Kareem Abdul-Jabbar publicly pondered when he’d be honored with a statue in his likeness outside of Staples. The Cap finally has his answer.
The L.A. Times reports that the Lakers are set to unveil an Abdul-Jabbar statue during the upcoming NBA season. No official date has been announced as of yet.
For Kareem the honor is long overdue, no doubt about that. Still, that didn’t give him any license to bemoan the fact that other more beloved figures have been honored prior to his ceremony.
Abdul-Jabbar has long had a reputation of being surly which many believe is one of the bigger reasons why his coaching career has never taken off in an expanded capacity. That too was another point of contention between Kareem and the Lakers as the team opted not to pay his playoff share despite his regular season contributions as a special assistant working with Andrew Bynum. And you wonder where Bynum learned many of his diva tendencies?
Despite Kareem’s less than impressive people skills he’s still among the most transcendent talents in the history of the game. In high school a then Lew Alcindor was regarded as the greatest prospect in hoops history. He didn’t disappoint going on to win championships at every level and retiring as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with a mark that is still untouched.
That Abdul-Jabbar had to champion his own cause for a statue says it all. There was no public outcry for his statue even though people such as myself still cannon rationalize why Oscar De La Hoya was honored as such. Of course the Lakers had nothing to do with De La Hoya’s statue. Despite Kareem’s cries you knew the team was going to pay proper respects to the man that made the Sky Hook famous in due time. Thankfully that time will come sooner than later.