Kareem Abdul-Jabbar honored, gets his own bronze statue – PHOTOS

Last friday, NBA legend, former LA Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was honored by having his own 16-foot statue unveiled at the LA Staples Center.

The ceremony marked the unveiling of the statue, which is essentially a 16-foot bronzed Kareem doing his famous skyhook shot, wearing his trademark goggles.

Many of the greats were there in attendance, including Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Pat Riley, Julius Irving, Bill Walton, James Worthy, Kurt Rambis, AC Green, Bill Sharman, and Jamaal Wilkes, the Associated Press reported.

The 1,500-pound, nearly 16-foot bronze statue was created by sculptors and artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany, who also created the statues of Johnson, West and the late Lakers announcer Chick Hearn which are in Staples Center’s Star Plaza.

“I just think it is very accurate,” said Abdul-Jabbar, on the statue. “It shows me in mid-career and doing what I did best.”

“This is really special to me because this is about home, L.A. is my home,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “The L.A. fans are my friends and my supporters. So, to have this happen here and in this way means a lot.”

Abdul-Jabbar was born Lew Alcindor and he played his college ball at UCLA where he won three titles with Coach John Wooden. He was drafted as the #1 pick in the 1969 NBA draft by the Bucks and was later traded to the Lakers in 1975.

Abdul-Jabbar played with the Lakers through 1989, was selected as MVP three more times and helped the team win five championships. His 38,387 points are the most in league history. He is third in rebounds and third in blocked shots, a statistic not kept his first four seasons in the league.

Since retiring as a player in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar has been an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers and Seattle SuperSonics, a special assistant coach with the Lakers, and has authored seven best-selling books intended to popularize the contributions of blacks to American culture and history.

Abdul-Jabbar was named a cultural ambassador for the United States in January. He is the founder of the Skyhook Foundation, named for his signature shot, which seeks to raise the academic aspirations of students by connecting them with mentors and seeking to excite them about careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In his illustrious NBA career, which spanned two decades, Abdul-Jabbar played in 1560 NBA games, averaging 24.6 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 2.7 bpg in 36.8 minutes of playing time.


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