Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who many consider the greatest player in the history of collegiate and professional basketball, will compete on the 26th season of ABC’s hit show ‘Dancing with the Stars.’
He’s joined by Johnny Damon, Tonya Harding and Jennie Finch Daigle as former athletes who are competing in the show’s 26th season, which begins April 30. The new season will be shortened to four weeks, which may be a positive for Abdul-Jabbar, now 70.
This year’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ cast also features current athletes, many of whom made a name for themselves at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Included are gold-medal-winning snowboarder Jamie Anderson, singles luge silver medalist Chris Mazdzer, figure skating bronze medalist Adam Rippon and fellow figure skater Mirai Nagasu. Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman and Notre Dame women’s basketball star Arike Ogunbowale were also named participants.
The producers of the show may have done Abdul-Jabbar a favor by pairing him with dancing pro Lindsay Arnold, who won the competition last season. Abdul-Jabbar will seek to add to his impressive collection of college and NBA championships by capturing the coveted “disco ball trophy.”
Abdul-Jabbar will be by far the oldest competitor in the field, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the skill and determination of the man who is the leading scorer in NBA history.
Abdul-Jabbar, who some labeled unapproachable and sullen during his playing days, has in retirement become cherished not only as a former Bruin and Laker great but as a highly respected and much beloved author, speaker, and social commentator.
The Lakers were represented by former guard Derek Fisher in last season’s ‘Dancing with the Stars.’