Kareem’s Staples Statue Long Overdue!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — We don’t need a specific date or even a time and place we need to be when it happens, just the news that the Los Angeles Lakers plan to unveil a statue for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at some point during the 2012-13 season (per The Los Angeles Times)  is enough for us here at the hideout.

This notion that Abdul-Jabbar is being thrown a bone by the Lakers to pacify him or to quiet him, after years of public rancor between the two sides and other outside observers, is for someone else to argue.

We’re focused solely on the fact that he remains the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and should be prominently featured in any historical basketball text as the greatest big man and arguably the greatest player of all time.

We have no problem with the Lakers honoring others ahead of Abdul-Jabbar. Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn and Jerry West deserve whatever praise and hardware comes their way in Los Angeles. Whatever they do for Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal will be well-deserved as well. But if they want to make sure Star Plaza at Staples Center is legitimate, Abdul-Jabbar must be a part of the montage.

We are talking about a man who played 14 of his 20 NBA seasons with the Lakers before retiring in 1989. He also spent four years in Los Angeles before entering the NBA, leading UCLA to three straight NCAA titles (the school could have beaten the Lakers to the punch and come up with some way of honoring their greatest hoops legend by now, but that’s a conversation for another time).

As The Times story points out, things haven’t always been smooth between Abdul-Jabbar and the Lakers in recent years:

Abdul-Jabbar publicly criticized the Lakers last year, saying the failure to erect a statue of him sooner was a show of disrespect. His contract as a special assistant coach ran out in 2011 and he voiced various complaints: He had been asked to take a pay cut, the Lakers had not awarded him playoff shares as a coach, and he cited his reduced role as a coach for Andrew Bynum from 2005 to 2009.

The Lakers have attributed Abdul-Jabbar’s reduced pay and role to Bynum’s belief that he didn’t need as much personal instruction. Team officials also noted that they give autonomy to head coaches in hiring their assistants, and that players allocate playoff shares at their discretion.

…  AEG, which owns Staples Center, plays a larger role in determining who is honored with a statue at the venue; other athletes with statues include boxer Oscar De La Hoya and former Kings great Wayne Gretzky.

In an interview with The Times two years ago, Lakers Executive Vice President Jeanie Buss indicated that honoring Abdul-Jabbar next with a statue would be a “natural fit.”

Said Buss: “Certainly Kareem stands among some of the greatest of all time.”

He certainly does.

And soon enough, his statue will do the same.

It’s a long overdue honor for a player some would argue is truly the greatest of all-time!


  1. Midtown says:

    I had to laugh a little inside when I read this. I loved Kareem Abdul Jabbar as a player and still do but when I read his displeasure with the fact that “Jerry West got a statue before him.” In my mind I pictured him saying that with a big toddler pouty face and stamping his foot in diapered defiance. Kareem is also quoted saying

    “When you look at what the organization did for Magic Johnson and me, big disparity!”

    First thought that came to my mind reading that… “Gee it’s too bad Magic Johnson wasn’t white then he could have said it was racial discrimination.” So be happy Kareem , now your enormous ego will be satiated and cast in stone so that you can be revered like a god. I mean after all, what person of humility would care about having a statue/monument erected of them?

  2. JerBear says:

    I agree with Confused. Hakeem is my 2nd favourite player of all time, and knowing how much he cared about his faith, and that he meant more to his franchise than Kareem, it makes me happy to see someone so famous to be so humble. If Kareem wants to complain about not having a statue, then by all things good and holy, he might as well denounce his faith. For any one who comes after this post saying Kareem was the better player, I already know that, but seeing as how Hakeem has brought the Rockets their only championships, and Kareem only added on to the Lakers dynasty, Hakeem meant more to the franchise. Also, he happened to do his work for the team that drafted him, whereas Kareem ditched his team.

  3. Mathew says:

    Wilt is the “G.O.A.T” btw.

  4. Lakers4Life says:

    I dunno about GOAT. How about 2nd:
    1) Magic: Plays all positions at an all star level. Greatest PG of all time hands down
    2)KAJ: Read the damn article
    3)MJ: Had to put him somewhere in top 3
    4)Wilt: 100 pts in a game
    5)Bird: The only one that could be called Magic’s rival

    others: Kobe, Olajuwan, Russell, West, Big O etc.

  5. Dr.Rasheed Syed says:

    About time.
    Is that a good or bad you decide. Who benefits from this? I think the youth does.
    NBA sets trends and sports culture. I see no problem as long as the Lakers Organization and Staple Center authorities agree to it.

    Kareem Abdul Jabbar will be remembered and talked about in Laker Nation for years to come aside from NBA fans across globe with or without statue.

    High respect for him. Thank you Kareem for everything.
    NBA fan, and obviously diehard Lakers fan forever in both bad and good times

  6. Dr.Rasheed Syed says:

    About time.
    Is that a good or bad you decide. Who benefits from this? I think the youth does.
    NBA sets trends and sports culture. I see no problem as long as the Lakers Organization and Staple Center authorities agree to it.

    Kareem Abdul Jabbar will be remembered and talked about in Laker Nation for years to come aside from NBA fans across globe with or without statue.

    High respect for him. Thank you Kareem for everything.
    NBA fan, and obviously diehard Lakers fan forever in both bad and good times 🙂

  7. Joseph_03 says:

    We all know its long overdue and he deserves it, but putting up statues for every great that plays for your team is kinda over the top in my books. I understand why the bulls placed the jumpman statue in front of their arena. He’s the single most important player that the Bulls will ever have and the game as well,and the statue was one we will all recognize even from afar.

