Friday, May 20th, 2011 at 9:00 am  |  36 responses

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Relationship With the Lakers Over?

There’s speculation out there that Kareem’s rants about the Los Angeles Lakers not erecting him a statue yet may be little more than a PR ploy to hype his new movie, but according to the big fella, his relationship with the team may be irreparably damaged (despite the Lakers’ insistence that a statue is forthcoming.) From the LA Times: “You tweeted to a fan, ‘I don’t think at this point this can be rectified as this is the first time I have ever made my feelings public. Moving on.’ Why can’t it be rectified? ‘The relationship is fractured. I said I got a call from Linda Rambis saying I will definitely have a statue out there. But there’s going to be a strike or a lockout, so the Lakers are clearing the deck. I don’t expect my relationship with the team to continue beyond this point. They don’t really value my presence there like they value other people. That’s fairly obvious. I can only speculate to what that’s about, but if you look at how they’ve dealt with Magic over the years and how they’ve dealt with me, there’s a big disparity.’ How was it a big disparity? ‘During my playing career, I was essential to their success on the court so it was a different set of circumstances. They paid me well, and I thought I was valuable to them. When it got to the point where I was not a factor with what happened on the court, their need to be close to me or have me involved drastically changed. I kept to myself. I didn’t hang out with Dr. Buss. I didn’t have any animosity toward him, and I respected his space, and he more or less respected my space. But my lifestyle was my lifestyle. I focused on different things. Maybe that had affected how they dealt with me.’ … But you have said the statue matters to you, and there is some sentiment from fans who think you’re overreacting to all of this, stating that having to wait to have a statue after Chick Hearn, Magic Johnson and Jerry West isn’t a slight. Some have also said the nature in which you expressed your frustration over not having a statue sounded like sour grapes. ‘I understand that. But they had no idea on the background of my relationship with the Lakers. I thought I was gaining opportunities to coach Andrew. I did the best job I could. I got Andrew ready. I thought I was absolutely showing my value to the team and that I’d be treated better. Then all of the things I mentioned to you earlier, I didn’t get any of the perks or any of the playoff shares. They made me feel totally on the outside there. It’s a shame because those were my best professional years there as a player.’”

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

    He just wants to be treated like what he is,
    And, that is the NBA’s career scoring leader.

  • 72lead

    wth is Chick Hearn? I respect his feelings and feel the lakers snubbed him.

  • http://nba.com gp23

    ^We all know if Jordan played 20 years in the league, he would easily be the career scorin leader. Still, I think he is due a statue.

  • Ryan D.

    Pay attention to all of this Kobe.

  • Ben Ireland

    He sound’s a bit of a prick… Kareem was without a doubt needed to get those Championships… But Magic is the greatest Laker ever, Jerry West went through hell for the team. Kareem left a smaller franchise to come to the bigger market, and he was amazing here. But Chick was one of the greatest commentators ever… I say all 3 who have statues deserve them more, sorry, Cap. Your time will come, so give over on it. Also, I’m wondering, and I think I’ll get a decent reaction on this…. Derek Fisher deserving of a memorial somewhere? An amazingly clutch performer, essential to 5 Championships, but not good enough to get his jersey retired, not by the Lakers anyway, maybe in a team where the retired jersey’s aren’t some of the greatest players ever. But a plaque, or some other kind of gesture… I’d say Fisher has earned it, then you take his Player’s Asscociation contributions into account and it’s gotta be a lock, right?

  • http://nba.com gp23

    The question is.. Will Kobe get a statue ?

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    Gonna start my run with Sweet Lew this morning

  • tomtom

    gp23 We all love Mike, but what a completely innate point.


    Can’t get a coaching gig. Can’t get a statue. Didn’t get playoff shares, or so he says. One can c how he feels disrespected, not only by the Lakers, but by other teams.

  • Eddie1

    Trust issues. One love. Illuminati. Peace.

  • Sparker

    this is getting depressing. kareem was a great player, but he was hard to like even back then. he kept to himself, he showed almost no emotion, and he seemed to resent the spotlight. mind you, it was a different time, and his distance was perceived as being consistent with his political/religious beliefs, ie. as a black/muslim athlete who was uncomfortable with the white-controlled hierarchy of the nba and the exploitation of black athletes in professional sports. the brutal irony is that now that the situation has improved, he has been robbed of the context that made him stand for something important. it’s not that he doesn’t deserve a statue; it’s just that the way he’s expressing himself makes him sound like nothing more than a social media whiner. and he was so much more. he was the damn muhammad ali of the nba.

  • Homie

    To paraphrase the (around here) much admired Bill Simmons, Kareem’s a ninny.

  • http://www.fiba.com Darksaber


  • Ka

    Hey kareem youll always have airplane!

  • NJ4Life

    Ask yourself this: if you had leukemia, wouldn’t you like to see a statue of yourself go up before you went? I mean who knows, maybe the guy’s health isn’t great and he wants to make sure it happens. He does deserve it.

