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Kareem's life gets a spotlight on ESPN.com

Eticket


Today is cool day for me. ESPN.com is launching my audio/visual show as a part of my audio book On the Shoulders of Giants. It shows you some insights to my life when I was a young boy growing up who loved baseball and had no serious interest in basketball. As a boy I was interested in competing in many sports -- sandlot football, baseball, basketball, swimming and track and field. But baseball was my real love. The field started to narrow down as my body started to develop and I had the prominent physical attributes to become a very good basketball player.

My dad played a hand in this also, telling me that I would get hurt playing football in ways that would preclude me from playing any other sport. Thanks, Dad!

While I was coaching for the Knicks in 2004, I took a quick peek at the Inwood Little League playing fields, and the league is still up and running. It brought back many fond memories of my baseball days, so  I hope that you all enjoy the ESPN E-Ticket excerpt of my new audio book, which reflects this era.

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Comments

Hey Cap,

Thought you might like to know that there's a Q&A with Walt Clyde Frazier over at Slamonline.com. The interviewer asks Clyde who the greatest basketball player of all-time was. Here was Clyde's answer:

"If I had to choose one guy? I would say Kareem. He won at every level. He dominated in this game. He has 6 rings. He has the scoring title without even trying. If he had Wilt’s mindset, he would have had 50K points. He was very team oriented in what he did. "

Can't argue with that.

I enjoyed the video of On the Shoulders of Giants. I grew up across the street from him and went to the same grammar school as Kareem or BIG LEW as we usually referred to him. I have often relayed a storey to my son how one day playing baseball in the Inwood Little league I was at bat with several runners on base in a close game when I smashed a liner down the third base line. It was going to be at least a double until BIG LEW jumped high and snarled it into his glove for the third out of the inning. No other player in the league could have reached that ball!. Kareem and I played on several basketball teams and baseball teams in those days. I could relate many events that we experienced together. I knew he would be special back then and he can be proud of his achievements. I have fond memories of those days and our friendship.
Gordy Burnet

Kareem: I enjoyed the feature on your new book on ESPN.com. I have looked up to you since I was a 10-year old in 1980. After I read Giant Steps, my admiration for you increased even more. That book opened up a lot of perspectives for me, including the world of jazz.

I am so glad to see you still sharing your wisdom with us.

There is so much I could write about your influence on my life, but I'll stop for now.

Take care.

Kareem,
The audio book sounds great! I'm going to check it out for sure! You and Magic are the reason I became an NBA and Lakers fan. I remember watching you play in the early 80's in St. Louis against the old Kansas City Kings. What great memories! Good luck to you in all your future endeavors. Take care Captain!

Jon E.

This blog is such a wonderful idea. Now if you can hook up the same thing in New York, your hometown friends and fans would be much better informed.

The excerpt on ESPN.com is great. The story is fascinating, and the narration is really well done. I think I may have to buy the whole audiobook. I really enjoy this blog, keep up the good work.

PS- How's Bynum doing? Haha, I don't actually expect you to answer that.

Kareem,

I can't tell you how wonderful and timely it was to see the introduction to your audio book on ESPN.com.

My grandfather, John Dobbins senior, was your little league coach and is shown in the Inwood Little League picture you posted. My father, John Dobbins jr, was on your team as well. My grandfather used to love sharing stories of the old neighborhood and he spoke of you and your parents fondly.

Unfortunately, my father is suffering from stage IV stomach cancer and it was just 3 weeks ago we were looking at old pictures. One of them was the same (or very similar to) the photo you shared! We were discussing how amazing it was that you, at age 9 or so, were almost the same height as my grandfather's 6'2". My dad will be so happy to hear that your memories of Inwood are as warm as his memories are.

I'm really looking forward to the audio book. Best of luck with it!

Sincerely,

John Dobbins III

Okay, that's got to be the CUTEST PICTURE EVER of you!!! I know you said in the ESPN/On The Shoulders of Giants clip that you didn't notice the girls at your junior high, but with a smile like that, as well as smarts and manners I'm quite certain that you had a number of tween/teen girls more than willing to administer a little first-aid to you post-scuffle :)

Of course, the clip itself was wonderful - the audio book is officially on my "to buy" list!

Also, on the OSG site's heroes/links page, you highlight Wild Bill Hickcock and Bass Reeves - can you recommend a good book on either?

Many, many thanks for all you are and do.

That ESPN.com audiovisual show was very entertaining. Great anecdotes and fascinating photos! "I was never invisible again!" When you were making that move around Phil Jackson in that photo we saw, would you have ever imagined that he would one day be your boss?

Love the photos of you with a wide grin, like with you and Wooden, and photos of you growing up.

Will check that out later. I did read two of your autobiographies last year. I like the personal stuff more than the play by play game stats. Thank you for sharing.

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Captain Kareem

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered by many fans and sportswriters to be the greatest basketball player of all time. The 7-foot-2 Hall of Fame center, famous for his indefensible skyhook, dominated the NBA for 20 years, first with the Milwaukee Bucks then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before that he was the star of the UCLA Bruins teams that won three consecutive NCAA championships. Kareem was the NBA's MVP six times, a 19-time all-star and set the NBA all-time records in nine categories. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points, a record that may never be broken.

Since retiring as a player in 1989, Kareem has balanced his love of basketball with his love of history. In 2002 he led a USBL team, the Oklahoma Storm, to a championship. Since 2005, he has been the special assistant coach for the Lakers, working with Andrew Bynum.

In 2008 he was chosen The Greatest Player in College Basketball History.

Kareem also remains intellectually active, authoring six bestselling history books intended to popularize the contributions of African-Americans to American culture and history. His books include "Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement"; "Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes"; "A Season on the Reservation," which chronicles his time teaching basketball and history on an Apache Indian reservation in White River, Ariz.; and the current New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance."

His audio adaptation, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Audio & Musical Journey through the Harlem Renaissance," is a four-volume compilation read by Bob Costas, Avery Brooks, Jesse L. Martin, and Stanley Crouch, and features private and fascinating conversations with dozens of icons, including Coach John Wooden, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones and Billy Crystal. He has also been written to L.A. Times, under the Sports section.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been appearing on various radio stations and TV shows, as well as the most relevant websites talking about his life and his new audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants.

All images are property of www.iconomy.com unless otherwise stated. All info copyrighted and owned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not replicated without permission.

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Mr. Abdul-Jabbar is the 2008 Honorary Chair Library Card Sign-up Month, which takes place in September. He will also appear at the American Library’s National Convention on June 28th and 29th at the Long Beach Convention Center to sign his poster.

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ESPN names Kareem The Greatest Player In College Basketball History

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