Will Shaq’s jersey irk Kareem, too?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – How might the news desk be at Kareemabduljabbar.com today in the aftermath of Shaquille O’Neal’s retirement and the indication that the Lakers are ready to fast-track The Big Aristotle’s jersey to a place up in the rafters at the Staples Center.

According to Dave McMenamin at ESPNLosAngeles.com, the Lakers may not be inclined to wait the five years until Shaq enters the Hall of Fame to have his No. 34 join Wilt Chamberlain (No. 13), Elgin Baylor (No. 22), Gail Goodrich (No. 25), Earvin “Magic” Johnson (No. 32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (No. 33), James Worthy (No. 42) and Jerry West (No. 44).

The question then is how this will all sit with Abdul-Jabbar, who created a recent stir with his complaint that the Lakers have not honored his achievements in the purple-and-gold with a statue outside the arena.

“I don’t understand (it). It’s either an oversight or they’re taking me for granted,” Abdul-Jabbar told The Sporting News in a recent interview. “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.”

The six-time NBA MVP sounded even more offended in a statement released subsequently by his business manager.

“I am highly offended by the total lack of acknowledgement of my contribution to Laker success,” Abdul-Jabbar was quoted as saying. “I guess being the linchpin for five world championships is not considered significant enough in terms of being part of Laker history.”

As one of the first high-profile athletes to have converted to become a Muslim decades ago, what Abdul-Jabbar does not address in his desire to have a statue commissioned and erected is the apparent conflict with his religion. According to the tenets of Islam, photographic, artistic or other depiction of any living thing — including persons — is banned.

When the Rockets wanted to honor center Hakeem Olajuwon with a statue outside the Toyota Center in Houston, it took nearly five years for the Hall of Fame center, his imam, the team and an artist to agree on an abstract representation that did not violate his beliefs. So far, there has been no word from that Abdul-Jabbar on that subject.

19 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    It’s just because Shaq is getting a statue at LSU. If he gets his jersey retired too, then he’s got one up on Kareem.

    And ever since MJ got a statue with “The best there ever was. The best there ever will be”, Kareem is feeling like nobody remembers. Check out http://kareemabduljabbar.com/?p=2257. Signing off with “Affectionately, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer” sure tells me he’s feeling bitchy.

  2. BLCKmamba says:

    1. Wit Chaimberlaine
    2.Shaquille O’neal
    3. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
    4. Bill Russell
    5. Hakeem Olajuwon
    6. George Mikan.
    7. David Robinson
    8. Dwight Howard
    9. Moses Malone
    10. Bill Walton

  3. Sigh says:

    This article is ridiculous and we shouldn’t even be reading it. You should be ashamed for posting it. Just because Kareem’s upset about his well-deserved statue means that he’s going to be upset that everyone else is getting recognized but him? Give me a break. I hate when the media blows things out of proportion, but this one is just such a stupid and obvious troll attempt on the journalist scale. I’m disappointed that I even read as much as I did of this garbage

  4. dave says:

    kareem is the best player of all time. 6mvp’s>5, kareem>mj….also, i would put wilt ahead of mj

  5. Bill says:

    Now if Kareem wants a statue than they should give him one. I think he should decide for himself whether a statue would violate his religious convictions or not. There’s a statue of Sultan Saladin in Damascus… And Saladin was a muslim and people in Damascus are muslims. Just saying a statue would violate his convictions without asking his opinion doesn’t sound right to me.

    I mean he carried them to five championships. Not errecting that statue would be outrageous.

    • mo says:

      i dom’t think he really eants a statue-i think he iis just frusttated that they did not even ask him if he wanted a statu,e this would have achnowledged him.

