Los Angeles — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar publicly criticize LeBron James Back on Sunday, the Los Angeles Lakers legend said he believes the current Lakers star has more responsibility for how he behaves given his elevated podium.
“Some of the things he said and did are really behind him, as far as I can see,” Abdul-Jabbar said before the Lakers game against the Denver Nuggets. “Some great things he’s done, he’s standing almost on both sides of the fence, you know? It makes it hard for me to accept that when he has committed himself to a different experience in everything. It’s hard to tell where he’s standing. You have to check him every time.”
Abdul-Jabbar is on hand to introduce James’ teammate, Carmelo Anthonywith the newly designed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trophy honoring Anthony as the NBA’s Social Justice Champion for the 2020-21 season, has already expressed his disappointment with James several times this season.
After James celebrated Game Three late in his overtime win over the Indiana Pacers by mimicking the dance that former NBA All-Star Sam Cassel made famous, accentuating his nether regions, Abdul-Jabbar noted in his disapproval.
“For me, winning is enough,” Abdul-Jabbar said in a video posted to Substack, a subscription comment site, in early December. “Why do you need to do a stupid, childish dance and disrespect the other team on the field? It doesn’t make sense. Goats don’t dance.”
Later that month, Abdul-Jabbar targeted James again after the four-time MVP shared a Spider-Man meme on his Instagram account showing three identical Spider-Man characters pointing at each other, pinned with the signs “COVID,” cold and flu. “
Abdul-Jabbar wrote on Substack that the social media post was “a blow to his worthy legacy” because “the implication is that LeBron doesn’t understand the difference between these three diseases, even after all the information presented in the press.”
Abdul-Jabbar pointed to each of his earlier criticisms on Sunday in explaining his stance on the 19-year-old veteran.
“at all, [I have] Abdul-Jabbar said he expects a lot from him because he understands issues and addresses them with force and eloquence. . “
James rejected Abdul-Jabbar’s criticism at the time.
“I have absolutely no response to Karim,” James said. “And if you see the post and read the poster, you are literally asking, honestly, ‘Help me? “Sort of help me figure out everything. We’re all trying to figure out this epidemic.”
Abdul-Jabbar said his personal interactions with James were only brief, but that he would welcome more contact.
“If he’s going to take the time, I definitely have the time,” Abdul-Jabbar said. Sending a whole school to college? Awesome. That’s amazing. His thinking and willingness to back it up with his wallet, you have to give him credit for that. So I’m not throwing stones. I hope not – you know, Some of the things he did, he should be embarrassed about. That’s just where I came from.”
Despite this attitude, Abdul-Jabbar welcomes James’ pursuit of his NBA record, which he held for nearly 38 years after beating Wilt Chamberlain’s previous total.
“I support it all,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “There’s no envy there…just – with the issues I’ve been talking about, things that really affect the black community, he should be careful. That’s all I ask.”
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