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Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  54 responses

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Upset at Lack of a Statue from the Lakers


Kareem can’t believe that the Lakers haven’t built him a statue at the Staples Center, the way they did for Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn, Oscar De La Hoya, Wayne Gretzky and Jerry West. From the LA Times (via Cap’s Twitter account): “Various postings on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Twitter account reveal that his frustration over the fact the Lakers haven’t honored him with a statue outside Staples Center reflects a larger picture in his fragmented relationship with the organization. ‘It’s not about a getting a statue, because I’m over it. It’s about RESPECT! Lakers have given me the absolute minimum of respect.’ … Among the his other tweets: — ‘Bill Russell is getting his statue after 40 years. Laker immortal Jerry West waited 37 years for his statue. My wait has only been 22 yrs.’ –’Rumor has it that I will be getting a statue. A caveat for all my fans-don’t hold your breath. Lakers don’t care about me.’ — ‘The only reason I endure is because of all the support I get from Laker fans everywhere I go. Thanks to all for your appreciation.’ — ‘Magic waited 8 years to be honored in that way. So maybe I am chopped liver?’ — A fan tweeted, ‘You are a legend. Why does it bother u so much? Ur accomplishments on court mean a lot more then a statue.’ Abdul-Jabar responded, ‘Your right but there is principal involved so I can’t ignore the situation any longer.’”

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  • Josh

    This is god awful. Seriously Kareem? That blows my mind, a guy like him would have something like that to say. What happens when he gets his statue now? Is he going to say the only reason is that he had to beg for one? God awful.

  • Scott

    Kareem deservce a statue over Magic & Oscar De La Hoya, Wayne Gretzky & Jerry West. He’s the most successful Laker and isn’t he the career leader for points in the NBA.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    Josh, it’s all about respect from the Lakers organization. From not getting a statue to being fired by Andrew Bynum, Kareem’s put up with a lot.

  • Russ

    He may sound awfully whiny about this but that does not change the fact that he’s right. Kareem gets more respect in Sacramento than he does in L.A.

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    Receiving a statue is totally underminded when you’ve b!@#hed about not receiving one. Also, I am too old for a twitter account. Therefore, he should not receive a statue for being 117 years old with a twitter account.

  • http://bulls.com airs

    @scott, i agree with all of those except gretzky. we’re talking about gretzky man.
    but kareem should be getting a statue. actually no, he should have already had one. its sad that it took that long for russell and west to finally get theirs.
    kobe will probably get a statue before kareem.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I can understand Kareem’s frustration, he is never really mentioned in the greatest ever debate, and people have started to call Shaq a better C even. Very underrated all-time great (I know it seems like an oxymoron).

  • Kas

    This is why you don’t tweet

  • RJ

    Maybe if Kareem had been more of a people-person like Magic, and was nicer during interviews he wouldn’t have alienated himself from most of the league and fans and he’d have his statue. I agree, getting one now will be meaningless, if you have to beg for it son it ain’t the same.

  • KB8TOSG8

    Honestly though, he deserves a statue before Magic because he stuck with us even when we had bad teams and didn’t bail out until Magic, Worthy etc. came on board. And he’s the LEADING ALL-TIME SCORER folks. I would’ve been pissed too if I did so much for LA organization, and Shaq disses it but still gets tons of articles about him getting a statue before Kareem. Honestly, even though I love Kobe, Kareem should get his before Kobe.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    The problem with the Lakers is there is too much talent in one franchise, so it’s either give all your superstars statues, or none at all. On any other team Kareem would certainly have a statue, but with the Lakers the organisation is in a bit of a pickle.

  • Jwizz

    a 7ft 2 statue of kareem doing the skyhook is a pretty big statue…Honestly though i didn’t expect this coming from kareem, seems more like something kobe would have done.

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    from his interview on espn this morning, apparently the biggest part of the issue is thast a statue was promised to him some time ago and a number of statues have gone up ahead of his. sounds like a pride thing and that he was lied to. still bad form to campaign for it. a statue of him mid-skyhook would be awesome though.

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    George Mikan won the Lakers FIVE CHAMPIONSHIPS and his NUMBER HASN’T BEEN RETIRED.
    Kareem, get in line and stop #$#%ing whining.

  • Ronald

    Wow. Kareem over Jerry West? Jerry West is freaking Mr. Laker. Guy was amazing when he played and gave u guys Pau Gasol.

