Bruce Lee vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a movie fight. This is why YouTube should exist.
The scene is from the film “Game of Death,” which was one of Bruce Lee’s final films but not released in the United States until five years after his death (with all sorts of reshoots). He filmed most of the movie in 1972 but left before it was complete when the offer for “Enter the Dragon” (a high budget Hollywood film) came in. Lee died not long after in Hong Kong due to an acute cerebral edema, before he could finish this film. Someone else edited and released it years later.
But this scene is classic — Abdul-Jabbar is athletic and fights in Lee’s Jeet Kune Do hybrid style. The result is just really entertaining. Way more entertaining than the entire movie.
It’s a little different for our Friday Night Video segment, but it seemed like a fun way to start the weekend. And a nice little diversion during the off-season.
Jordan, Magic to be presenters at Hall of Fame ceremony
Presenters are a ceremonial part of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame induction. They don’t actually do anything, but the ceremony calls for an already enshrined Hall of Famer to stand behind the inductee as he or she speaks about being inducted.
When Phil Knight — the founder of Nike — is enshrined next Friday night Michael Jordan will stand behind him.
When Reggie Miller and Jamaal Wilkes get their turn, Magic Johnson will be behind them.
The official list of presenters is out and you will see Celtics legend Bog Cousy (behind the person accepting for the late Don Barksdale), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (behind Ralph Sampson and Wilkes) and Charles Barkley (behind Miller and Sampson).
I’d say it’s another reason to watch the induction ceremony, except they don’t speak or have any real role. But they will be there. And you can see them.
Abdul-Jabbar had made a huge fuss over the fact that a statue had not already been erected at Staples, after Jerry West’s was unveiled last year. Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya and hockey’s Wayne Gretzky also have statues at the arena, along with Magic Johnson. It’s a pretty fitting case study of where Abdul-Jabbar stands in the NBA’s historical hierarchy. The point guard with the big smile who played center for him, hockey’s greatest player ever, De La Hoya and West, who was an architect in management as well as on the floor for the franchise, but also a noted high maintenance individual, all received statues before the best scorer in NBA history.
The statue has to be of him in the skyhook, right? I mean, that’s the only option. Besides this, Shirley. The skyhook stands as one of the greatest basketball moves ever created, if nothing else for its simplicity. I’m taller than you so I’m going to shoot with my huge arm as high as it can go. Easy.
There was nothing easy with dealing with Kareem, if you accept many of the things that have been written about “Cap,” but it looks like this project’s finally getting done.
(PS: I hope to one day have been good enough at anything to demand a statue. Who does that? Honestly?)
Joakim Noah to work with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this summer
In recent years, a pilgrimage to Houston to work with Hakeem Olajuwon has become the Mecca of NBA players wanting to work on their post game. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and host of others have made the trek.
But Joakim Noah is going another direction this summer — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. From Real GM:
In an effort to improve on the offensive end of the court, Noah revealed on Wednesday during a visit to a Chicago north suburban high school that he plans to train with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this summer.
Kareem was a special assistant coach to the Lakers, brought in primarily to work with Andrew Bynum. Which he did until Bynum decided he didn’t have anything else to learn from the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and six time MVP. Not to mention a guy with six rings, too. What a very Bynum decision.
Noah has a more unconventional post game than Bynum, but Kareem has publicly praised Noah’s style of play.
Noah is going to have more offensive responsibilities at the next start of season until Derrick Rose returns from knee surgery (especially if the Bulls are without Luol Deng for a month or so, too).
Friday And-1 Links: Kareem still not good at “Jeopardy”
Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.
• Kareem Abdul-Jabbar went back on a charity/celebrity Jeopardy event (after his classic flub the first time) and still, when he misses, he misses funny.