May 20, 2011 2 Comments
Like most everyone, I was shocked when I heard Lakers all-time great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar speaking publically this week about just how bad his relationship with the Lakers organization has deteriorated. Aside from the claims I heard from Kareem, I have no idea of the details from the fallout (especially from the other side), but one point he did raise has legitimate validity. Currently there are five statues outside Staples Center in Los Angeles, and Kareem believes he’s been slighted by not having one of his own considering all that he’s done for the Lakers franchise. Now normally I would just write this off as egotistical ex-pro athlete talk, but I think Kareem is justified in his claim. Most of us understand what the career of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar brought to the Lakers, the NBA, and the city of Los Angeles so I won’t bore you with the numbers. That being said, let me bore you with some numbers: The 7-foot plus, goggle wearing, sky hooking machine has scored the most points in the history of the NBA! Number one. First place. Nobody ahead. On top of that, he’s third all-time in both blocks and rebounds! And if dominating 3 of the 5 major statistics in basketball isn’t good enough for you, how about being an all-star an NBA record 19 times! Defense? Try 11 times on the first or second team all-league D. Measure somebody’s success in championships? Kareem has 6! MVP’s? Kareem has 6! All the numbers are silly. The cherry on top is that he actually played his college basketball at UCLA and won 3 National Championships and is widely considered the greatest college basketball player of all-time! And he did it in Los Angeles! What other criteria could one measure?!? So who the hell else could possibly have a statue outside Staples Center if this man doesn’t? Thor? Zeus? Christ himself? Try Wayne Gretzky. Don’t get me wrong, Wayn-o is the greatest to ever step on frozen water but he only played in L.A. for 8 years!! Gretzky never won a single championship in Los Angeles and literally went seasons without making the playoffs with the Kings! His best years were clearly in Edmonton with the Oilers where he won 4 straight championships. That’s where Gretzky deserves a statue….Oh, wait…HE ALREADY HAS A STATUE THERE, erected in 1989! You want to put another one up in L.A. of ‘The Great One’? Fine. But not before Kareem. And because Oscar De La Hoya is from East L.A. he too gets a statue outside Staples? Before Kareem?? No way. And I hate to bring it here, but I have to…As great as Magic Johnson was for the Lakers (In my opinion the best point guard to ever play), he has less championships, less MVP’s, less All-Star appearances, less NCAA titles and less individual statistical records. Now of course Magic deserves a statue, but what I don’t understand is that Magic retired years and years after Kareem did and gets a statue before him? I think this is an example of what Kareem meant when he said instead of being on the back burner, he didn’t feel like he was even on the stove. For god’s sake the former Laker’s play-by-play announcer Chick Hern got a statue! I don’t mean to take anything away from any of the great athlete’s or personalities who have statues outside Staples Center, but the point is if Kareem Abdul-Jabbar doesn’t have his likeness poured in brass permanently outside Staples Center, than nobody should.