The issue: the superstar athlete’s ego. Now, it’s obvious that the superstar ego carries over into retirement. As my colleague Kojo Sarfo expressed in his piece on athletes being “Pippen’s,” which he describes as an outrageous statement made by former athletes who are thirsty for some kind of press from today’s national media, these egos are getting out of control.
My latest case study is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. If you ever forget that he’s at the top of the scoring list with 38,387, I’m sure he’ll update his Twitter, Facebook page or commit a “Pippen” to remind you.
Kareem’s first “Pippen” was actually related to the comment Scottie made about LeBron being the best player to play in the NBA. The NBA’s all-time leading scorer found it necessary to write and open letter to Pippen, reminding him that he was the all-time leading scorer. Kareem’s has been seen more widely in the media since the open letter so maybe his plan worked and he should slide his publicist a few extra dollars, but he might have compromised his legacy with it.
Kareem was a great player, but when people are asked for their best five at every position on the court, Kareem usually comes behind Chamberlain and Russell. Kareem gets lost in the bunch, playing second or third fiddle to others.
Let’s not get my frustration with ego-driven retirees like Kareem as hatred. I’ll be the first to give Kareem credit for his contributions and accomplishments in the NBA, but once retired, please just shut the hell up.
Michael Jordan is hands down the greatest basketball player of all time and has yet to make comments about his dominance of the game or commit a “Pippen.” The only thing he’s done is demonstrate how NOT to dress unless you’re a drunk uncle. If you were that good and confident in your game, no need to reclaim or remind us of your accomplishments. Maybe it’s age and Jordan just hasn’t gotten to that point in his career yet, but I can’t picture MJ pulling “Pippen’s” anytime in his retirement.
Kareem’s twitter timeline is filled with ego-driven tweets.
“Come check out my brand new FaceBook page & see all 24 of my SI Covers & let me know your thoughts on each of them.”
“Just posted all my trophies online – too many to even discuss .. you might want to see it for yourself.”
“Champions have always shown their greatness in every era. www.kareemabduljabbar.com/championshipseason“
You can see his arrogance oozing out of every bit of the 140 characters he’s limited to gloating about himself in. Who really cares about how many trophies Kareem has or wants to see all 24 of his Sports Illustrated covers? Sounds like Kareem is exaggerating his importance.
On top of that, Kareem has the nerve to have the picture below as his Facebook photo.
Sorry, Kareem. But, somebody had to tell you. I hope you read this. GET OVER YOURSELF!