Los Angeles Lakers

Kareem feels “slighted” Lakers haven’t given him statue


Magic Johnson has one, a larger-than-life bronze statue of him in front of Staples Center, home of the Lakers.

Jerry West has one. So does legendary Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn. (So do Wayne Gretzky and Oscar de la Hoya.)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — who like Magic and West never played in Staples — feels slighted he is not on that list, he told The Sporting News.

“I don’t understand (it). It’s either an oversight or they’re taking me for granted,” Abdul-Jabbar told The Sporting News in a recent interview. “I’m not going to try to read people’s minds, but it doesn’t make me happy. It’s definitely a slight. I feel slighted….

“I am highly offended by the total lack of acknowledgement of my contribution to Laker success,” Abdul-Jabbar was quoted as saying. “I guess being the lynchpin for five world championships is not considered significant enough in terms of being part of Laker history.”

Kareem sounds a little petulant, especially considering Lakers spokesman John Black said that Kareem was told he would get the next Lakers statue, although there is no timetable. Whining about not getting it fast enough comes off like a 4-year-old wanting pancakes. And like with the child, complaing only tends to slow the process, not speed it up.

West and Magic both went on to have extensive careers with the Lakers after their playing days. West was general manager for the team through much of the Showtime era, Magic was part owner of the team until recently. Kareem did serve as a special consultant mentoring Andrew Bynum for a while, but it’s not the same.

A statue like this is an honor, not a right. No matter who you are. So be patient.

Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:

It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.

Report: Trevor Booker suspended one game for Hibbert altercation

Trevor Booker
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On Tuesday night, Jazz big man Trevor Booker was ejected from a preseason game against the Lakers for taking a swing at Roy Hibbert during a scrap.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Booker will be suspended one game for the hit, meaning he’ll miss the Jazz’ October 28 season opener against the Pistons:

Considering he was already ejected, a one-game suspension seems about right.