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If you like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's story, you might also like:
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Mike Krzyzewski,
Peyton Manning,
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar can also be seen and heard in our Podcast Center

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's recommended reading: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Profile of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Biography of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Interview with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Photo Gallery

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Interview (page: 7 / 7)

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  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Do you ever think about the fact that you are called the greatest to ever play the game, that no one ever played basketball better than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Interview Photo
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: I think that what I achieved as an athlete is really wonderful, but limited, and I think that the books I have written, after I am dead, people can still read them. I have stopped contributing anything on the basketball court. I do a little bit of coaching, but the books I have written are able to spread knowledge and inform people, and that will continue after I have passed on. I think that really makes me feel special in ways that my achievement in sports have not. Mark Twain is a hero of mine. I have written some things that might last in the same way that Huck Finn has lasted. It has that possibility. That is a special thing for me.

How would you like to be remembered? What would you like to have as a legacy?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: I think my legacy is the fact that I was able to do well as an athlete and as a scholar. I am very proud of that, and I hope people can understand and learn from the things that I have written long after I am gone. I hope that that is what happens.

By the way, your new book is terrific.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Thank you very much. It was fun writing it.

You should be really be proud of that.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: I am.

I remember the first book I wrote some 25 years ago, it was very difficult, just being public with private information. That was my autobiography. I remember like six weeks before it was getting ready to come out on the bookstands, I wanted them to stop the project, because I said, "I can't be public like that," and with every publication since then, the process has gotten easier and I think the books have improved.

[ Key to Success ] Courage

How tough is it for you to face that blank page, or a blank computer screen?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: I don't think that is tough, because if you have an idea of something meaningful to communicate, you can move forward on that. You might not be successful in communicating what you want to communicate, but at least you have an idea of something that needs to be said, or something that you think should be said, and I think you go from there.

Is there anything we haven't talked about that you want to talk about?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: No. If you are happy, I am happy.

You have been very generous with your time. We appreciate that and we thank you very much.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The pleasure is mine.

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This page last revised on Sep 22, 2010 14:03 EDT
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