Originally written 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.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jakub Voracek will donate $1,000 for every point he scores

Dwayne Bowe reportedly in danger of being cut by Browns

Slava Voynov taken into custody by U.S Immigration

The Redskins finally catch a break with Jamison Crowder

GM's wife reportedly pressured by Redskins to apologize

Five Nebraska players suspended for opener named

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Pierre-Paul reportedly plans to join Giants next week

Curt Schilling suspended by ESPN for rest of MLB season

Report: Roger Goodell buyout would cost roughly $150 million

NFL suspends Denver's T.J. Ward for season opener

Report: ‘Highly unlikely’ Patriots attempt to recoup draft picks

Poll: Most players oppose Goodell's disciplinary power

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 Gospel Of Harbaugh prepares for its ultimate test of faith

Meet the Utah Utes, the pluckiest program in college football

Iman Shumpert will name daughter Iman Shumpert Jr.

Dallas company celebrates Romo with DirecTV 'crownies'

Top 10 storylines for Week 4 of the NFL preseason

Matt Williams is still hopelessly married to the idea of the closer’s role

Five unique CFB games to watch this weekend

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

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