Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 11/17/12

The Los Angeles Lakers honored one of the greatest players to ever step on a basketball court on Friday night. The franchise unveiled a statue of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar outside of Staples Center in Los Angeles. His No. 33 had already been retired, and now his patented skyhook has been captured in bronze alongside statues of Lakers greats Magic Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn. The 65-year-old Abdul-Jabbar was a 19-time All-Star, six-time NBA MVP and is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer (38,387 points). He came to the Lakers via trade from the Milwaukee Bucks 1975 and spent the rest of his career in Los Angeles, retiring in 1989 with six championship rings, five earned in purple and gold. The ceremony took place before the Lakers beat the Phoenix Suns 114-102. Though his relationship with the Lakers has appeared a bit strained at times over the past few years, he was visibly humbled by the honor. The unveiling ceremony was attended by many NBA greats, and celebrities. Johnson was in attendance, as were West, Pat Riley, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Bill Walton, Jamaal Wilkes, Kurt Rambis, A.C. Green, James Worthy and Jack Nicholson. Abdul-Jabbar said the following in his speech: “Having lived my life and had the experiences I’ve had, I can understand now what a man like Lou Gehrig means when he considers himself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.” Hundreds of fans were gathered when Abdul-Jabbar pulled a cord to drop the curtain covering it. Riley and Johnson both gave speeches praising the 7’2″ center’s leadership and how he was the rock that the Showtime Lakers were built upon. While Abdul-Jabbar is most remembered for his time with the Lakers and as one of the most dominant college players of all-time at UCLA, he also had success elsewhere. The Milwaukee Bucks made him the top pick in the 1969 NBA Draft, and he teamed with Oscar Robertson to bring that franchise an NBA championship in 1971. But we will always remember him for his incredible years with the Lakers. And now he’ll forever be on display outside the Staples Center in that iconic uniform.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Kevin Durant has...RUSSELL MANIA!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Lochte to be summoned to appear in Rio, charged with making false report

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

Ezekiel Elliott reportedly arrived at training camp overweight

Olympian auctions off medal to help young cancer patient

Report: Dodgers have turned down lowball offers for Puig

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Pierre-Paul’s lawsuit against Adam Schefter, ESPN will proceed

The Rock, Vin Diesel to settle 'rivalry' at WrestleMania 33?

Report: Browns trade former No. 6 overall pick Mingo to Pats

Harden organizing players-only minicamp with Rockets

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Will Perriman help Ravens find elusive WR success?

Jay Bouwmeester’s selection to Team Canada’s World Cup roster is a head-scratcher

Five MLB players with a lot to lose down the stretch

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker