After long delays (I personally don’t know why….), The Los Angeles Lakers have finally decide to give the NBA’s all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar his own statue during the 2012-13 season. Lakers legends Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn and Jerry West have already been honored with statues on Star Plaza as we’ll finally get to see one for the man who invited the Sky-hook this season.
This comes after much public criticism two years ago from the six-time champion (five with the Lakers) for not already having a statue during 2011 All-star weekend festivities in Los Angeles when the team unveiled Jerry West’s statue.
Abdul-Jabbar had also previously served as a mentor to former Lakers center Andrew Bynum from 2005 to 2009 but Bynum felt he didn’t need Jabar’s guidance anymore as the team reduced his pay. With relationships already strained, Jerry Buss and the Lakers cut ties with Jabar at the conclusion of the season proceeding their Conference Semifinals sweep by then champion Dallas Mavericks.
The Lakers also announced plans last winter to retire their former star player Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 34 jersey during the upcoming 2013 season. With the recent acquisition of Dwight Howard, one could make the argument saying the Lakers are only doing these tributes only to motivate Dwight next season to help Kobe win another title. Only time will tell Laker-nation.