The Lakers will erect a statue honoring NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar outside Staples Center this season, the LA Times reports. No date has been set in stone. This is newsworthy because Abdul-Jabbar last year said in a huff that he was through with the Lakers, for whom he won three league MVP awards. His hurt in part was due to the insult inherent in the team putting up statues of Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn before one honoring the sport's all-time leading scorer. At the time, the Lakers said they would likely get around to a statue of Kareem, but had no firm plans. He was also chafed because his pay and role as an assistant coach was reduced and the players did not vote him a share of playoff winnings.
"The relationship is fractured," Abdul-Jabbar said back then. "I don’t expect my relationship with the team to continue beyond this point." He amplified on Twitter at the time, tweeting that the "Lakers have given me the absolute minimum of respect." He's had nothing to tweet about today's news.
Abdul-Jabbar announced in 2009 that he was being treated for a rare form of leukemia.
Photo: The Sporting News