  • http://slamonline Brion

    need stactue of Roger Murdock!!

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

    definitely checking out that movie today

  • Red Star

    Like me a lot of kids were named after Kareem because of what he represented on and off the court! Kareem was not liked he was loved and still is too this day! It is a shame to hear what is going on, Kareem deserves more respect than this, much more!!!
    Lakers 4 Life!!!

  • JTaylor21

    What the hell does someone off-court demeanor and actions have to do with their on-court dominance?

  • unrel

    what the hell is chick hearn?.. he’s every commentators’ favorite commentator.. the inventor of most of our basic hoops vocab.. the guy that did 3000+ straight games.. for a lakers fan.. he was the voice for much of our lives..

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

    Someone seriously asked who Chick Hearns was?

  • unrel

    he sounds like a dude with entitlement issues.. “i did this.. i did that.. i SHOULD get something”

  • http://slamonline.com Waylonakolipse

    Damn Kareem that’s cold. Come to my Warriors. If you can save Andris Biedrins we’s build you 2 statues.

  • Eddie1

    Well, here’s the deal. Kareem, you will get your statue in 2015. Five years ago, Kareem blasted Buss over his womanizing habits and how they reflected poorly on an organization that so many youngsters looked up to. Buss could never forgive this. He and the illuminati tried to go back in time and wipe out all of Kareem’s accomplishments, but Kareem was so intertwined in the neotaschen fabric that he could not be undone. The year now is 2022. Jerry’s last wish is to see Kareem’s statue torn down. His fans including myself won’t let him.

  • @Deknow

    The Laker’s had Kobe’s statues made 5 years ago. lol

  • Yesse

    gp23, if Kareem doesn’t get one i don’t think Kobe stands a chance.

  • Conoro

    Kareem was just as important to that Lakers era as Magic. Maybe not economically, but certainly productively. Any Lakers fan who can’t agree with that is ignorant. He just finished subduing his leukemia, and is now realizing that he should witness something that should have been done five to ten years ago.

  • kunal

    Unfortunately most people who have commented against KAJ have dementia or are too young. If one was to step into his shoes, view his accomplishments which is more than magic and one kobe bryant you too would feel the pain.
    Magic desrves one coz he contributed and his charm made you notice him. Jerry West great player but he’s not on the same level as Jabbar. Chick Hearn you’re kidding me, if you’re not a player or a coach I don’t care you don’t deserve to have a statue whether your wife demands one or not. And lastly who will place a statue of a hockey star in a basketball arena LMAO. The guy deserves his credit and what worked against him was he was shy, strong willed and his beliefs being a black muslim man were definitely not appreciated. Unfortunately this is the biased world we live in.

  • kunal

    BTW I agree with Conoro. Any person treated from a life threatening disease will evaluate his life and I’m sure he felt more hurt than ever that he had to wait for his due and he longer can contain it. Especially when you see a Scottie Pippen get it so much earlier (I know he’s from Chicago who have lesser stars over the years). People cite Bill Russell and say that he waited patiently but if you all didn’t suffer from memory loss you will remember that he was once a very bitter man like Jabbar is today. It was only after the league made several efforts to woo him have you seen his smiley Grandpa side.

  • bike

    If Kareem can’t get a statue, will he settle for a bust? Oh wait, they are going to erect a bust in honor of Kwame Brown.

  • Drew

    At this point, Shaq stands a better chance of getting one before Kareem.

  • http://dude Chukaz

    This dude shouldn’t be complaining. Wasn’t the whole statue idea Magic’s? That’s why he got one before he did. Chick Hearn’s wife was 99 years old and about to kick the bucket so he got one before kareem so that Mrs. Hearns could see her late husband honored before she kicked the bucket. Jerry West did so much more for the organization than kareem ever did and he’s older so his statue had to come before kareem’s. If Shaq or Kobe were to get a statue before kareem then he’d have the right to complain.

  • Ronald
  • Harlem_World

    CO-SIGN KUNAI. Call it a generation gap if you will, but those who seem to be commentating on Cap’s career don’t seem to really know how dominant he was. Magic is the best pg of all time, but a strong case can be made for cap being the greatest center of all time. Durability beyond all others (which is a vastly underrated ability), plus the most unstoppable shot in the history of the game. Before you start talking about West and Magic just look at Kareem’s resume: NBA champion (1971, ’80, ’82, ’85, ’87, ’88); NBA MVP (1971, ’72, ’74, ’76, ’77, ’80); 10-time All-NBA First Team; Five-time All-NBA Second Team; Five-time All-Defensive First Team; Six-time
    All-Defensive Second Team; 19-time All-Star. Re-read that. If you total all his championships, MVP’s, All-NBA awards – he is the most successful individual player to ever play the game. Statue? If this guy was more PR friendly, they should be naming the ARENA after him. Like him or not – he DEFINITELY has good reason to be upset.

  • http://805dui.com jbn74sb

    I told you this guy was a kook.

  • Harlem_World

    ‘kook’? Explain…