A fourth bronze statue commemorating another member of the Los Angeles Lakers organization is officially in the works with the storied NBA franchise deciding that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be the next in line to greet Lakers fans in front of the Staples Center according to Mark Medina of the L.A. Times:
“The Lakers are to unveil a statue featuring Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at some point during the 2012-13 season, The Times has learned.
“A firm date for introducing the statue outside Staples Center hasn’t been finalized.”
Although Abdul-Jabbar was already a star and an NBA champion before heading to Los Angeles from the Milwaukee Bucks in 1975, the Hall of Famer really began to flourish as one of the greatest players of all-time while playing alongside Magic Johnson as a member of the Showtime Lakers.
During his 14 years in Los Angeles, Abdul-Jabbar helped lead the Lakers to five NBA titles while winning NBA MVP honors three more times. Perhaps Kareem’s greatest accomplishment that has yet to be eclipsed is becoming the league’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points. Kobe Bryant currently sits at fifth all-time in that category and the closest active player to passing Kareem.
After finally calling it a career in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar had put together one of the most impressive resumes in NBA history. The Hall of Fame center finished with six NBA titles, six NBA MVP awards, two NBA Finals MVPs and 19 All-Star appearances.
Needless to say, the man formerly known as Lew Alcindor is arguably one of the most successful NBA players in league history with a legacy that will never be forgotten in the city of Los Angeles from his years with the Lakers and playing for John Wooden at UCLA.
As well as dominating the game at the professional level, Alcindor destroyed the competition as Wooden’s greatest pupil with three championships on the collegiate level before being drafted by the Bucks in 1969.
The Lakers legend will be the fourth in the line of Lakers greats with Chick Hearn, Jerry West and Magic Johnson coming before him. Two other legendary Los Angeles athletes have also been immortalized in bronze outside Staples Center in the form of boxer Oscar De La Hoya and perhaps the greatest hockey player in the history of the sport in Wayne Gretzky of the Los Angeles Kings.
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