Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Rumors

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NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the league’s 68-year-old leading scorer, has survived leukemia, a house fire that destroyed his jazz record collection, and appearances on the television show “Diff’rent Strokes.” And, despite enduring quadruple-bypass surgery earlier this month and a post-op scare earlier today, he is still alive and well. After a brief visit to the hospital this morning, Abdul-Jabbar was sent home. “He contacted his physicians who told him to come to the emergency department at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center,” read a statement posted by the hospital on its Facebook page. “He was evaluated by his surgeon and cardiologist. After a battery of tests, they found no complications.”
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Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was recovering Friday after undergoing quadruple coronary bypass surgery. He had the surgery a day earlier at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to a hospital statement. Dr. Richard Shemin, who performed the surgery, said the 68-year-old former NBA and UCLA star is expected to make a full recovery. He was admitted to the hospital this week with cardiovascular disease.
Four-time NBA All-Star Bob Dandridge’s No. 10 jersey was retired Saturday night by the Milwaukee Bucks. Honoring a key player from their 1971 NBA championship team, the Bucks held the retirement ceremony at halftime of their game against Washington — the other franchise Dandridge played for and helped win a title in his 13-year career. Known as the “The Greyhound,” Dandridge averaged 18.4 points on the 1971 Bucks squad led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson that beat Baltimore for the title.
“My shyness and introversion from those days still haunt me,” he wrote. “Fans felt offended, reporters insulted. . . . If I could, I’d tell that nerdy Kareem to suck it up, put down that book you’re using as a shield and, in the immortal words of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard (to prove my nerd cred), ‘Engage!’ ” If only it were that simple. “Sometimes there’s that sense that he’s unapproachable,” says NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “But having been around the world with Kareem, it’s clear he’s incredibly shy and that his shyness gets mistaken for aloofness.”
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Why does he write? That’s easy. “You get to be a storyteller,” he says. “And you get to share information in a way that can sometimes change people’s minds and at least make people open up and expand what they know to be true. I think that’s pretty neat.” He now has almost 1.7 million followers on Twitter. He also has a following among the big names who knew him in his previous incarnation. “This is not somebody writing a little column,” says Jerry West, the Hall of Famer who served as Lakers coach and general manager. “His language is unparalleled. It doesn’t surprise me. There is no athlete I’ve ever met brighter than Kareem.”
After years of grumbling that he couldn’t get a head coaching gig, Abdul-Jabbar has emerged as much more than an ex-jock diagramming an inbounds pass on a clipboard. He has become a vital, dynamic and unorthodox cultural voice. “Kareem has something to say, has found a way to say it, and it’s not what you would expect him to say,” says Mike Nizza, the former editor of Esquire Digital who worked with Abdul-Jabbar before he moved his regular columns to Time. “He’s a new kind of public intellectual.”
A day with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is nothing like you would expect. Forget that he’s one of the greatest athletes of all time, a player so dominant that the NCAA banned the dunk for nine years. It’s his mind that moves faster than a Showtime-era fast break. Abdul-Jabbar is not a name dropper; he’s a fact dropper. References dart across history, pop culture and the special life he’s lived. Mention Boston and he doesn’t reminisce about the Lakers’ epic victory in the 1984-85 finals. He talks of his admiration for the city’s late detective novel master, Robert B. Parker, author of the Spenser series. Ask him about Morales, his unorthodox choice for a manager — she’s white, Jewish and had no idea who he was when they met — and he’ll invoke the name of Gertrude Berg. Gertrude who? You know, the writer and actress who earned an Emmy as the matriarch of the pioneering 1950s sitcom “The Goldbergs.” Abdul-Jabbar watches lots of TV, loves “True Detective,” “The Wire,” and “Breaking Bad,” and is a lifelong jazz lover who won’t hesitate to hand over his headphones when he thinks you just need to hear Cuban pianist Ernán López Nussa on his iPod.
Even though James didn’t win his third MVP award, he crept closer to passing Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant as the All-Star Game’s all-time leading scorer. He passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan on Sunday and now has 278 career All-Star points, two behind Bryant. “Any time you’re in the conversation with a great is very humbling,” James said. “It’s an honor. I’ve just got to keep getting better and better hopefully, and keep understanding how I got here and why I’m here.”
“I was 17 years old, being cheered on the basketball court but being called a `nigger’ by those same people on the street,” he says. That summer riots erupted in Harlem. “I stepped off the subway right into the middle of it. It was chaos, wild, insane, and I just stood there trembling. Cops were swinging nightsticks at everybody, bullets were flying, windows were being smashed, people were stealing and looting. All I could think of was that I wanted to stay alive, so I took off running and I didn’t stop till I was at 137th and Broadway, several blocks away. And then I sat huffing and puffing and pondering about what I’d seen, and I knew what it was: rage, black rage. The poor people of Harlem felt that it was better to get hit with a nightstick than to keep on taking the white man’s insults forever. Right then and there I knew who I was and who I had to be. I was going to be black rage personified, black power in the flesh.”
Abdul-Jabbar insists that basketball was really what his life had been about all along. He loves it and expects to play, he says, “as long as I keep my mental and physical health.” But in December of 1977 he was nearly ready to quit. Just a month after his hand had healed sufficiently for him to return to action, he witnessed yet another violent act when teammate Kermit Washington crushed the face of Houston’s Rudy Tomjanovich with a punch. “He was miserable,” says Cheryl. “I sent him air-express letters saying, ‘Kareem, your career is not a jail sentence.’ He felt so sorry for himself it was disgusting.”
But with a stated intention of not playing beyond next season, reaching Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 is almost unimaginable for No. 24. In fact, Scott doesn’t see anyone catching Abdul-Jabbar. “I think that’s gonna stand for a while,” Scott said. “I don’t think in our lifetime we’re going to see it being broken. … It’s going to be hard for somebody to break that. They’re going to have to play 20-something years I think to get that one.” Karl Malone is second on the career scoring list with 36,928.