NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on his 50-year relationship with his coach John Wooden, how he shaped his life and career. A conversation about friendship and personal tragedy, the importance of mentoring young athletes, and confronting racism in sports.
On Tuesday, April 4th, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member, philanthropist and best-selling author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was welcomed by a sold out crowd of nearly 5,000 in Mount Union’s McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.
“They might not look like you,” the basketball legend and author said Tuesday in Kalamazoo. “They might come from a totally different tradition. But they have the same goals and they believe in the (U.S.) Constitution and equal protection under the law. That appeals to everybody and most people wouldn’t stay here if that wasn’t the case.”
This was the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar we never got to see during his six seasons in Milwaukee in the 1970s, when he almost single-handedly put the Bucks on the map, led the franchise to its only NBA title and redefined the center position, terrorizing opponents with his signature “skyhook” shot.
Becoming Kareem is my most personal book because in it I detail my struggles growing up—literally and figuratively—to develop from a classic Good Boy trying to be what others want me to be to finding my own voice and becoming who I want to be.
The Hollywood Reporter, entertainment media’s flagship outlet, on Monday announced that NBA legend, actor, activist, cultural commentator and New York Times best-selling author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has joined the publication as contributing editor.