On Friday night the Los Angeles Lakers honored one of the best players not only in franchise history but also to ever play in the National Basketball Association prior to their 114-102 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers unveiled a 16-foot, 1,500-pound bronze statue of their former captain Kareem Abdul-Jabbar which replicates him in the middle of shooting his patent sky hook. The generous sized statue of Abdul-Jabbar will sit in front of the Staples Center in Star Plaza along with statues of his former teammates Magic Johnson and Jerry West as well as Wayne Gretzky, Oscar De La Hoya and Chick Hearn.
In attendance at the ceremonious unveiling were some of Abdul-Jabbar’s former running mates from his Laker days such as Johnson, West, James Worthy, Kurt Rambis, A.C. Green, Michael Cooper and Norm Nixon along with former head coach Pat Riley. Julius Erving, Bill Walton, Bill Sharman, Jack Nicholson and Louis Gossett Jr. were also present to witness the proud moment for the NBA’s all-time career scoring leader.
During the unveiling Abdul Jabbar said, “Lou Gehrig spoke about being the luckiest man in the world, and as a young person at that time I didn’t know what that meant. But having lived my life and having had the wonderful experiences that I’ve had in basketball, I can understand now what a man like Lou Gehrig meant. I get it. When you’re fortunate enough to be honored in this way, it’s a very humbling experience.”
The statue was created by by sculptors Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Ormi Amrany.