Blog Entry

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Posted on: May 18, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: May 18, 2011 7:37 pm
Posted by Royce Young

I was in Los Angeles for Jerry West's statue unveiling and it was quite the scene. A ton of former legends all gathered into a spot to honor one of the all-time great Lakers. It was two hours of pretty much talking about how great Jerry West was.

I'm sure it was pretty nice.

And Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, would like that moment too. Via the Sporting News, Kareem is feeling overlooked.

"I don't understand (it)," he said. "It's either an oversight or they're taking me for granted. I'm not going to try to read people's minds, but it doesn't make me happy. It's definitely a slight. I feel slighted."
I can't imagine it being either because how can you overlook him or take him for granted. Let's recap here: Again, the all-time leading scorer, a 19-time All-Star (!), six-time champion (five with the Lakers), three national titles at UCLA and he's widely considered one of the top five players of all time. How you could overlook or take that for granted is pretty incredible.

It's got to be a bigger issue like, "they just haven't gotten to it yet."

Kareem's also issued this statement through his business manager: "I am highly offended by the total lack of acknowledgement of my contribution to Laker success. I guess being the lynchpin for five world championships is not considered significant enough in terms of being part of Laker history."

Kareem's statue wouldn't take a brilliant creative mind to come up with though. Everyone knows his infamous skyhook pose. That would definitely look pretty sweet standing in bronze outside of the arena.

Currently, there are five statues outside of the Staples Center: Magic Johnson, Jerry West, legendary team announcer Chick Hearn, boxer Oscar De La Hoya and hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

Lakers spokesman John Black gave a response: "We've been at Staples Center 11 years and have two ex-players who have statues now. It's not like we do it every year; we have no timetable. Whenever we do the next statue of the third Los Angeles Lakers player, it (will be) Kareem---and he has been told that. Again, we didn't say when that was going to be. It could be next year, the year after or several years from now."

See, that's what I'm saying. I don't think it's so much an oversight as it's just that they picked Magic Johnson and Jerry West first to do. Kareem can be offended by that, but that's kind of hard to argue with.

Kareem added to things, tweeting this: "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." Lakers don't care about you? Yeesh.

It seems like Kareem's outrage might put the Lakers in an awkward position now. Like since he complained about it and got his way, are other players going to? What about Shaq, does he deserve one? James Worthy? Eddie Jones (kidding).

Now if they give Kobe a statue before Kareem, then he'll really have a point.

Since: May 9, 2010
Posted on: May 20, 2011 11:01 am

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Kareem is right, of course. Yet his speaking about it is rather vulgar. He should have left it to commentators ("reporters").

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: May 19, 2011 9:35 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Kareem, you're one of the greatest centers ever.  Of this, I don't think any basketball fans have any doubts.

You're also one of the game's biggest whiners.  Stop trying to ruin our image of you as a graceful, immensely gifted basketball player by replacing it with a self-centered egotist who needs to shut his pie hole.

Does it seem as if the game has ignored you in your post-playing days?  Yes.

Should you have been able to drum up at least one head coaching job in the NBA by now?  Probably.

Should you have been a little bit more friendly with the media to help your image?  Definitely.

Are you kinda screwed with the way you've spoken about your legacy and place in the game today?  Pretty much so.

Since: May 9, 2011
Posted on: May 19, 2011 8:07 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Kareem just gave you some insight into why he doesn't have a statue just yet.  For as great of a player that Kareem was, his personality never ever translated to the Los Angeles community and Lakers fans alike.  In his playing days, Kareem didn't want to sign autographs and was an introvert the majority of his time in L.A.-Coaches knew it, players knew it, He is part of the Lakers family no doubt and will get his statue eventually, but he's like the disgruntled older brother who know wants to be around because their always upset about something.

Since: Jan 28, 2010
Posted on: May 19, 2011 3:18 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

You can be right and you can be dead right. Obviously he deserves the honor--much more than the people who already have statues. That he does not have a statue would appear to me to be a message to him. Hey Kareem, you pissed somebody off--somebody who has the power to make you wait. That would be Jerry Buss or his daughter.

Man up. Take your ball and go home.

Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: May 19, 2011 2:00 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

AAAND you don't complain about not being graciously accept it when someone else honors you on their own accord. Complaining about not be honored is pretty dishonorable...part of being honored is waiting for the PRIVILEGE.

Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: May 19, 2011 1:55 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

He deserves a statue but it's a rather self-absorbed statement to say you are "offended" it hasn't happened. Like Black said, they don't do it every year...just settle down. It kinda makes me dislike the guy a bit. I mean, they reveal a statue of a guy that obviously deserves it and all he takes from the situation is that he deserved it more? They didn't say that they got the West statue instead of Kareems, they didn't say he deserved it more than Kareem...In fact it had absolutely nothing to do with Kareem. The fact is, he is taking a completely justifiable action and making it about himself and taking offense when there is none to be taken. He has to take a step back, realize the lakers don't revolve around him, and see that this is a celebration of a different, very deserving great player, not a condemnation of him. If he can't see that he has some major arrogance problems and is living a little high up in the clouds.

Since: Nov 4, 2008
Posted on: May 19, 2011 11:31 am

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

kareem definitely derserves a statue, but this was a dumb move on his part because now if he gets one people will say it's because he whined about it.

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: May 19, 2011 10:49 am

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Obviously Kareem is his own worst enemy.  First off you don't beg for a statue.  You graciously accept them when offered.  Getting one now would be a bit of an awkward moment wouldn't it?  BUT he is right.  5 Championships for the lakers.  Alltime leading scorer. 19 time allstar!  3 national titles in LA with UCLA.  A shot that defined him.  He has every single credential and then some.  I guess Bird doesn't have his yet but the Celtics did the right thing in giving Russell his first...But Bird will get one and Kareem as much as I think he is an azz...he deserves one

Since: Feb 10, 2010
Posted on: May 19, 2011 9:07 am

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Kareem's problems lies with his personality.  I have been at a few functions with the guy and he is usually rude and does not want to be spoken to.  Ask him for an autograph and he will look at you in disgust and walk away.  That being said, he still deserves a statue for his body of work as a Laker.

Since: Jul 2, 2009
Posted on: May 19, 2011 3:41 am

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

That maybe the reason Kareem does not have a statue, or is it because of his spiritual/religious stance?  It also could be that Kareem suffers from Migraines and treats it with Marijuana.  The NBA has overlooked Kareem since 1995 when he started looking for a Head Coaching position.  Kareem went to the USBL and lead the Oklahoma Storm to a Championship, but still the Lakers and the NBA would only give him special assistant positions to assist with making other Big Man better i.e Olawankandi and Bynum.

We are now viewing NBA former players with less experience and hardware being Head Coaches and Assistants Coaches.  Take Vinny Del Negro, Wes Unseld, and Isaiah Thomas (damaged the Knicks Franchise for the next 10 years with bad decisions). It's not just the Lakers but the NBA that is ignoring one of their all time greats.

Makes you want to ask the question is Kareem being overlooked becaue of his past attitude issues or his spiritual/religious outlook, I bet Craig Hodges could answer that question.  Kareem deserves a statue, 19x All Star, 6x NBA Champion, All time leading Scorer, Kaareen deserves more.     

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or