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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

Articles tagged: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

LeBron James reacts to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s criticism

LeBron James yells during a game

LeBron James is offering his reaction to the shots that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recently took at him.

The Los Angeles Lakers star James sparked debate last week by posting a meme comparing COVID-19 to the flu and the common cold. Abdul-Jabbar ripped James for doing so, explaining why he thought it was a harmful post.

After the Lakers defeated the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, James was asked if he had any response to Abdul-Jabbar.

“No I don’t have a response to Kareem at all,” he said, per Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll. “And if you saw the post and you read the tag, you know I’m literally, honestly asking, ‘help me out.’ Help me kind of figure it all out, like we’re all trying to figure this pandemic out. We’re all trying to figure out COVID and the new strain. And the flu, I think people forgot about the flu.

“People like literally forgot about the flu, like that’s still going around,” James went on. “It’s flu season, so people have forgot about the flu. People have forgot about common colds. That happens, especially with a lot of our kids that’s in school. My daughter is in first grade, so a lot of these kids are gettting common colds and getting the flu. But no, I don’t have any response to Kareem. No. At all.”

Like most NBA teams this season, the Lakers have faced a number of recent absences due to health and safety protocols. James was also angered with the situation when he himself landed in protocols earlier this month.

James is maintaining that he was simply trying to gather more information when he sent the post to his 106 million followers on Instagram, especially with much still unknown about the seemingly milder Omicron variant. But that is unlikely to be a satisfactory explanation for Abdul-Jabbar, who also recently criticized James for a different reason.

Nov 28, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) reacts against the Detroit Pistons in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar rips LeBron James over COVID meme

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar smiles

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has taken aim at LeBron James once again.

The former Los Angeles Lakers star was critical of the current Lakers star in a post on his Substack account on Sunday.

Kareem took issue with the meme James posted on Instagram on Thursday. The meme makes the point that COVID, the flu and a cold are all the same (see it here).

Abdul-Jabbar argued that the post was a “blow to [James’] worthy legacy.”

Abdul-Jabbar also argued that James’ post encourages vaccine hesitancy.

“By posting the uninformed meme, LeBron has encouraged vaccine hesitancy which puts lives and livelihoods at risk,” Jabbar wrote.

You can read his whole post here.

Though Kareem makes a strong case, he is off base on many accounts. I would dispute his argument that James is causing or contributing to vaccine hesitancy. The vaccine has been available in some capacity in America for a year and has been readily available to the American public for over half a year. Anyone who has wanted the vaccine has not only had ample opportunity to get it, but they have had access to a booster too by now. Those who have not been vaccinated have already made a conscious decision not to, and a meme posted by LeBron is unlikely to change that.

Also, James’ meme was likely talking about the Omicron variant. His post would have been more accurate had it said “Omicron” instead of “COVID.” The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has presented itself as a cold for many people. Many of the athletes who have tested positive for Omicron also have had no symptoms or mild symptoms.

To behave as if the current version of COVID is the same as the original strains in 2020 or the Delta variant makes little sense. Canceling games and shutting down seasons over asymptomatic cases, and among people who wouldn’t even know they were positive if they hadn’t been tested, makes little sense.

We’re nearly in 2022 and the circumstances have completely changed from 20 months ago. More therapies are available, people have had opportunities to receive a shot that lessens symptoms if they are infected, and the current strain is proving to be less potent than previous strains. It’s time to adjust accordingly, and James’ post seems to reflect that attitude.

What’s notable is that this is the second time this month Kareem has been critical of LeBron.

Photo: Jul 18, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrives for the 2018 ESPYS at Microsoft Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar unhappy with new series on Showtime Lakers

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

HBO’s upcoming series on the Showtime Lakers is generating a lot of excitement. But one of the subjects depicted is not too thrilled about it.

Retired L.A. Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar expressed displeasure this week with the new series “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,” a fictionalized retelling of the Showtime Lakers era. The series, produced by Adam McKay, will debut on HBO Max next March.