  6. vintagefanatic says:

    My top 10 Center of all time
    1. Bill Russel
    2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar
    3. Wit Chaimberlaine – Philadelphia sixers, Los angeles Lakers
    4. Shaquil O’neal- Orlando Magic, Los angeles lakers, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavs, Phoenix Suns, Boston Cletics
    5. George Mikan- Minneapolis lakers
    6. Tim Duncun- San Antonio spurs
    7. Hakeem Olajuwon- Houston Rockets
    8. Bill Walton- Portland Trailblazers, boston celtics
    9. Robert Parish- Boston Celtics
    10.David Robinson – San Antonio Spurs

    Honorable: Patrick Ewing- Knicks, Sonics
    Dikembee Motumbo-Hawks, Sixers, Nuggets, Rockets
    Yao ming – Rockets
    Ralph Sampson- Rockets
    Alonzo mourning- Hornets, heat
    Vlade Divac – Lakers, Kings

    • Zar The Knicks Fan says:

      yao and divac over dwight howard ? and no Moses Malone?? i am a knicks fan so i would put Willis Reed in the list.

      • Shattuck86 says:

        I am not a Knicks fan but agree. Howard, Malone & Reed should be in there somewhere.

    • wadefan says:

      duncan is widely regarded as the best power forward to ever play the position.. just leave him at the PF.. keep him off center lists..

    • Slimmy says:

      Robert Parish and Bill Walton over David Robinson?

  7. Ventruck says:

    With all due respect, Kareem’s concerns are a bit of a mess as they conflict. I don’t think we should really dwell into that in spite of Shaq’s farewell from the league as player. That’s like comparing and downsizing a player against Jordan when he earns a ring (you know what I’m talking about). Real party pooper.

    I don’t think the writing of the blog is unprofessional, but I’d think it’s better if Shaq’s – or any admirable player for that matter – retirement doesn’t come along with such scrutiny.

    As far as retiring a jersey goes,I think Shaq deserves it. But if it were me, I wouldn’t make it so immediate as other players had to wait for their time to enter the hall of fame. If anything, I’d retire Shaq and Kobe’s numbers at the same time to keep them recognized as a duo and not a comparison. It would be a good way to recognize teamwork within the sport, being one of the best 1-2 forces the league as seen.

    • kb24fan says:

      man i totally agree with retiring shaqs at the same time with kobe…or even just after kobe retires would be better…you dont really like the idea of retiring shaqs whilst kobe is still playing..

  8. milkthebull says:

    Good article! He will be missed.

    Did anyone see the story on the Laker’s pick-up game?

    http://milkthebull.com/2011/05/09/lakers-self-destruct-in-pick-up-game/

  9. NBAfan says:

    Being a Muslim, I think that Kareem was just disappointed when he said this. I think he was just venting his frustration out, and in no way meant to conflict with Islam. And although you are supposed to be humble in Islam, I can understand his frustration. I mean, if I won 6 MVP’s and was the NBA’s leading all-time scorer and one of the greatest centers to ever live, then I would be offended also if I wasn’t recognized in a way that would help show my accomplishments to younger generations. I mean, Michael Jordan can show his great-grand children his statue outside of the United Center and say, “They really appreciated me.” However, when all you have is a jersey retired for one of the greatest players of all time, that is very disrespectful. Hopefully Kareem will get over his frustration and have a meaningful talk with the Lakers organization, and maybe even get Magic to help convince them.

  10. NH_Hondo says:

    He is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history!!!

  11. behindthescene says:

    They should retire his jersey and honor him, shaq gave the lakers three of its many Championship, shaq is also one of the players who showed the world what lakers can do in the season and in the Finals… Shaq is one of the best players in the NBA http://sportales.com/basketball/top-five-nba-players-in-all-time/ and one of the most defensive presence in the league for all time ( see this ) http://sportales.com/sports/top-10-nba-defensive-players-of-all-time/ and the best center that the lakers have in the past 15 years http://sportales.com/basketball/top-ten-greatest-nba-centers-of-all-time/.. and that makes him one of the greatest player that ever wore the lakers Uniform.. By shaq ..