Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes" or, best wishes to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from Heritage Auctions

Nov. 10, 2009
Posted by Noah

I never really liked Kareem Abdul-Jabbar until I was 10 years old, it was 1980, and my babysitter took me and my brothers to see Airplane! Kareem's cameo as co-pilot "Joey Murdock" was a great turn for the imposing Lakers big man, and funny, too.

Now, growing up in Dallas, in the years just before the Mavs came to town, the Lakers weren't much on my radar, or that of any of my friends. During the finals, in his classic battles against Bird and the Celtics, we watched and played, imitating Kareem's towering sky hook on the under-sized playground hoop, but that was about it. For most of us it was the Cowboys or nothing, and a few sad sacks - like me - even perpetually pined for a winning season for the hapless Rangers? Where have you gone, Buddy Bell?

The news today that Kareem is suffering from Leukemia, and that his prognosis is good, is welcome news to sports fans in general, many of whom - like me - are realizing today how much we've always like Kareem, and how much we wish him well.

Abdul-Jabbar has always been a class act, and an advocate for civil rights. He was impressive on the court, as his numerous records attest to, but his legacy off the court has been no less impressive. He has lived his life well and has continued to contribute to the NBA, via his position as a special assistant with the Lakers, and now will carry the banner for chronic myeloid leukemia, a form of the disease most of the world had not heard of until Kareem came forward this morning.

As with most any major sports stars, Kareem has a presence in the Heritage Auctions Archive. There are several autographs, sculptures of him and numerous signed balls. The top of the top, however, is a 1980s Abdul-Jabbar game worn Jersey that brought more than $7,000 in October of 2006. It's a prime Kareem jersey from the era of them an in his top professional form. It's also safe to say that most kareem autographs and cards, from the least to the best, are probably worth a little more today due to the man's brave admission.

I don't reckon Kareem frequents this blog, but just in case you are reading, Kareem, here's hoping you stay healthy and strong. The world is a better place with you in it.

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-Noah Fleisher

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