‘Some of the things he’s done he should be embarrassed about’: Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar again criticizes LeBron James for actions that are ‘beneath him’
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar questioned LeBron James before Sunday’s Lakers game
- The NBA legend accused James of ‘standing on both sides of the fence’ when it comes to certain social issues
- James has been one of the most prominent voices in sport over social issues
- The LA Lakers star has been the focus of critique from Abdul-Jabbar previously
- Abdul-Jabbar later clarified he meant no ill-will with his latest remarks to James
Prior to the Los Angeles Lakers’ 129-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets, Abdul-Jabbar questioned James’ behavior around social issues and suggested he has been caught ‘standing on both sides of the fence’ previously.
‘Some of the things he’s done and said are really beneath him, as far as I can see,’ Abdul-Jabbar told reporters.
‘Some of the great things that he’s done, he’s standing on both sides of the fence almost, you know? It makes it hard for me to accept that when he’s committed himself to a different take on everything. It’s hard to figure out where he’s standing. You’ve got to check him out every time.’
Abdul-Jabbar has been critical of James on multiple occasions but clarified that his latest remarks were not meant to be ‘throwing stones’.
‘I admire the things that he’s done that have gotten all our attention,’ Abdul-Jabbar continued.
‘Sending a whole school to college? Wow. That’s amazing. His thoughtfulness and willingness to back it up with his wallet, you got to give him credit for that. So I’m not throwing stones. I just wish he wouldn’t, you know, some of the things he’s done, he should be embarrassed about. That’s just where I’m coming from.’
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (left) has questioned LeBron James’ (right) leadership over social issues
Abdul-Jabbar, 74, was speaking before presenting James’ team-mate, Carmelo Anthony, with the new Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trophy which honors the NBA’s Social Justice Champion for the 2020-21 season.
Back in November and December Abdul-Jabbar called out James on two occasions.
First the 74-year-old condemned James’ celebration after an overtime three-pointer against the Indiana Pacers, in which he mimicked the dance made famous by former NBA all-star Sam Cassell.
‘Why do you need to do a stupid, childish dance and disrespect the other team on the court? It doesn’t make sense. GOATs don’t dance,’ he said on Substack, a subscription commentary website.
James was again criticized by Abdul-Jabbar for his social media activity in the next month after sharing a Spider-Man meme about Covid-19.
James celebrated a clutch fourth-quarter three-pointer during the Lakers’ overtime win over the Pacers in Indianapolis on November 24 by grabbing his crotch and dancing
The meme photo showed identical Spider-Mans pointed at each other with added labels of ‘Covid’, ‘cold’ and ‘flu’.
It was a post that Abdul-Jabbar believed was a ‘blow to his worthy legacy’.
Following his latest comments on James, who is in his 19th year in the NBA, Abdul-Jabbar sought out the Los Angeles Times via email to stress his respect for the Lakers star, who has done brilliant work with his ‘More Than a Vote’ group, which is dedicated to fighting voter suppression, and his I Promise School back in his native Akron, Ohio.
‘LeBron is still the daunting hero I described two years ago,’ the email read.
‘He’s still a major force in improving lives in the Black Community. He’s still one of the greatest basketball players in history. He’s still a man who has earned the overwhelming admiration of millions. And every day he goes out and proves why he deserves that admiration.
‘On occasion I have chided LeBron when I thought he was dropping the ball when it came to supporting the community. But I did so in the spirit of a loving older brother offering guidance, whether wanted or not. So, when I said that he has done some things he should be embarrassed about, that wasn’t a slam or a barb or even a finger wag, it was me recapping some of what I’d said in the past.’
The dance originated with the 1994 sequel to Major League (left), but became popularized in the NBA by Sam Cassell (right), a journeyman guard who now serves as 76ers assistant