Tag Archives: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kobe Bryant, Lakers Sell Magic Beans

When he isn’t dishing out punishment in practice, Kobe Bryant is handing out assists for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Having grown weary of the spotty play of point guard Jeremy Lin, Head Coach Byron Scott has used Bryant as the primary ball handler in the back-court along with Nick Young. It has been an early success with the Lakers picking up consecutive victories against the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs.

Bryant has played facilitator before in his career in Phil Jackson’s Triangle Offense. The Triangle didn’t require a traditional point guard, but an “initiator” who could start the offense. After the conclusion of the Shaquille O’Neal era, Bryant became the Apex of the offense where plays would go through him that setup shots for others.

Nick Young scored 29 points in the Lakers’ 112-110 overtime victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Kobe Bryant finished with nine assists and is only nine points away from replacing Michale Jordan for number three on the NBA’s All-Time Scorers list.

Continuing A Historic Season

He became the all-time leader in missed field-goals, the only player to score over 30,000 points with 6,000 assists, and is eight points away from tying Michael Jordan in career points. Now Kobe Bryant is about to add a defensive accomplishment to the list.

Bryant is tied with James Worthy for sixth on the Lakers’ career blocks list with 624, and needs five blocks to pass Andrew Bynum for fifth all-time.  Ahead of Bynum is Vlade Divac (834), Elden Campbell (1022) Shaquille O’Neal (1278), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2694).

 

 

 

This Generation Got Next

NFL great Jim Brown excoriated Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers in a 2013 interview where he said Bryant was “confused about African-American culture,” and explicitly stated he would not be a part of a current roundtable discussion with Black athletes:

“In the days when we had a summit and we called the top black athletes together to talk to Muhammad Ali about his status with the armed forces, there were some athletes we didn’t call. If I had to call that summit all over, there would be some athletes I wouldn’t call. Kobe would be one of them.”

Ten years earlier, Kobe Bryant accepted a Teen Choice Award for Favorite Male Sports Figure. During the speech, Bryant said “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Fox television network omitted Bryant’s speech from its broadcast.

Kobe Bryant’s statement about injustice went ignored. Instead of earning credibility with the elders, his gleaning from Dr. King was viewed as an act of disrespect.

Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, Kobe Bryant spoke at a peace walk in his honor at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, California. The move caught the media off-guard because Bryant’s people did not inform them that he’d be in attendance.

“Players such as myself and others who have the platform, our responsibility is more than putting the ball in the basket but helping them have the platform to tell their story,” said Bryant, referring to Trayvon Martin’s parents.

When former Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s racist remarks were exposed, Bryant was one of the first NBA superstars to call for his ousting.

After a grand jury acquitted Darren Wilson for the murder of unarmed teenager Mike Brown, Kobe Bryant swiftly took to Twitter:

Bryant didn’t call for peace. He used his pulpit to shed much needed light on the current state of systematic lynching.

NBA All-Stars LeBron James, Derrick Rose, and Kyrie Irving have worn “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts over their uniforms before recent games in response to a grand jury not indicting officer Daniel Pantaleo for choking Eric Garner to death. Los Angeles Dodger owner Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson praised James taking a stand while risking business relationships with corporate sponsorships.

To Mr. Brown: Have Kobe Bryant’s actions earned him a seat at the summit? What makes his words about injustice any less valid than Muhammad Ali’s? Will the elders finally accept that the younger generation gets it?

Whether it be blacking out profile pictures on social-media, or voicing opinions that others may find controversial , today’s athletes are showing that they posses the consciousness and courage to bring about change.

Interview With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, gives a rare interview, and talks about the Harlem Renaissance, meeting John Wooden the year Malcolm X was assassinated, and whether or not Magic Johnson should have passed him the ball instead of shooting the baby sky-hook against the Boston Celtics.