  • http://slamonline.com 1982

    Just give it to him. Yes, he’s technically e-bitching, but it’s not like he doesn’t deserve it. From now on, when you build player statues, you have to put the number of trophies they’ve won for you at the foot of it. So it’d be a 7’2″ Kareem with 6 bronze trophies at the foot of it, and then a Running Kobe one right next to it, chasing after the trophies.

  • unrel

    i typed quite a bit before i deleted it all.. because i realized.. a grown man with a career like his shouldn’t be complaining about the principal of a statue.. this is probably the attitude that burns his bridges with the organization and the league.. and this is coming from a fan that has him starting on my all time greats team..

  • Eddie1

    Damn illuminati acting all sorts of crazy on this one.

  • JTaylor21

    Why the hell does Wayne Freaking Gretzky have a statue outside Staples? I know dude is the greatest hockey player of all-time but to give him one before Kareem makes no sense.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    i ain’t saying gretzky deserved to get a statue BEFORE kareem, im just saying if anyone deserved one, he definitely did
    and that kareem deserves one, more than freaking de la hoya, thats just ridiculous.

  • http://www.bulls.com Rigo Gonzalez

    It’s a F*CKIN’ STATUE!
    Damn, man!
    Anyone who says this is solely about the Lakers dissing Kareem and not also about his huge ego are kidding themselves.
    What the hell is having a statue gonna give you? Besides feeding your ego?
    Damn, pretty soon every arena will need a mini-museum to house all the statues of all their former stars who are demanding statues.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    i think its just about respect being appreciated, rigo.
    bulls did it for johnny red and pip, like we all expected. although im surprised there isn’t something up for stormin norman yet.
    but yeah, whining about kind of takes away from it.

  • JTaylor21

    It’s a shame that the “true” GOAT doesn’t receive the same respect and love that the “fabricated” GOAT gets. A damn shame.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Kareem is sounding like a man who is enamored with a pagan object?
    A MUSLIM?
    Anyway, Kareem has always been this aloof personality. Quite a few people in his arena don’t really like him too much.
    And, he’s still pissed that he can’t get a coaching job in the League.
    Remember when the Lakers completed their back to back championship campaign? Kareem was the only person in the building who looked pissed.
    Magic Johnson had to lighten up his mood. And, even then, one can tell that Kareem didn’t seem genuinely happy. He was just feeding off of Earvin.
    I love Lew, though.
    The greatest center who’s ever lived.
    Oh, and one can argue that “the powers that be” are still pissed that he converted to Islam. It sort of got him “semi”- blackballed.
    He is too big to convert. “They” hate that…

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    *Magic had to lighten Kareem up while they were playing together*

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    real talk, philo

  • Yesse

    Yes Kareem does deserve a statue, but the worst thing to do is to go and complain about it.

  • Josh

    @Caboose, I hear you, and I think if someone is to have a statue at Staples it should be him. I don’t think it is a lack of respect from the Laker organization though, I think it is simply the fact that he doesn’t have a statue yet.
    He can have that opinion all he wants, I’m not bashing that, I’m just saying.. is that really something you voice? Now it is a lose-lose situation for him. You get one and it is because you had to call the organization out for not doing it sooner, you don’t get one you don’t. Just not a fan of him speaking up about this.

  • dmoore

    who cares, getting a statue isnt gonna make his life any better, sounds like a retired guy that is bored as hell so he’s looking to cook up some drama via the web

  • SikhWitIt

    Ego or not, the man needs a statue. He is arguably the greatest center EVER! He’s as accomplished, if not more so, than both Magic and Jerry. The fact that he hasn’t been honored yet after all he’s done for this franchise is an absolute joke!

  • @Deknowz

    Honestly in his playing days you would figure he had no interest in this kind of public attention that wasn’t directly basketball related. So to assume he wanted a statue is an understandable oversight.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @Philo do you believe in “the powers that be” stuff?

  • Gritty

    What makes people think he “deserves” it? Since when is not having your jersey retired not good enough?

  • Gritty

    *having your jersey retired not good enough?

  • Eddie1

    THIS is what Bynum meant when he said trust issues. Damn, Kareem damn near tore this Lakers team asunder.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    @Phantom:
    To a certain degree, yes.
    I do.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The evil of Twitter is fully realized…

  • http://Www.slamonline.com MichaelG

    Philo for the win.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    @Philo. I believe in it to an extent as well, but I feel that some of that stuff is fabricated.

