Professional and College Basketball Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR

June 4, 2002 -- A BIG MAN with a big dream showed up yesterday at the Raymond G. Lumpp Gymnasium on the sixth floor of the New York Athletic Club to coach his USBL Oklahoma Storm. The skinny kid who grew up in Inwood as Lew Alcindor and dominated at Power Memorial High School, the 55-year-old multifaceted celebrity/legend we have come to know as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, believes you CAN go home again.
Kareem's dream?

Head coach, New York Knicks.

"If you talk about if everything just fell in place, or just picking up the dice and rolling sevens, that would be wonderful," Jabbar was saying yesterday.

It would enable him to care for his father Al, who is 82 years old and living in Brooklyn and suffering from senile dementia.

It would also enable him to finally kick down NBA doors that for the past five years have been slammed in a face that too often for too long turned away from the public.

His credentials? He coached high school kids for $1 at the White Mountain Apache reservation in Whiteriver, Arizona. He was an assistant coach with the Clippers for two-and-a-half months at the end of the 2000 season. He coaches tonight at LIU against his son, Kareem Abdul Jabbar Jr., 6-foot-6 and 25 years old, and the Brooklyn Kings.

And New York won't scare him. The skyhook's the limit, come hell or high expectations. "I just think that the Knick fans, they expect a lot," Jabbar said. "They're still yearning for 1973. They have to accept the fact that these things take time. At least it's not as bad as it was when I was a kid when the only time that they got vocal was at the end of the game and the betting line was at stake."

He knows because his high school coach used to get free passes to the old mecca of basketball. Kareem's Knicks? "Ray Felix, Carl Braun, Kenny Sears, Richie Guerin . . . it was like a relief when got Johnny Green and Willie Naulls."

Kareem's New York? "Museum of Natural History; doubleheaders at Madison Square Garden; the rodeo at Madison Square Garden; riding my sled down Fort George Hill. I can go on and on."

It frustrates him that only Ernie Grunfeld, then with the Knicks, and Wes Unseld, have granted him a getting-to-know-you interview. "I think I have something to offer to the [self-indulged] younger players that they need to know," Jabbar said. "I think the game needs it so I'll persist until I'm sure all the doors are closed."

They say he's quiet and positive on the bench. He doesn't buy the notion that former NBA stars do not make good head coaches and mentions Paul Silas, Dan Issel and Dave Cowens. "I really think that's a cliche," Jabbar said.

He understands the big picture now. "I was a shy person; people gawking, people saying sometimes cruel things, insensitive things, really drove me into a shell," Jabbar said. He concentrated every ounce of energy towards becoming a Hall of Fame center. "I wanted to play the game and go home," he said. Magic Johnson was a blessing for him. "He was the darling of the media and I was able to stay in the background. It suited my personality."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,590 Posts
I live in Oklahoma and have seen the Storm play a few times, and he hardly ever does anything while coaching. He reminds me of a more relaxed version of Phil Jackson....I think he'd be an OK NBA coach, he's a very smart guy about all sports, he has his own sports radio talk show here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,236 Posts
There have only been a few good NBA great players that were good coaches. For some reason I don't see Kareem as a good NBA coach. I see him a more of a *behind the scenes* type , an assistant coach - maybe because of his personality quirks that he himself talks about. He wouldn't be able to handle the media blitz of a New York, IMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Just a couple of things incase people don't know...

*Kareem Abdul-Jabbar coaches the USBL Oklahoma Storm.

*They are currently ranked 2nd in the Mid-West Division with a record of 15-11.

*They have a streak of 4 wins.

*The Website for the Oklahoma Storm is http://www.theoklahomastorm.com/
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top