LOS ANGELES — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar publicly criticized LeBron James as soon as once more Sunday, with the Los Angeles Lakers legend saying he believes the present Lakers star has a larger accountability in how he conducts himself given his elevated platform.
“Some of the things he’s done and said are really beneath him, as far as I can see,” Abdul-Jabbar mentioned earlier than the Lakers’ 129-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets. “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, readily available to current James’ teammate, Carmelo Anthony, with the newly designed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Trophy to honor Anthony because the NBA’s Social Justice Champion for the 2020-21 season, has already voiced his disappointment in James a number of instances this season.
After James celebrated a late-game 3 in an time beyond regulation win in opposition to the Indiana Pacers by mimicking the dance that former NBA All-Star Sam Cassell made common, accentuating his nether areas, Abdul-Jabbar was pointed in his disapproval.
“For me, winning is enough,” Abdul-Jabbar mentioned in a video posted by way of Substack, a subscription commentary web site, in early December. “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.”
Later that month, Abdul-Jabbar took goal at James as soon as once more after the four-time MVP shared a Spider-Man meme to his Instagram account displaying three an identical Spider-Man characters pointing at each other, affixed with the labels “COVID,” “cold,” and “flu.”
Abdul-Jabbar wrote on Substack that the social media put up was a “blow to his worthy legacy” as a result of the “implication is that LeBron doesn’t understand the difference among these three illnesses, even after all the information that’s presented in the press.”
Abdul-Jabbar referenced each of his prior critiques on Sunday in explaining his stance on the 19-year veteran.
“Absolutely, [I have] a higher expectation for him because he understands the issues and spoken to them quite forcefully and eloquently,” Abdul-Jabbar mentioned. “I think he has so much going for him in terms of respect and accomplishment and he shouldn’t stoop to those moments.”
James dismissed Abdul-Jabbar’s criticism on the time.
“I don’t have a response to Kareem at all,” James mentioned. “And if you saw the post and you read the tag, you’re literally, honestly asking, ‘Help me out?’ Help me kind of figure it all out. We’re all trying to figure this pandemic out.”
Anthony, requested if he would facilitate a gathering for the 2 to debate their variations, mentioned that whereas he is unsure what the difficulty is, he would encourage a sit down.
“In our community we need those tough conversations, we need those uncomfortable conversations,” Anthony mentioned. “So if Kareem wants to sit down and talk, if Bron want to sit down and talk, I think that’s a conversation that needs to be had. I don’t think we need Kareem lashing out at Bron, and you haven’t seen Bron say anything about Kareem. … I think that would be a powerful conversation.”
Abdul-Jabbar mentioned his and James’ in-person interactions have solely been temporary, however he would additionally welcome an additional connection.
“If he would take the time, I definitely got the time,” Abdul-Jabbar mentioned. “I admire the things that he’s done that have gotten all our attention. 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.”
Regardless of that standpoint, Abdul-Jabbar welcomes James’ pursuit of his NBA scoring file, which he has held for nearly 38 years after he eclipsed Wilt Chamberlain’s earlier profession scoring complete.
“I’m all for him doing it,” Abdul-Jabbar mentioned. “There’s no envy there. … Just — with the issues I was talking about, things that really affect the Black community, he should be careful. That’s all I’m asking.”
Abdul-Jabbar later tweeted on Sunday night time that “I regret my off-handed response which has been blown out of proportion. For years I’ve expressed my deep admiration and respect for LeBron as a community leader and athlete. That hasn’t changed and never will.”