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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Statues in Sports: Are We Headed Back to Ancient Roman Times?

By |2018-11-11T13:39:48+00:00May 20th, 2011|8 Comments

Remember the good ol’ days when a sports legend played his butt off for one franchise and retired twenty years later?  Then, down the road he was humble at a ribbon-cutting ceremony where his own statue gets unveiled outside the stadium he played at for his entire career?

Since, we’ve gone from being humbled to gorging on nothing but humble pie.

Our star athletes make a “decision” to bolt home states for the company of two other superstars and boatloads of cash.  They leave for balmy weather, hot women and endless parties.

In a speech, our President questions the fact that a legend in hoops doesn’t have a statue erected in Boston.  A few months later, the city obliges.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Speaks Out

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar feels “slighted” by not having a statue, and maybe he should, KP says.

And most recently, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has gone as far as to complain about not having a statue erected in his honor, stating that he feels “slighted”.

But then again, these things get handed out like candy on Halloween.  So, maybe legendary sports stars like Kareem have a legitimate gripe.

These days, everyone seems to be getting a statue.

Nick Saban coaches Alabama for a few years, wins a national championship and he’s already got a statue outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium.

We are going overboard.

American Sports Like Ancient Rome?

In fact, when it comes to statues, we fell off the deep end a while ago.  If we keep this frenetic pace, the American sports world will give off a feeling of Ancient Roman times.  It’ll be a world where statues of every Tom, Dick and Harry exist throughout the land.

the-coliseum-at-night-rome-italy

Statues and more statues: If we keep this frenetic pace, our sports cities will begin to look like Ancient Rome

This is not a knock on the talents of Bill Russell, LeBron James, or even the outspoken Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  It’s more so the fact that our country has become soft regarding awards in sports.

Every individual that has accomplished something in sports is taking a direct flight to a life-like, lifesize frame in bronze.  Every kid who participates in a sport gets a ribbon or a trophy, even for finishing in last place.

The beauty of competition is being lost.  If people keep winning something, it’s possible that much of our nation’s youth will lose the drive to finish first.  Heck, in the old days, that was the only place that was awarded.

That brings us back to the statues.

In Conclusion

Statues should provide a significant reason to be marveled upon.  They are there for when a Dad takes his son or daughter to the big game.  He can say, “That right there is a legend, he stayed loyal to our town, gave back to the community and won six titles, too”.  It’s not for someone to say, “That right there is a guy who won a title, left two years later for more money and we never saw him again”.

That’s what it’s coming to, my friends.

We need to embrace the fact that it takes a lot to earn a statue.  A statue needs to be a gift or an honor.  It should not be something that we beg for (or come to expect).

That goes double for you, Kareem.

It needs to be a “million to one shot”, and not what it has instead become.

“MILLION TO ONE!”

Video (YouTube): Seinfeld clip where Kramer (the ASSMAN) gives Jerry a gift – a mini-statue, Fusilli Jerry

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8 Comments

  1. admin June 2, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    TOP–

    Right, though to some degree, I think just about every coach has to deal with the egos. It’s probably the media and fans in that area that add to it… I don’t expect him to be out of there immediately though. He had LeBron to deal with…

  2. tophatal May 31, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    KP

    If Brown and Kobe start with anything so much as a rocky relationship look for the fallout there to be seismic . If you remember Tomjanovich resigned after 30 plus games was it because of health concerns ? More like he couldn’t deal with the BS and egos that involved his coaching the team at the time .

    tophatal ………..

  3. admin May 31, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    TOP–

    I would go a step farther for the challenges that Brown will have to face in LA – and I mean not just the players, but just the overall market, the media and the fanbase. That’s going to be a bigger challenge than dealing with the folks in Cleveland, who are used to losing…

  4. admin May 28, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    TOP–

    I don’t think Kobe was the only guy that wanted Shaw for that position. The front office didn’t, however, as we now know. Brown was a surprising hire to me, but he handled LeBron, so he does have experience dealing with a superstar, but never was able to get Cleveland was over the hump.

  5. admin May 23, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    ADAM–

    First off, thanks for dropping by – always like to see new faces around here, and I do hope that you will stop by again and talk sports with myself, and others here.

    As for Kareem, I’m with you, I do think he deserves to have a statue – but man… why does he have to go and open his mouth about it? I guess that’s Kareem… he has that been that way in the past.

  6. Adam May 21, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    Totally agree with what you’re saying. But if there is one guy that has a right to a statue it’s Kareem. He’s a champion and on top of that the all-time leading point getter in the history of the NBA. Likely to stay that way for some time. All in all, Jordan, Russell, Jabaar, and maybe Bird all deserve the statue treatment. After that….not so much.

  7. admin May 21, 2011 at 8:02 AM

    REV–

    Ha ha… nice. Seriously. Maybe that’s a 5-episode barrier that we have to pass.

    Thanks, it’s not ’til tomorrow though, let’s not advance me another year prematurely.

    Later – KP

  8. Chris Humpherys May 21, 2011 at 5:23 AM

    I’m actually surprised Talkshoe hasn’t erected a statue in our honor yet.

    Happy birthday, brother.

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