“While I respect other artists’ rights to choose their subjects, I think the story of the Showtime Lakers is best told by those who actually lived through it,” Abdul-Jabbar told Matthew Belloni of Puck. “Because we know exactly what happened.”

HBO just released the first trailer for the series this week. Actor Solomon Hughes plays Abdul-Jabbar. The series also has a number of notable stars, including Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, and John C. Reilly as the late Dr. Jerry Buss.

It sounds like Abdul-Jabbar would prefer the story be told in documentary format, similar to the depiction of the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty in ESPN’s “The Last Dance.” But the Showtime Lakers already got a “30 for 30” series in 2017, albeit focusing on their famous rivalry with the Boston Celtics.

That does not seem to be good enough for the Hall of Famer Abdul-Jabbar, who has not been happy about what is going on in the City of Angels lately.

H/T theScore

Photo: Jul 18, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrives for the 2018 ESPYS at Microsoft Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar rips LeBron James for ‘childish’ behavior

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

One elder NBA statesman is not pleased with LeBron James’ antics.

In a video this week for Substack, retired basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ripped James for the obscene “Big Balls” dance that James did against the Indiana Pacers last month (video here).

“For me, winning is enough,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Why do you need to do a stupid, childish dance and disrespect the other team on the court? It doesn’t make sense. GOATs don’t dance.”

Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most well-respected, dignified athletes of all-time and is certainly qualified to speak on the subject of GOAT behavior. As a six-time champion who won the most MVPs in league history and is also the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Abdul-Jabbar let his game speak for itself.

While Abdul-Jabbar is more than happy to show love to James for his play, it is all the extracurricular horseplay that Abdul-Jabbar clearly believes is unbecoming of a player of James’ magnitude.

Photo: Jul 18, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrives for the 2018 ESPYS at Microsoft Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Disturbing story about Wilt Chamberlain goes viral

Wilt Chamberlain dribbles the ball

A disturbing story about Wilt Chamberlain went viral on Twitter this week.

A sports fan watched the “Kareem: Minority of One” documentary on HBO this week and shared a clip from the documentary. The clip shows Kareem Abdul-Jabbar telling a story about Chamberlain that bothered him.

Kareem talked about how Wilt took him under his wing a little. But Abdul-Jabbar admitted a few things Chamberlain did bothered him. One such example was the time Wilt spit on someone in an elevator.

“Some of the things that Wilt did from time-to-time actually bothered me,” Kareem says in the documentary. “I got on an elevator with Wilt, and as the elevator was going down, some guy gets on and says, ‘oh wow, how’s the weather up there?’ He said that to Wilt. Wilt spat on the dude and said, ‘it’s raining.’”

That’s nasty, not to mention disrespectful.

Wilt was 7-foot-1 and 250 pounds. Kareem was listed at 7-foot-2. They were a couple of extremely tall dudes.

Wilt, who died in 1999 at the age of 63, won two NBA championships and four NBA MVP awards. He is regarded by many as the most dominant basketball player of all time. The stories about him are pretty legendary. Or, in this case, the stories can be notorious.

Photo: FILE PHOTO; Los Angeles Lakers center Wilt Chamberlain (13). Mandatory Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar rooting for LeBron James to break his all-time scoring record

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

LeBron James is closing in on one of the most iconic records in professional sports, and the current holder is 100 percent in his corner.

Retired basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spoke this week with veteran NBA writer Marc Stein. In the interview, Abdul-Jabbar said that he is rooting for James to break his all-time record for points scored.

“I’m excited to see it happen,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “I don’t see records as personal accomplishments, but more as human achievements. If one person can do something that’s never been done, that means we all have a shot at doing it. It’s a source of hope and inspiration.

“Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile back in 1954,” Abdul-Jabbar added. “Since then, not only have 1,400 runners beaten that time, but the new record is 17 seconds less. We all win when a record is broken and if LeBron breaks mine, I will be right there to cheer him on.”

