Newsmaker: Kareem ­Abdul-Jabbar

news4

In the 1980 film Airplane!, the basketball legend Kareem ­Abdul-Jabbar plays the co-pilot Roger Murdock to Peter Graves’s captain Clarence Oveur. In one scene of the beloved oddball comedy, a child tells Abdul-­Jabbar’s Murdock character: “Wait a minute. I know you. You’re Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. You play basketball for the Los Angeles Lakers.”

“I’m sorry, son, but you must have me confused with someone else. My name is Roger Murdock. I’m the co-pilot,” ­Abdul-Jabbar tells the child.

Back and forth they banter, with the child insisting that the co-pilot is ­Abdul-Jabbar and Abdul-Jabbar insisting he’s Murdock, until the child tells him: “My dad says you don’t work hard enough on defence. And he says that lots of times, you don’t even run down court. And that you don’t really try … except during the play-offs.”

Finally, Abdul-Jabbar breaks character.

“Listen, kid! I’ve been hearing that ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night. Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 ­minutes.”

It’s funny because in 1980, ­Abdul-Jabbar was one of the most instantly recognisable faces in America for his exploits with the Lakers. It still resonates nearly 35 years later, because given his pursuits after basketball, if he had wanted to be a pilot, he probably could have done it.

It takes a truly larger-than-life figure to develop a celebrated public career in acting, writing, advocacy and even statesmanship, all after a basketball career that included more points and minutes played than ­anyone else in the history of the game.

It also helps to stand 7 feet, 2 inches (218 centimetres) tall…

Read Full Article at The National

Follow Kareem

Latest Tweets

Latest Facebook Posts

I'm in shock and awe over Howard Schultz's bold decision to discuss race relations at #Starbucks so I thought I would write about it for Time Magazine. You can read my article here:

time.com/3749633/kareem-abdul-jabbar-starbucks-racetogether/

I even went on CNN to discuss w Poppy Harlow - video here

cnn.it/18PfW0l
... See MoreSee Less

Raising awareness for cancer research is something I am passionate about. This is something Congress can all agree on - we need to eradicate cancer. Please join me in asking Congress to fund this initiative.

It's my pleasure to add my name to this list - pls join me and add yours.

onedegreeproject.org
... See MoreSee Less

Hey #MarchBasketball fans: @Delta is giving away a flight to Indy if you can scream LouderThanJets.com #ad ... See MoreSee Less

Categories

Career Highlights