Kareem Abdul-Jabaar finally got his long awaited and well deserved statue outside of the Staples Center. The NBA’s all time leading scorer, six-time NBA champion (five with the Lakers), six-time MVP, 10-time All-NBA first team and 19-time All-Star received an emotional ceremony last night as his likes joined Wayne Gretzky, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, Jerry West and Oscar De La Hoya in the Star Plaza at the home of the Lakers. The monumental occassion came through controversy as Kareem had publicly outed the Lakers for not erecting one sooner.
Officials formally opened Brooklyn’s new 18,000-seat Barclays Center arena on Friday, cutting the ribbon on the home of the Brooklyn Nets, the borough’s first major sports team in decades.
The Lakers plan to announce the date of the official unveiling of the statue in the near future, according to a league source.
While Abdul-Jabbar’s on-court accomplishments were no-doubt stellar, racking up six championships and six MVPs during his 20-year career, his relationship with the Lakers had become strained in recent years. The team cut ties with Abdul-Jabbar as a special assistant following the 2010-11 season and the former 19-time All-Star also voiced his frustration at Jerry West receiving a statue before he did, after West’s statue was unveiled during the 2011 NBA All-Star weekend in Los Angeles.