When it comes to those who could be considered among the greatest to ever play the game, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is arguably the most forgotten. His accomplishments on the court rival that of any other superstar and he doubles as one of the most intelligent and well-read off of it.
With his playing days long gone, Abdul-Jabbar has begun to pen many articles on topics well beyond basketball, showing his interests and education on things past the court. Now that journey will continue for the legend as he has chosen to join the writing space, Substack.
Kareem was recently interviewed by NBA reporter Marc Stein on the latter’s Substack and discussed why he made the decision to join:
“I think I’m in pretty good company. Salman Rushdie is a terrific writer and Scott Snyder is one of my favorite comic book writers. You’re one of the best sports writers. When I see a lot of people I like and admire form a creative and energetic community, I’m eager to join in. I also saw this as an opportunity to create my own community of fans, friends and others who share my interests and point of view about sports, politics and popular culture. I wanted to provide a more personal, even intimate experience for us to examine the world, celebrate it and even try to make it better. I also get to create unique content in one place that I couldn’t do before. Each publication I write for wants a different kind of article from me. But here I can do whatever I want. Plus I can interact with my audience with audio and video clips just for them.”
Abdul-Jabbar would continue on, opening up about why writing has been so important to him throughout his life:
“Since high school, my academic studies have always been just as important to me as my athletic pursuits. I have a deep interest in history, literature, science and the arts. I also have a passion for social justice — for voicing the needs and concerns of marginalized people. Writing is an opportunity to combine those interests by using my knowledge to help promote the causes that make America better. The documentaries I’ve worked on at the History Channel about Black Americans’ contributions in the American Revolution and Civil War allow me to educate America on parts of history that have often been deliberately suppressed. The books I’ve written about the Harlem Renaissance and overlooked Black inventors create pride in the African American community. I also like to entertain. Writing gives me a chance to be frivolous. I’ve written novels and a graphic novel about Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s smarter brother. I was a writer on the TV show Veronica Mars. I wrote young adult novels about basketball-playing kids who solve mysteries. That was pure fun for me and, I hope, for my readers.”
These days, athletes speaking up and having major interests off the court is standard, but Abdul-Jabbar was one of the forebearers when it comes to this. Kareem has used his ability to write to give insightful opinions on any number of topics and now will continue to do so.
If you would like to subscribe to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Substack, you can do so right here.
Shaquille O’Neal working on documentary about his life
Right next to Abdul-Jabbar on the list of greatest Lakers centers is Shaquille O’Neal, another one of the best players to ever step foot on an NBA court. O’Neal is also making moves off the court right now, revealing that he is working with Peter Berg on a four-part documentary series about his life.
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