Monday, June 20th, 2011 at 12:14 pm  |  30 responses

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Finals: ‘Great Teamwork Over Great Individual Play’

by Adam Figman

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s name was all over the headlines last month, when the Lakers legend caused a stir after stating that he deserves a statue outside of Los Angeles’ Staples Center.

While any talk of his his former team was avoided in TrueHoop’s Q+A with the Hall-of Famer, a variety of topics were not, including the NBA Finals, LeBron James and Abdul-Jabbar’s book, Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes.

Here are some snippets of the convo, though we recommend that you check out the whole thing over at ESPN.

What was your reaction to the Finals?
I think it was a triumph of great teamwork over great individual play. The Miami team really is not. They weren’t ready to play the team game the way the Mavericks were, and that’s why the Mavericks came out on top.

What about how people react to LeBron James?
I think people just did not like his style, in self-promoting and aggrandizement of himself that ESPN was part of, and the event on ESPN turned a lot of people off. All these things to say about him as an individual. It’s a team game. People seem to lose sight of that pretty quickly.

How does he proceed from here?
That burden, really, is going to fall on the franchise, to get the right players that comprise a good team. He’s always going to be, for his whole career, a dominant and outstanding player. The way that they put the team together and promoted the team really did not do the team any good, and it didn’t do the game any good. It’s a team game and they should promote it as such.

And Abdul-Jabbar’s comment on a fix for the Lakers?

“I don’t have one. I’m sure they have an idea of what they want to do, and I’ll stay out of that.”

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  • http://Www.imdb.com TheBigL

    They shoulda asked him if he thinks LeBron will get a statue before him.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Kareem is ..

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    Dude is really bitter towards the Lakers franchise…..He has a right to be annoyed ,but he is acting like a bitter ex-groupie

  • riggs

    dont see whats so bitter about his response.


    Word to team game . B!#(hes !!

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    Meh….. He was on Mike & Mike a couple months back complaining about how the Lakers organization never gave him the respect he deserved and now with this comments I get the feeling that he is attempting to not comment on anything Laker related…might be over evaluating the situation, but it seems like he is b!tching to me.

  • http://sadjklff.com Jukai

    Kareem, while whiny and douchy, is a smart guy. Here ya go, internets.


    Man Kareem seems like is everywhere now. I agree w/everything he said, but he failed 2 mention that dispite all what went on for the Heat, they still were just 2 games away from winning the title. Im not a Heat fan. Im just sayin.


    Kareem is nuthin but an ex laker groupie that’s just bitter about everything. I hate lebron but kareem nobody really cares bout what you have to say…

  • permaculture james

    I agree with the Kareem on team play: the amount of passes per possession by Dallas (and sometimes Miami) in these finals was nice to behold. Remember when the Cavs were in the finals?– their offense became one against 5. Dallas was so deep and kept both penetrating and shooting equally. Fun Finals.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I remember in the 90’s and earlier part of this century dude was an enigma, hardly ever talking to the media.
    I mean, if it wasn’t for Airplane! I wouldn’t have even known what dude’s voice sounded like.
    Now you can’t get him to shut up.

  • alphabetaherculis

    When did Kareem become the go-to-source for opinions? This guy has something negative to say about everything. He is bitter about everything in life. He needs to relax and the statue will come. Nobody has forgotten that you were a HOF player, but you need to remind us everyday that you were.

  • vtrobot

    Kareem was great in Fletch.

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

    Kareem was an incredible player but he seems very whiny. Damn, you know how much of a douche(narcissism-wise) you sound like when you’re in your late 50s and you complain about not having a statue as much as he had? Don’t get me wrong, he is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, and yes he deserves a statue, but he needs to stop being so bitter. He acts like the Lakers organization don’t recognize him at all.

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

    Kareem’s still mad at the agent who stole his money.

  • JTaylor21

    KAJ has every right to be angry and resentful towards the Laker organization. Those clowns had the nerve to give non-basketball greats like Gretzky and De La Hoya a statue before a guy some could argue is the GOAT. Forget the statue for a minute, every team in the NBA should retire KAJ’s number because dude was that good. Just because the guy wasn’t taking off from the FT line and selling millions of shoes doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t get the same respect and adulation MJ receives.
    In the words of the great Aretha Franklin; “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”

  • http://www.pablasso.com pablasso

    “This guy has something negative to say about everything. He is bitter about everything in life”



    Co-sign JTaylor. Every team should retire Kareems #. Bulls already did. Haha! But seriously tho, if there gonna retire his #, then retire MJ’s. And Russel’s. And Chamberlains. But I don’t c it happennin.

  • LA Huey



    My point is that if there gonna retire his # cuz he is n the discussion as a G.O.A.T., then retire the other candidates as well, right? Even Isiah freakinThomas is n the discussion as a G.O.A.T. Crazy!

  • O

    Has anyone caught up with Sir Charles after Dallas took it all? I’ve been wanting to know what he’s been thinking.

  • deadbored

    Man, the dude IS one of the G.O.A.T! Are you guys serious with all this trash talk? You guys are actually the complaining ex-groupies. He sounds like a Champion who is not getting the respect he deserves. I think 6 rings and 6 MVP’s is good enough reason for a statue, let only retiring his No.33. Maybe his all-time scoring title might mean something? I dont know actually in retrospect he actually sucks right? I mean countless players have accomplished those things.

  • robb

    “I’m sure they have an idea of what they want to do, and I’ll stay out of that.”Yeah until you get your statue you big cry baby!

  • http://sadjklff.com Jukai

    In fairness, Kareem may be the only person one can ACTUALLY argue was a greater player than MJ. Not better, per say, but greater— dominance through two eras, the same amount of championships, more MVPs, played much longer so he has more points, more all-star spots, simply more of a story to tell.
    If it wasn’t for Magic being the undeniable man in the later years of that Laker dyansty, it would really be a hard argument.

  • Zabba

    Yes, Kareem is in contention as G.O.A.T. This is a guy that won the title against Wilt Chamberlain at the beginning of his career and had 5 more after that with the Lakers.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ JTaylor: Well Gretzky is the Jordan of hockey, and considering he played for LA–at the Staples’ Center–it makes sense they would give him a statue…

  • Ghost_Trainer

    Now hold up for a gosh damn second!! For all you lil shh heads with the neg. comments need to STFU. Kareem
    was a once in a life time player are U stupid? … Lakers should of been giving him anything he wants!! Also, you lazy bums, dude put in work in da league he can say whatever he feel like bout it…lol What U bums do, to have an opinion over his? “Kareem sounds whiny” ur an idiot. GTFOH everything dude said was true b*&*ces!!! Don’t like to hear da truth AYE, just like losers to stay in denial. Say sumthing!!!

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    Kareem hurt himself being so standoffish all these years. We all know his numbers and there is no denying them. but he never made that connection with the public that, unfortunately, is necessary for you to achieve superstar status. It was easy for Kareem the player to become and afterthought because Kareem the person was an afterthought. I’m not saying thats the way it should be, but thats the way it is.

  • zack

    Bla,bla,bla,bla,bla……..KAREM is the cream of the crops,he’s the root of centres now days…..he can beat any centres now days.HE OUGHT TO GET A STATUE AS MJ DID OUTSIDE CHICAGO BULLS STADIUM

  • zack