Los Angeles Lakers Announce Plans for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Statue

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IAugust 27, 2012

In a move long overdue, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally announced plans to erect a statue of the NBA's all-time leading scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, outside of Staples Center. 

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, "The Lakers plan to announce the date of the official unveiling of the statue in the near future, according to a league source."

Abdul-Jabbar's likeness will be the fifth statue outside of Staples Center, with the other five belonging to Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn, Wayne Gretzky and Oscar De La Hoya. 

The fact that Abdul-Jabbar has waited 23 years for this reported announcement has not sat well with the legend. 

The Sporting News' Steve Greenberg captured this quote from Kareem last May, a few short months after the unveiling of Jerry West's bronze statue:  

I don't understand (it). It's either an oversight or they're taking me for granted, I'm not going to try to read people's minds, but it doesn't make me happy. It's definitely a slight. I feel slighted.

He had every right to feel slighted. His contributions to the Lakers are a huge reason the franchise is as storied as it is. 

He was a vital piece to the Lakers' five championship teams of the '80s. While his slow-paced style was in many ways the antithesis of "Showtime," those teams would not have been nearly as dominant as they were without Kareem's money sky hook and inside presence. 

The image of Kareem in the Purple and Gold, turning on one foot to raise his never-ending arm high into the air to drop in a sky hook is a defining image for the franchise. 

It is about time that the club bestowed this honor on the six-time NBA MVP.