LeBron James took some heat from Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for his stance on social issues.
Abdul-Jabbar, one of the icons of the game, has been vocal on social issues for several decades. The former Laker is regarded as a voice for people of color in the United States.
On Sunday he attended the Lakers-Nuggets game to present Carmelo Anthony with the inaugural Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Award. Anthony was selected from a group of finalists for his dedication to pursuing social justice.
Some of the things he’s done and said are really beneath him, as far as I can see..Some of the things he’s done he should be embarrassed by.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on LeBron James
However when asked about Anthony’s teammate LeBron James, Abdul-Jabbar was quick to criticize the four-time MVP.
“Some of the things he’s done and said are really beneath him, as far as I can see. Some of the great things that he’s done, he’s standing on both sides of the fence almost, you know? It makes it hard for me to accept that when he’s committed himself to a different take on everything. It’s hard to figure out where he’s standing. You’ve got to check him out every time.”
This isn’t the first time that Abdul-Jabbar voiced disappointment at James’ actions. Earlier in the season James celebrated a clutch three-pointer by performing the classic Sam Cassell “Big Balls” celebration.
Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t impressed, writing on Substack, “Last week LeBron was fined $15,000 for doing a ‘Big Balls’ dance after the Lakers win. For me, winning is enough. Why do you need to do a stupid, childish dance and disrespect the other team on the court. It doesn’t make sense. Goats don’t dance.”
Later that month James shared a Spider-Man meme about Covid. Abdul-Jabbar quickly voiced his disappointment, “The meme’s implication is that Lakers star doesn’t understand the difference among these three illnesses, even after all the information that’s been presented in the press.”
“While LeBron is a necessary and dynamic voice critical of police brutality against the Black community, he needs to be the same necessary and dynamic advocate with vaccines, which could save thousands of Black lives right now. The racism is just as real—and just as lethal—in both cases.”
Despite the criticism, Abdul-Jabbar still acknowledged LeBron for surpassing his NBA scoring record. He told ESPN’s Malika Andrews that he wasn’t jealous about it and that “it’s a pretty neat thing.”
Given all the coverage over the matter, Abdul-Jabbar has since clarified his comments from the recent Lakers-Nuggets game.
“Today a reporter asked me a question about Lebron James and I regret my off-handed response which has been blown out of proportion. For years I’ve expressed my deep admiration and respect for LeBron as a community leader and athlete. That hasn’t changed and never will.”
LeBron James remains one of the most influential players in the game. Whatever James’ actions, it’s clear that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will continue to have high expectations of him.
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How tall is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 7-foot-1-inch (2.18 meters) tall.
Is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar still alive?
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is still alive. He played 20 season in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers winning 6 championships and 6 MVP awards.