As one of three Los Angeles Lakers legends to be honored this season by the storied NBA franchise, six-time NBA champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is in for a busy year filled with appreciation for all that he has done with the Lakers and throughout his basketball career.
On Friday, Nov. 16, Kareem will be the fourth member of the Lakers franchise to be immortalized with a bronze statue outside of Staples Center. The longtime Lakers center will join the likes of fellow Lakers legends Chick Hearn, Jerry West and Magic Johnson along with Los Angeles icons Oscar De La Hoya and Wayne Gretzky.
The day after Kareem’s statue will be unveiled in front of the Staples Center, comedian and loyal Lakers fan George Lopez will host a celebrity roast for the Lakers great with Magic and other members of the “Showtime” Lakers in attendance.
Along with Kareem receiving the honor of the roast and statue, Shaquille O’Neal and Jamaal Wilkes will also receive similar appreciation from the Lakers franchise by having their jerseys retired by the team. Shaq will see his No. 34 jersey placed beside other Lakers greats on Tuesday, April 2 while Wilkes will see his No. 54 jersey retired on Friday, Dec. 28.
Here’s the press release for the event:
Los Angeles, CA September 27, 2012 – In honor of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s legendary basketball career and to celebrate the much-anticipated statue that will be unveiled by the Los Angeles Lakers in-front of the Staples Center Star Plaza on November 16th, multi-talented entertainer George Lopez, whose career encompasses television, film, stand-up comedy and late-night television, will host a celebrity roast on Saturday, November 17th at the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE and Ritz-Carlton in Los Angeles. On hand to join Lopez for the honors will be a Who’s Who of sports icons and celebrity guests, presenters and performers including Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the “Showtime” Lakers and many more. Additional information about the event can be found at www.skyhookfoundation.org/kaj
This is the first time the basketball icon, best-selling author, humanitarian and cultural ambassador will be roasted. Since his retirement as a player, Mr. Abdul-Jabbar has devoted himself to projects focused on African American history and education.
The Celebrity Roast will also serve as the kick-off to a national multi-city tour called the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Experience. Presented by The Skyhook Foundation will feature a never-before-seen 300+ piece traveling exhibit of memorabilia from all segments of Abdul-Jabbar’s life and professional career and will benefit the Skyhook Foundation and STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics). Generous support provided by Wells Fargo.