Like Magic Johnson or Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has long been held in the highest esteem by the Lakers organization, celebrated as one of the greatest players in the game’s history, and as a critical piece of the franchise’s championship legacy.
Team spokesman John Black told Lakers.com that the franchise was very surprised to hear of Abdul-Jabbar’s comments in the past few days, which emphasized his feeling of being slighted in part for not yet receiving a statue at STAPLES Center, and also addressed his current relationship with the organization.
Black said that the Lakers have, for a while, relayed to Abdul-Jabbar that the next statue to be erected would be of Kareem. Furthermore, Black said if the Lakers had thought Abdul-Jabbar would have felt slighted in any way, perhaps they would have done his statue before that of West, which occurred on Feb. 17. In other words, to the Lakers, there’s no way to separate the greatness of Magic, West or Kareem.
“Those three guys are all on the highest level you could get,” Black explained. “But somebody had to be first, someone had to be second and someone third.”
Black concluded that the team has nothing but positive things to say about the league’s all-time leading scorer, and are hopeful to move past any issues Abdul-Jabbar may harbor.