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 18, 2011
Posted on: May 18, 2011 5:11 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

These statues are all about marketing and politics. Not only is De La Hoya hispanic in a largely hispanic market but he is also a player on the Los Angeles sports scene. Gretsky is also a player. Magic Johnson is big business in Los Angeles. In addition, everybody likes them and remember, Kareem is as popular as more rain in Mississippi. Kareem should consider buying his statue and giving Donald Sterling some money to get it put up.

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: May 18, 2011 5:09 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

I guess when Kareem does get a statue, instead of leading off his speech with "it's such an honor", he'll start it off saying, "it's about time!!"

Jerry West was a Laker his whole career. Lew Alcindor was a Milwaukee Buck for the early part of his career. As Kareem Abdul-Jabar, he didn't win diddly until Earvin Johnson was drafted. Magic is far more deserving of a trophy as a Laker then Alcindor/Jabar. With him, Kareem would only have one title to show for his entire career. West also was the Lakers GM.

Kareem has always been a whiner. That's why he was never loved despite his great play. He always has a stick-up-his-arse about something. He's always slighted. That says a lot about his own self-image and how he needs to boost it.

I'm just waiting for someone to drop the race or Muslim card. You know its coming.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 5:05 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

He's not there but De La Hoya is?  Weren't his big wins in Vegas?   Gretzky is? His Cups were from Edmonton.  Take it beyond basketball to the other statues.  Chick Hearn did deserve one - I have NO problem with that.  He was a classic like Vin Scully, Jack Buck, Harry Kalas, Vin Scully, Johnny Most, or Myron Cope.  

Since: Nov 16, 2010
Posted on: May 18, 2011 4:58 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

He should be offended. Magic got a status. He didn't win any rings without Kareem. In fact Magic was 5 and 4 in titles series. Not hat great. Jordan 6 and 0. Even Kobe is 5 and 3 better then Magic. Kareem is the most dominate player in college and pro ball IMO that ever played. He played on the level for almost 20 years. He has 6 rings as well. How he doesn't have a statue is ridiculous. He is the greatest Laker of all time period. No Kareem Magic doesn't have 5 rings. No Magic Kareem might not have 5 rings but have have some.

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 4:58 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Kareem is absolutely right.  He should have a statue out there.  He is the greatest scorer of all time and a top 5 player and he doesn't have one?  Somehting is wrong here.  And to the poster who said Shaq would get one:  I doubt it ever happening because of the ugly divorce from the team when he demanded a trade.  Just don't think he will get one.  But how Kareem does not have one baffles me.

Since: May 18, 2011
Posted on: May 18, 2011 4:54 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

I have lived in Los Angeles since birth in 1963. While Kareem was one of the greatest basketball players to lace up, the sad fact is that people just don't like him. If you are the greatest, you ask for a statue, you wait for it. You don't care because you know you are the real thing. Kareem should know that he is that good, but no, he is waiting to be validated and since people don't like him, they will make him wait.

Since: Oct 1, 2006
Posted on: May 18, 2011 4:52 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Kareem's statements were just overblown again by the press.  Kareem does deserve a statue and he should have been either first or second as the greatest player in Los Angeles history not only for his contributions with the Lakers but also with UCLA.  It's a team game and it can be said Magic's life was made easy having Kareem in the post and it can also be said that Kareem's life was made easy since doubling down on him was really useless considering the undefendable and deadly sky hook still the most lethal offensive move by any player in the history of the NBA.  Kareem was also solid defensively.  There have been a lot of great Laker players both for the team and the community.  Jerry West was a great player and probably a better executive with the organization.  Magic was a great player and a superb business man in the Los Angeles area.  Kareem did it both in college and the NBA along with a little bit of Hollywood showtime with Bruce Lee in old kung foo moveies.  You will get there soon enough and certainly well deserved.  As for Chick Hearn how can you argue his tenure was longer than anyone with the Lakers and a great person within the community.

Since: Feb 10, 2010
Posted on: May 18, 2011 4:44 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Kareem, is right on.  He should be there with the pose from above!  Draining the sky hook.

Since: Nov 13, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2011 4:42 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

Here is my top 5 list of greatest NBA players.  (PG) Jerry West  (SG) Michael Jordan  (C) Wilt Chamberlin  (PF) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (even though he played center, it was hard to overlook the sky hook master)  (SF) Bill Russell.

Since: Nov 13, 2009
Posted on: May 18, 2011 4:38 pm

Hey Lakers, Kareem would like a statue now

I have to agree with Kareem.  Strange how one of the top 5 players in NBA histroy doesn't get the recognition from the team he helped win five titles.  C'mon, Jerry Buss.  Give #33 his dues already!!

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