I grew up in Los Angeles in the 70s and 80s, and basketball was my favorite sport to watch and play. Needless to say, the L.A. Lakers were my team, and its centerpiece Kareem Abdul-Jabbar my favorite player. To the degree that when I would play b-ball with my friends, and we’d pretend we were professionals, I always said I was Kareem. Though I was an exceedingly average-sized white kid. The only thing we had in common was that I wore goggles when I played (I wore glasses until I was around 12). And I shot a skyhook, though it rarely went in.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve learned that Kareem is a rarity in the sports world… A gentleman athlete, well-read, well-spoken, and, to his credit, *outspoken*. He changed his name from Lew Alcindor because of what he fiercely believed in.
Now, I see that Kareem is blogging for the L.A. Times. And if you look at his recent posts, he’s clearly a gifted, engaged, yet humble man.