  • http://slamonline.com The Fresh Prince of Nsam

    Shout out @ my man Phil 4 d insight, liked ur deliver (don’t know how else 2 call it) on Lebron on TPU 2.

  • Sarah

    Kareem really is an absolutely incredible player and is the highest scorer ever and the best center ever, blah blah blah (btw, I personally think Dwight Howard is going to be considered to be a better center than Kareem by the end of his career, but that’s just me). But anyways, reading this article left a terrible taste in my mouth about him and his character. He has valid reasons to be upset about the fact that he hasn’t received his statue yet, but to publicly bash the name of the franchise that skyrocketed your career is not cool! Giving him a statue would be like giving a little kid a lollipop after they scream and cry and beg for one. Ya at first they may deserve it, but their behavior is what is the ultimate deciding factor on whether or not they will actually get it in the end.

  • shone jones

    @ Sarah

    How many Championships does Dwight Howard have?

    I thought so.

  • jose

    This situation shouldn’t be even happening right now. . .becasue he should have had a statue for him already the day he retired. . . .i am surprised he would snap at a topic like this though

  • http://dsjkflf.com Jukai

    George Mikan. Elgin Baylor. James Worthy. Kobe Bryant. These are perennial all-time Lakers who do not have a statue up, and did not spend nearly a 1/3rd of their career in another team.
    In my opinion, Kareem is the second greatest player of all time next to Money. But he’s not looked solely as a Laker, and when he was a Laker, he played second fiddle to the third greatest player of all-time.
    So, yeah.

  • 1974

    Put your ego in your pocket ‘Reem. Your playin’ yourself.

  • http://thosefishtacosarethetits.blogspot.com/2011/05/is-this-end.html Chris_Griff_3

    Honestly, this is more than a little absurd. The only player in NBA history truly deserving of his own statue was the same man who never complained about not having one, even while seemingly every All-Star from the 90′s had bronzed sculptures of themselves being placed by arenas. This seems in poor taste, seeing as Mr. Russell’s statue announcement was only a few weeks ago.

  • kunal

    Congratulations to SLAM, ESPN and other form of media, you managed to get a response and later diss the guy. Well i feel for him as the human side in him has got the better of him. This must have bothered him for a while,to have contributed so much, brining glory to the lakers organization and to receive crumbs. It must have hurt him to watch so many players get their due before him (recently scottie) and every time it does happen the media have a field day getting a response. BTW the gr8 one has no business getting a statue by a basketball organization which has ignored its own heroes.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    At the end of the day, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the all time leader in scoring in NBA History. None of the other players hold that distinction, but they have their piece of bronze. He wants to be treated like he’s the all time leading scorer in League History. So, one might not blame him for his feelings of slight.
    But, if you’re an ass, then… they are going to treat you as such.

  • nate Sorensen

    What a fu**ing whiner

  • Ben

    Coming from a celtic fan, Kareem was the reason why they won so many championships them years, I
    hope if Pat Reily can read this, as a point of gratitude Pat Reily should put up a statue for him in the AAA arena with the Miami Heat, at the same token give him a job. (WHY NOT. THE MAN HAS A RIGHT TO BE UPSET)
    THAT IS L.A. FOR YOU!
    THE CELTICS WOULD’NT DO THAT. RESPECT IS LONG OVERDUE.

  • http://805dui.com jbn74sb

    I told you.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    This looks a lot like a twitter hack. I wouldn’t believe this until he admitted to it on tape.

  • Lovey

    Kareem is not a “but wipe” like someone else who has a statue. He not a “shine”.
    For all the reasons the lakers and others in the NBA doesn’t like Kareem…Is the absolute reason I love him
    I respect him. Everytime I see him I am so very proud. Of course he still should have been the First to get a statue and a job with the Org.
    Love you Kareem ..keep on doing what u do….We see u and we are Very,Very proud of U..Unlike the “shine,”

  • car

    I agree with wilt in many things. He is the most underrated great player in almost all sports. The gretzky line is way off though. Gretzky brough hockey to the sun belt and could be the most dominate athlete ever. The guy has over 60 records and his nick name is the great one… enough said lol. Give respect to both men.

    Sky hook forever!!!!

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