Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got off to a successful start on ABC’s hit show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ (DWTS).
Paired with last season’s champion Lindsay Arnold, it might have been a little uncomfortable for some Lakers fans to watch, but Abdul-Jabbar had a good time with it as he danced to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” a tune which spent six weeks at number one on the R&B charts in 1970.
Although the 5’4” Arnold did most of the heavy lifting, the 7’2” Abdul-Jabbar was a game partner as he was dressed in a gold sequined outfit, cradled a gold basketball, and wore a broad smile. Dancing the Cha-Cha, the duo received a score of 17 out of 30 from the judges.
This was actually the lowest score the judges handed out all night, but on DWTS, the final tally is determined in part by the judges and in part by the vote of the public. Abdul-Jabbar is obviously quite beloved by the show’s fans, as he was not even in the bottom three at the end of the night.
The three couples that were in jeopardy of going home were Jamie Anderson and Artem Chigvintsev, Johnny Damon and Emma Slater, and Tonya Harding and Sasha Farber. In the end, Harding and Farber survived and the other two couples were eliminated.
Abdul-Jabbar is not only the tallest competitor in the show’s history, he is also the oldest participant this season by far at age 71. How long he remains in the competition is yet to be decided, but everyone affiliated with the show was visibly excited to have him there.
This new season of DWTS will be four weeks only and features a special cast comprised of all former and current athletes.