During his career as one of the NBA’s all-time greats, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was always known as a prickly guy with the media. It seems now he’s turned those barbs on the team with which he is most recognized. In an interview with The Sporting News, the Hall of Famer complained about feeling “slighted” that he has yet to have a statue of him erected in front of the Staples Center.
“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.”
In a subsequent statement passed along by his business manager, Abdul-Jabbar said: “I am highly offended by the total lack of acknowledgement of my contribution to Laker success. I guess being the lynchpin for five world championships is not considered significant enough in terms of being part of Laker history.”
But not so fast, my friend. It seems that Kareem may be leaving part of the story out. According to Lakers spokesman John Black, Abdul-Jabbar has been told that he’s next in line to have his own statue to go alongside the likenesses of Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Chick Hearn, Wayne Gretzky and Oscar De La Hoya. It could be the lack of a timetable that has Cap so frustrated.
Admittedly, this thing about putting up statues for everyone is starting to get a little out of control. But since we’ve already started down that road, if ever a player deserved one, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is more than worthy.