Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all time leading scorer. He was an integral part of the Los Angeles Lakers “Showtime” era. He was a huge part of six NBA Championships, five of which were won with the Lakers.
So when Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Jerry West got statues of themselves put up last year at Staples Center, Abdul-Jabbar was a bit upset.
“I don’t understand (it). 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” he said.
Well he should feel slighted no more because the Lakers have announced that Abdul-Jabbar will indeed have his statue at Staples.
Part of me reads this and wants to say I wish the Lakers had told him not to hold his breath for being such a whiner. Seriously, Magic Johnson and Jerry West are the greatest players in Lakers history. You may have the stats, but that is because Magic got you the ball.
Plus, you played forever. Don’t sit here and try and tell us you’d have won all those rings without Magic. Would Magic won them without you? Maybe. It certainly would have been more difficult. But let us not forget who stepped in and played center AS A ROOKIE in Game Six when you couldn’t go in 1980. Magic went out and got you a ring that night.
Another part of me says though that maybe Kareem has a point. The man put the ball in the hoop more times than anyone else who has ever played the game. That is after all, the object of the game isn’t it? If you’re organization was the one he did that for, then maybe you do need to include him among the most honored.
Plus, the guy grew up in New York, yet he went to college at UCLA and won the Bruins three NCAA Tournaments. So the man was a huge part in bringing eight championship celebrations to L.A. He deserves some love for that. So I suppose I can understand why he went a little “hey what about me?” on the Lakers.
The sad thing is that now, whenever the statue is unveiled, some will wonder if the reason they are gathered there to watch it are there because of Kareem’s great sky hook, or because of his whining to the media. And that is too bad.