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Kareem Abdul Jabbar
May 12, 2004 2:22 PM   Subscribe

He is a Muslim, a coach of Native Americans, a noted Jazz expert, a Kung-Fu star, a prescription pot smoker, and a best-selling author whose new book is the story of the 761st Tank Battalion, known as the Black Panthers, the first all-black armored unit to see combat in World War II. Who is he? The man that some say is the greatest Basketball player of all time, Kareem Adbul-Jabbar.
posted by chaz (21 comments total)

 
I never knew. I never knew. So like when you're perfection it's going to bite you in the ass right? Some of us would try our whole life to become just one of those things. If I were Kareem, I'd be in an underground bunker because karma or something is going to catch up with him.
posted by geoff. at 2:33 PM on May 12, 2004


Karma is supposed to reward the good, not exact retribution on the fortunate. If anything he's being rewarded for an exemplary past life.

That is, of course, if you buy into that shit.
posted by botono9 at 2:50 PM on May 12, 2004


"My dad says you don't work hard enough on defense, and he says that lots of times you don't even run down court. And that you don't really try, except during the playoffs."
posted by John Shaft at 3:01 PM on May 12, 2004


Well, I'll be damned.
posted by keswick at 3:06 PM on May 12, 2004


Thank you for that John Shaft.
posted by xmutex at 3:09 PM on May 12, 2004


I remember his migrane headaches during the early 80s Laker games, and how debilitating they sounded. I didn't know the state of CA let you smoke pot to get rid of them though.
posted by mathowie at 3:10 PM on May 12, 2004


He's one of my heroes. His new book is really good. Leonard "Smitty" Smith was his dad's best friend while Kareen was growing up. It wasn't until he was an adult that the stories of the 761 were revealed to him. Thanks for the great FPP!
posted by filchyboy at 3:16 PM on May 12, 2004


Wow.

Just... wow.

Fantastic post.
posted by hadashi at 3:18 PM on May 12, 2004


As a person who was seven year-old white girl living in Los Feliz, when the Lakers won the championship in '88, I can honestly say that the only two pop-culture figures I have ever totally loved without reservation are LeVar Burton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
posted by jann at 3:22 PM on May 12, 2004


I'm a record collector and I've heard about people who've had first-hand knowledge of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's jazz collection and I'm told it's quite impressive.
posted by jonp72 at 3:23 PM on May 12, 2004


religion of peace, huh?
posted by mcsweetie at 3:52 PM on May 12, 2004


"My dad says you don't work hard enough on defense, and he says that lots of times you don't even run down court. And that you don't really try, except during the playoffs."

"The hell I dont! I've been hearing that crap ever since i was at UCLA. Kid, you tell your old man to run down the court with Malone and Erving on your ass."

My Dad used to go to dances at Power Memorial high school in the early 60's and would hang out watching the basketball practices that went on beforehand and told me he remebered the gigantic black kid with the hookshot named Lew Alcindor.

To add to what Jann said, as a kid in the 1970's Kareem was right beside Reggie Jackson, and Muhammad Ali in my pantheon of athletic dieties. This post here just makes me appreciate him all the more. Thanks, chaz.
posted by jonmc at 3:54 PM on May 12, 2004


Karma is a blind wheel...

It doesn't "reward the good", it just is.

Kareem kicks ass
posted by Windopaene at 4:03 PM on May 12, 2004


While MJ is the greatest pro basketball player of all time, I would say that Kareem is the greatest player at all levels of all time.

He is the most dominating college player ever, and in the top 4 all time in the pros, making him the complete package in my mind.
posted by chaz at 4:06 PM on May 12, 2004


Windopaene: Aha, so by your understanding, there's no such thing as positive Karma, to contribute to a more fortunate next life and eventual Nirvana?

*cough*

Not that I believe it, but still, I've never heard it much different.
posted by abcde at 4:10 PM on May 12, 2004


Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics is the greatest basketball player.
posted by davebarnes at 6:50 PM on May 12, 2004


Wrong!

We all know in our hearts & in our minds that Mr. Bill Laimbeer is the greatest basketball ever...
posted by Dreamghost at 7:46 PM on May 12, 2004


Mr. Bill Laimbeer is the greatest basketball ever...

well i also heard he was a damn good basketball player too¿

worst typo ever
posted by Dreamghost at 7:48 PM on May 12, 2004


He used to attend my mosque when I was growing up in LA. It was really funny to see him stick out 2 feet above everyone else when we lined up for prayer.
posted by laz-e-boy at 12:36 AM on May 13, 2004


Thanks, Dreamghost, I hadn't noticed, but you nearly made me spill my coffee. Plus, great post.
posted by doozer_ex_machina at 2:51 AM on May 13, 2004


According to an interview I saw with him and Bob Costas (IIRC) he's been trying to get a coaching job in the NBA but had apparently pissed off too many people in the league to get one. Seems like mostly a great guy though.
posted by callmejay at 8:06 AM on May 13, 2004


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