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Exclusive interview with Donald Trump on the eve of 'The Celebrity Apprentice' finale

Kareemtrump_2
(Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Donald Trump and Deborah Morales)

My interest in "Celebrity Apprentice" is more than just the fun of seeing these dignified celebrities battle it out with such intensity.  I’m also interested in how these icons that have achieved so much professional success and are willing to put themselves on the line in order to benefit their personal charities. 

My own dedication in this area has led me to become involved with Iconomy, a company that represents celebrity icons in their quest to achieve more than momentary success.  In fact, I was drawn to Iconomy's promise to help icons go from “Success to Significance.” Iconomy represents celebrity, sports, and business icons in broadening the appeal of their name to other business and charitable opportunities by creating customized products, platforms and distribution channels. “Kareem had achieved everything he wanted as a basketball player," said Iconomy founder Deborah Morales.  “Now we’re helping him achieve everything he wants to as an educator, author, businessman, and humanitarian.  Whatever he wants to accomplish in business and with charities, we make it happen.”

Ms. Morales helped me create "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey through the Harlem Renaissance" so that I could help educate people on black history.  So as you can tell I have a significant interest in hearing about how other celebrities raise money for their charities. Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Donald Trump about his show "Celebrity Apprentice" (whose finale airs tonight on NBC). You can read our short Q&A after the jump.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Earlier this month on "Celebrity Apprentice," America’s Sweetheart, Omarosa, led her team to the wrong end of what you called “the biggest beating in the history of the show.” Because she’s such a love-to-hate personality, does the defeat lessen the tension, or have viewers already moved on?

Donald Trump: The defeat made it clear that Omarosa needs to work on her focus—it’s not all about Omarosa. There’s plenty of tension left, however, as no one is irreplaceable and with Piers and Trace we’ve got some major talent.

KAJ: Turned out "Celebrity Apprentice" was such a good idea that next year there will be a second season of Celebrity Apprentice. Does this mean that, despite the loss we just discussed, there’s a chance that Omarosa might make it into another season of your show?

Trump: We have some big names who are interested in being on the show. We’ll announce them soon.

KAJ: Can you name some of your favorite contestants and tell us what it was about them that particularly affected you?

Trump: Carol Alt turned out to be a very strong competitor, which didn’t really surprise me. I know a lot of very beautiful women who are also extremely smart. Marilu Henner added a team dynamic that was well placed. Tito and Lennox are champions for good reason, and Gene Simmons carries his notoriety well.

KAJ: Who surprised you the most during this latest competition?

Trump: At first I thought Steve Baldwin was a flake, but he turned out to be a relatively solid person.

KAJ: How is it to have your daughter and son in your show with you, and how do you evaluate their participation? Did they have fun doing it?

Trump: It’s terrific to have them with me. They’re bright, observant and articulate. I think they’ve enjoyed doing the show, and if they haven’t, they’ve done a great job anyway.

KAJ: You are one of the most open personalities out there. You often call into the "Howard Stern Show." What was the most embarrassing or uncomfortable question that Howard has ever asked you?

Trump: That’s far too embarrassing to answer.

KAJ: In October of last year on Larry King, you predicted that Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton would win their parties' nominations, and that you would support either of them. Would you have any problem supporting Barack Obama? What about John McCain?

Trump: They are all good candidates.

KAJ: Los Angeles, and much of the country, is in the midst of a real estate crisis. People are choosing to walk away from their homes because they cost more than they’re worth. What is your take on this crisis, and what advice would you have for homeowners who find themselves having to make tough choices right now?

Trump: Real estate has ups and downs and runs in cycles. That’s the norm, not an aberration. Not panicking is a good choice for everyone at this time. History has proven that things level out.

Top photo of Kareem, Donald Trump, and Deborah Morales via Iconomy; photo of Daniel Baldwin, Omarosa, and Trace Adkins courtesy NBC

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Comments

Cap,

Please tell me you are doing the celebrity apprentice. I'm sure you would represent the lakers with class and excellence.

Hello,

I loved this interview, I haven't really been a big fan of Mr. Trump but the way you did this interview Kareem was great. I enjoyed it and could see a more relaxed side of Trump. Great questions and job!

Have a great weekend!!!

Thanks for the interview, KAJ. I'm a Trump devotee. And in case he's reading this blog, I have a few comments:

1. You shoulda had Carol Alt go up against Piers Morgan. The big, soft cowboy was no match.

2. Don't bring back Omarosa. She's a bore.

3. Get KAJ on the show!

please let me know if Trace Adkins recieved and money for his charity from the last auction fund raiser? I thank you for the interview and photos they were great. ronnie and louise starrantino

Kareem, please let Trump know that we can't take Omarosa anymore!!!!
Enough of Piers! PLE-EEEEEAASE
And keep coming with funny celebrities, like Steve Baldwin, hehehe

And give us more tips about real estate also, I think Trump should have his own blog! :P

Thank you Kareem

It sounds like you and Ms. Morales have some very good ideas, perhaps Mr. Trump should consider a couples season of the celebrity apprentice! I think you two would take it all :) Good Luck to you both in the future, I'm sure you're going to do great things! I'll be waiting for that celebrity apprentice appearance.

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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.

To purchase Mr. Abdul-Jabbar's poster and to view the entire line of Celebrity READ Posters, please click here. now!

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