Statue of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Adbul Jabbar poses with his statue
Kareem and teammate, Magic Johnson led the LA Lakers to become one of the most dominant NBA franchises of all time.
This statue of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar can be found near the main entrance of the Staples Center alongside other Lakers greats.
Backstory and Context
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Lew Alcindor, Jr) was born in New York in 1947. Alcindor set records in college and was known for his support of the issues of the civil rights movement of the mid and late 1960s. This statue of Abdul-Jabbar was part of a ceremony that honored the legendary center on Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. With hundreds of fans looking on, the Lakers organization unveiled a statue of Kareem performing his famous “majestic skyhook” as former coach Pat Riley once called it.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was traded to the L.A. Lakers from the Milwaukee Bucks in 1975. The star center played fourteen more seasons before his retirement in 1989. When Kareem retired, he owned records for all-time points scored, games played, minutes played, shots made, shots attempted, blocked shots, defensive rebounds, career wins and personal fouls. Although Abdul-Jabbar retired in 1989, he still owns the record for career points scored during an NBA career with 38,387.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was part of six NBA Championship teams, a two-time NBA Finals MVP, six regular season MVP awards, a 19 time NBA All-Star and many more. His #33 jersey was retired by his college team, UCLA as well as the two teams he played on professionally.
During the 1980’s, the Los Angeles Lakers ran an up-tempo style offense dubbed by coach Pat Riley as the “Showtime Lakers.” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson were key contributors on that team and created an unstoppable amount of offense and defense. Kareem’s famous skyhook shot helped his teams beat many opponents over the years and was the ultimate motivator for his statue to have the skyhook pose. Other Lakers honored by the Lakers organization are Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Shaquille O’Neal.
Adande, J.A. "Recognizing a truly statuesque figure." ESPN. November 17, 2012. Accessed June 25, 2017. http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/8645081/los-angeles-lakers-great-kareem-abdul-jabbar-gets-statue
Knoblauch, Austin. "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar All Things Lakers." Los Angeles Times. Accessed June 25, 2017. http://projects.latimes.com/lakers/player/kareem-abdul-jabbar/.
Rhoden, William C. "Locker Room Talk: Abdul-Jabbar is the best basketball player ever - period." The Undefeated. June 14, 2017. Accessed June 25, 2017.