Abdul-Jabbar scored 38,387 points during his 20-year NBA career. He has held the all-time scoring record since 1984 when he surpassed the previous record holder, Wilt Chamberlain. James is currently at 35,367 points for his career, 3,020 behind Abdul-Jabbar. An 18-year veteran, James could break Abdul-Jabbar’s record by appearing in 70 games over the next two seasons and averaging 22 points per game, both very attainable marks for him.

While James does not always get love from players of that era, Abdul-Jabbar seems to be rooting for him every step of the way as James nears the record.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s son Adam arrested for allegedly stabbing neighbor

The son of NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was arrested on Wednesday after police say he stabbed his neighbor in Orange County, Calif.

Adam Abdul-Jabbar, 28, was booked on one count of assault with a deadly weapon, according to police records obtained by TMZ. Abdul-Jabbar was “arrested without incident,” and the victim transported himself to the hospital with multiple injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Abdul-Jabbar has since been released from custody. Police are still investigating the incident, and no further details have been released.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s family appeared on “Celebrity Family Feud” back in 2017, and Adam was part of the team. You can see a clip from the appearance below:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about how training with Bruce Lee helped him

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar enjoyed a famously lengthy NBA career, and he had Bruce Lee to thank in part for that.

In an appearance this weekend on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” the legendary big man discussed how he trained with Lee, who is the subject of the network’s new “30 for 30” documentary entitled “Be Water.” Abdul-Jabbar credited Lee with helping him stay healthy during his career.

“Bruce always emphasized the effectiveness of stretching,” said the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. “So before we worked out, we stretched all the time … I took that to another level by studying yoga and being able to advance as a yoga student. And that really was the best preventative maintenance that I could have been doing in the offseason.

“So I’d do strength training, flexibility training, cardiovascular training, those three,” the now 73-year-old Abdul-Jabbar went on. “And I only took off two weeks out of the whole year. The rest of the time I made sure I worked out at least three or four times a week.”

Abdul-Jabbar enjoyed a close relationship with the martial arts icon Lee and appeared in a memorable fight scene with him in 1978’s “Game of Death.” The movie was Lee’s final film and was released after his death in 1973.

For his part, Abdul-Jabbar went on to play 20 high-level years in the NBA and was not the only basketball legend to draw inspiration from Lee’s example.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar donating hundreds of pairs of goggles to healthcare workers

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is making a fitting donation to those on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

The retired basketball legend, who was famous for wearing goggles during his NBA career, hand-delivered 900 pairs of safety goggles to healthcare workers at Scripps Health in San Diego, Calif. this week. Abdul-Jabbar and longtime manager Deborah Morales will also take part in similar donations at other hospitals in the Southern California area, per Eric S. Page of NBC San Diego.

The 72-year-old Abdul-Jabbar sported the look for much of his 20-year playing career, especially during his time with the Los Angeles Lakers. It became as big a part of his brand as his iconic skyhook.

Even Abdul-Jabbar’s statue and bobbleheads reflect as much, making his donation not only a poetic one but a very much needed one as well.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar shares how he landed famous role in ‘Airplane!’

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s appearance as pilot Roger Murdock in the 1980 film “Airplane!” is one of the most famous athlete cameos in cinema history, and Abdul-Jabbar shared the story about how it came to be.

During a Twitter Q&A session on Monday, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer received a question about how he ended up in the film. Abdul-Jabbar replied that the producers of the movie turned to him after they could not get baseball great Pete Rose, also adding that he had the time because he was on summer break from the NBA. The Hall of Fame great noted too how the directors of “Airplane!” hailed from Wisconsin, where he played for many years with the Milwaukee Bucks.

While Rose was probably just as big as Abdul-Jabbar was at the time, hearing him griping to little Joey about dragging Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan up and down the field for nine innings just wouldn’t have been the same. After all, the cameo as is was absolutely glorious.

The film’s directors had their own funny story about Kareem’s participation, so it’s good to hear his version of things as well.