    But if every other team tries to put up a statue of their respective greats then its not going to be special anymore and if a great whines about not getting one then it sort of loses its meaning. I don’t know it’s is just sort of unbecoming of Kareem to ask for a statue and call it disrespect if his wishes were not granted.

  8. Laker Nation says:

    Welcome to the Lakers Dwight!

    Pg: Steve Nash

    Sg: Kobe Bryant

    Sf: Metta World Peace

    Pf: Pau Gasol

    C: Dwight Howard

    Bench: Steve Blake, Jordan Hill, Antawn Jamison, Chris Duhon, and Jodie Meeks

    2012-2013 NBA CHAMPIONS #BeatTheHEAT

  9. celtic533 says:


  10. LakerfanfromDenmark says:

    Finally it was about time they made a statue of Kareem
    Kareem you deserve it

  11. John Ashton says:

    Long overdue, so glad its going to happen this up coming season. Now maybe we could get those ungrateful idiots in ‘bean town’ to do the same for the great Bill Russell. I had the honor to walk through the hallways at the University of San Francisco when my son attended there and to view the plaques of Russell and some of his achievements, wow! what a great man, pretty good basketball player and coach too.

  12. digitioli says:

    Kareem dominated all of the modern centers including Wilt, Malone, Unseld, Willis Reed, Bob Lanier, Parish, McHale, Cowens, Hakeem, you name it. All-time scoring leader with a shot that no one ever saw before (or since), 6 time MVP, NBA champ, model citizen, role model. Give me a break. One of the greatest of all time. And at the end of the game when it was on the line, show time went to the capt. for the sky hook. Everyone knew it was coming and there was absolutely nothing anyone could do about it except pray he’d miss.

  13. confused says:

    I don’t get how Kareem is moaning about this. Devout Muslims typically denounce any type of statue as a sign of idolatry. When the Toyota Center went up in Houston, Olajuwon literally HAD to refuse a statue because of his beliefs. I’m kind of disappointed in Jabbar to be honest because he seems (emphasis on seems) to be putting his own desires in front of his faith. He definitely deserves the statue based on skills and accomplishments, but the manner in which it came about is pretty disappointing. Or maybe the statue should be named Lew Alcindor!

    • SM1THnW3SSON says:

      Ya its not so much just that, if you read the article it talks about other things. The coach pay cut things like that. But honestly i would have probably put up the same stink if i did so much for the city of L.A like this man has. And if you say it took 20 years to acknowledge his greatness then that is DISRESPECT!!

  14. brad says:

    failure to buiod a statue is a sign of disrespect? grow up

  15. HEATFAN says:

    kareem is an attention craver!!!! he has been crying for a statue for years lol!!!! The baby finally got its candy…

    • MH says:

      You are an idiot. This guy was the best thing that happen to the Lakers in the 80’s

    • Fly-Guy says:

      This is @ HEATFAN…..I usually just read and laugh at some of the satemements written. BUT THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IGNORANT STATEMENTS I HAVE EVER SEEN…..So maybe I should enlighten you on who KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR is…..For one, he’s not only the greatest Big Man of all time. I’m not one to just hand over the tiltle to Jordan so easily as the Greates Player of all time. Thats right! He’s the one player who you can make an argument for. Thus goes the lesson. His name at birth was Lew Alcindor. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE ALCINDOR RULE???? He was sooooo dominant in college ( UCLA only lost 2 games in 4yrs) that because of him….U COULDNT DUNK IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL FOR 10 YRS (1967-1976) Because of his dominence his freshmen year. So what did he do???? He perfected the only INDEFENSIBLE SHOT in NBA history. THE SKY HOOK…..He played for 20 seasons. In his 20th season (at age 42) He was still competetivet, against the likes of Hakeem Olojuwan, Patrick Ewing, Moses malone etc…..So check yourself before you bad mouth a legend. Mr heat Fan. this is a bonofide Laker Fan. 65 yrs of excellence, not a couple flash in the pan championships. And watch the hall of fame ceremony (Jamal Wilkes) another jersey is about to be retired at the Staple center. ONLY HALL OF FAMERS CAN HANG FROM OUR RAPTORS!!!

      • mike says:

        raptors? lol fail

      • Realist Laker's Fan says:

        Raptors?!!? I didnt know LA had Raptors!! I should have gone lookin for these raptors when I was in LA. How did a city like LA keep Raptors from the rest of the world lol. I think most ppl know what you meant to say, but couldnt help pulling your leg.

      • Da_Beaver says:

        Yah! Go Raptors!

      • scott the magician says:

        Well said…..when people werent around for the era in which guys played they always think their era of players is better. I always hear the prays of dwight, blake etc at the YMCA with teenagers. they obviously didnt see the likes of the BIG diesel, karl malone, duncan in his prime, KG in his.
        The game doesnt change and players from today would only be as good back then as they are today. the guys who dominated like they did back when would be just as dominant in todays game.
        Dont disrespect legends, especially the L’s ALL TIME LEADING SCORER!!
        common man!!

  16. LordP says:

    What about Bill Russell???

  17. Kobe Fan says:

    He deserves it. Leading scorer of NBA history, 6 time nba mvp 6 time nba champion and Lebron is the greatest of all time? long way to go.