective belts. With hopefull one more to come with this team. Bottom line, Kareem has been unjustly treated as the step brother, when he playes like Big Brother. He deserves to be honroed, NOW!!!

Drew will never be half the player Kareem was. Trade that guy and get us Dwight. Dwight has single handly held his team up playoff claiber. He is capable of forcing 30 to 40 points on a nightly basis. Drew can barely stay on the court and post less than 20, and can't be counted on in clutch. Where was he this playoff run? WHERE WAS HE? Drew has been injury prone since HS. Played for only two seasons in HS and didn't finish them. Don't even mention this kid in the same breath as Kareem. Kareem wanted this boy to act like a man, booo hooo hooo, it took a shrink to get him to play well for a few games than fadded in the playoffs. Kareem never faded, and his needs to be treated correctly.

@gilberto sanchez... you are an idiot. We all know there is only 1 Kareem abdul jabber no one is saying bynum is better. And to say bynum didn't produce in this playoff run is idiotic. Besides bryant, bynum was the second best lakers player on the floor. You obviously didnt watch the playoffs. Shut up.

I don't think its fair to look at Kareem's personalilty as a liability. If you put most people under a magnfying glass, you'd be surprised at what you find. Anyone that has observed KAJ over the years would know, he's not the" give me the mic so I can whine" type. Humble, spiritually committed, shy, reserved. Being out front, laughing and giggling, is just not his style or personality. How many 7'2'' comedians do you know? (besides Shaq.)

He was created by God with these unique gifts, and I say that because, if the sky hook can be taught, why hasnt any other big man in the NBA mastered it?
How many high profile atheletes have the perspective of dignity and respect to change their name during a time of social indifference and carry the weight of scrutity that goes along with it? How many NBA centers have been blessed with the grace and artistry of KAJ? KAJ, not awkward, just unique. A once in a generation type of talent. So with that uniquenees comes some inperfection. Its what makes him human. No one can be perfect and we all have personality flaws and that includes all the people who have statues outside of Staples center today.

He hasn't molested any kids, he hasn't been busted with crack. So he doesn't have the personality like Magic, so what! Magic is not the all time scoring leader in NBA history either. KAJ possesed the most unique game of any BIG man the game has ever seen. Magic Johnson, statue, yes, but if he hadnt been a great ball player, it wouldnt be there. Same of West. So if the bottom line is basketball, to even be questioning KAJ's worthiness is flat out unrealistic. Any person faintly familiar with NBA basketball history would know that.
Its obvious, there is something else to this besides basketball.


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