NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has said he would be happy to sit down and discuss issues with LeBron James, after he urged the Lakers superstar to rethink some recent actions.
The all-time leading scorer was on hand to present Carmelo Anthony with the first-ever Social Justice Champion award, while James missed the game through injury. Abdul-Jabbar was asked about James’ position in the sport at the moment.
While praising the latter’s charitable work, Abdul-Jabbar briefly touched on the recent incidents that had annoyed him.
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“I admire the things he’s done that got our full attention,” he said.
“Sending a whole school to college? Wow. That’s amazing. His thoughtfulness and willingness to back it up with his wallet, you have to give him credit for that. So I’m not blaming it. I just wish that ‘he doesn’t – you know, some of the things he’s done, he should be embarrassed. That’s just where I’m coming from.
Abdul-Jabbar criticized James late last year for celebrating after hitting a late three-pointer against the Indiana Pacers, as well as for James’ inaction towards the COVID-19 vaccination.
“Some of the things he’s done and said are really beneath him, as far as I know,” he told reporters.
“Some of the great things he’s done, he almost stands on both sides of the fence, you know? It’s hard for me to accept that, when he’s committed to a different view of everything. C It’s hard to figure out where it’s standing. You have to check it every time.
The 74-year-old later said in a tweet that he regretted his comments and that his response had been exaggerated.
Anthony said after the match that the pair should handle the matter privately.
“It’s two grown men — two powerful black men who get together in a room and talk and talk and put things on the table, like everyone feels,” he said.
“In our community, we need those difficult conversations. We need those uncomfortable conversations. If Kareem wants to sit down and talk, if LeBron wants to sit down and talk, that’s a conversation that needs to happen.”
Abdul-Jabbar, who later clarified his comments in an email to the LA Times saying his remarks were made “in the spirit of a loving older brother offering advice”, said he would be happy to meet.
“I wouldn’t mind doing it if he wanted to take the time,” he said.
“I definitely have time.”
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