One of the most celebrated basketball players of all time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appeared on First Take today. He praised LeBron James’s impact on and off the court.
Celebrating the Lakers’ 17th championship, the Lakers legend, who’s won 5 of those with the franchise, believes that James would be a pantheon great based just on his on-court performances.
But what James has done for the community off it elevates him even further.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar heaps praise on LeBron James for his legacy
Kareem definitely knows about what he’s talking. He was a crucial part of a number of championship runs – he won 6 titles overall as well as 6 MVP trophies. Not only was Kareem the face of the NBA for the 70s, he also took a stand against the Vietnam War and didn’t participate in the 1968 Olympics.
With so much talk going around the LeBron-Jordan GOAT debate, Kareem tried to bring up a very important point about how LeBron’s work off the court probably has had a greater impact than Jordan.
With the Lakers star ensuring young kids get to go to school, Kareem believes his entire legacy could be better than anyone who has played the sport of basketball.
He answered Stephen A Smith’s question about LeBron’s legacy in an astute, yet cultured fashion.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on LeBron’s legacy:
“If [basketball] is his only legacy, it’s extraordinary. But he’s done a lot more than that, both on the court and off the court. … He’s an amazing individual.” pic.twitter.com/UNOLo6f9w5
— First Take (@FirstTake) October 13, 2020
“I think people will remark on the quality of his presence in 3 different cities. He brought the championship each time. That’s pretty impressive and I think if that’s the only legacy he had, it’s extraordinary. But he’s done more than that, both on the court and off the court.”
“That’s why I have a lot of respect for him – the way that he’s involved politically and socially. Sending all those kids to school. He’s an amazing individual and I think Los Angeles is lucky to have him and embrace the community.”
Overall, there’s a bit of work to do even for LeBron before he becomes an icon in the city of LA at Kareem’s level. ‘The Captain’, as everyone fondly called the oft-grumpy Kareem, will always be a Laker legend. His jersey deservedly hangs in the rafters of Staples Center.