Retired NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar slammed Los Angeles’ Lakers player LeBron James after James recently gloated over an opposing team by making an “obscene gesture,” saying that the truly greatest players of all time do not need to gloat.
Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a six-time NBA champion, and the league’s only 6-time MVP, made the remarks in a video that he posted in announcing that he was launching a new feature for his Substack.
“LeBron James faced a double whammy this past couple of weeks with his first ever suspension after his elbow clipped Detroit’s Piston Center Isaiah Stewart. Stuart’s attempted retaliation cost him a two game suspension,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Then last week, LeBron was fined $15,000 for doing a big balls dance after the Lakers win over the Pistons.”
“The NBA has been finding players between $15,000 and $25,000 for doing this dance since the 2010-2011 season,” he added. “For me, winning is enough. Why do you need to do a stupid childish dance and disrespect the other team on the court? It doesn’t make sense. GOATs don’t dance.”
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR: Hello Substack friends, today I’m launching a regular feature that after today will only be available to subscribers. In it, I will come in on some of the more interesting sports news items, as well as make a few predictions about NBA games. So, if you like what you see in here, hit the subscribe button. Boston Celtics Center Enes Kanter became an American citizen on Monday and changed his name to Enes Kanter Freedom. The 11 year veteran, who was born in Turkey, has been an outspoken critic of China’s inhumane treatment of the 2 million Uyghurs who have reportedly faced enslavement, torture, and other abuses. Enes has also criticized China’s policies toward Tibet, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, and has asked that the U.S. boycott the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest. His protests abroad retaliation from China, who has pulled Celtics games from the streaming site Tencent. I can’t help but admire Enes’ unapologetic bravery and commitment to the very freedom he celebrates with his name change. China is a big source of money for the NBA, so to criticize their cruelty and inhumanity is a bold step. He is just the kind of courageous American citizen we need.
In other news, LeBron James faced a double whammy this past couple of weeks with his first ever suspension after his elbow clipped Detroit’s Piston Center Isaiah Stewart. Stuart’s attempted retaliation cost him a two game suspension. Then last week, LeBron was signed $15,000 for doing a big ball stance after the Lakers win over the Pistons. The NBA has been finding players between $15,000 and $25,000 for doing this dance since the 2010-2011 season. For me, winning is enough. Why do you need to do a stupid childish dance and disrespect the other team on the court? It doesn’t make sense. GOATs don’t dance.
Finally, I just like to take a moment to honor the great golfer Lee Elder, who died last week at the age of 87. He was the first African American to compete in the Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Lee’s journey to break racial barriers of Professional Golf was unusual. When he was young, he worked with a noted gambler and golfer known as Titanic Thompson. He would pose as Thompson’s caddy or chauffeur, find the two best players at a club, and take them on for money. In 1961, the PGA removed this Caucasians only rule and Lee was among a small handful of blacks to play on tour. While playing on a tour he received death threats, was refused hotel rooms, and forced to change clothes in the parking lot because he wasn’t allowed in the clubhouse. After qualifying for the Masters tournament as his first black player, the death threats increase to the point where he had to rent two houses in Augusta, one under an assumed name. Lee qualified to play in five more Masters, paving the road for all black golfers who came after him.
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