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February 26, 2008

Answering fan mail II

I wanted to add an answer to one more question that didn't make it onto the previous video.  I received a great question/response on my Slice ‘Em blog from Robert Sommers, and I would like to respond. 

Robert speaks of the traditional arts as being civilized and measured as opposed to the mixed martial arts phenomena that are so popular these days.  He certainly has a point. 

Unrestrained aggression is a very ugly path to take in living one’s life.  On the other hand, when someone’s life, loved ones, or home is threatened, it is necessary to respond in a radical way.  We have to be prepared to deal with those who use violence as their voice.  The balance is found in knowing when to act and when to use reason.  But it is so difficult to find that moderate space when dealing with irrational aggression.

Click here to check the prior fan mail


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I am so glad to see your influence on young Andrew Bynum. I think he can a be a force in the NBA for a long time to come if he continues to work with you. Can you tell us who in the Lakers organization was most responsible for the decision to make you his personal coach?



Just to help out with the Sonny Rollins / Rolling Stones question:

The Stones album Sonny plays on, "Tattoo You", was pieced together from various sessions dating from 1972 to 1981 - in fact, Sonny's most famous solo (on "Waiting On A Friend") was an overdub on a song that was originally tracked in 1972.

Mick Jagger has acknowledged Sonny's contributions to the record, but said he got "fed up" with writing out credit lists for such a sprawling album. Several quotes from the following site refer to this:


Incidentally, Sonny Rollins is not the only musician to record with both the Stones and Miles Davis. The excellent bassist Darryl Jones can also make that claim!


Do you ever think about the infamous Kermit 'punch'?
Has there ever been a moment in your life that you've regretted and wished you could have a 'do-over'?

Jon K.

Buddy Miles life seems to be inspiring, bizarre, and tragic. A great drummer.



I don't know if you'll receive this because I'm not sure I'm posting correctly. But I had a couple of questions.

If you're stranded on a deserted island with a CD player and room for only three of your favorite Jazz albums, which do you take and why?

Also, I've always admired you because not only were you a fantastic basketball player and humanitarian, but because you always seem so spiritually centered and balanced. I'm wondering if there are any resources (books, activities, etc.) that you would recommend for others seeking the same balance?

Thank you for being the person you are and to The Times for your wonderful, insightful blog.

-- Peter


Hi, Kareem.

A couple of months ago I went to the JCC (a Community Center in Irvine) and I saw what I at least interpreted as you hosting a basketball game. And since then I have kept wondering what specific game that was, as well what affiliation you have with that league.




My understanding is all human life began in the area that we now call Africa and migrated to all parts of the globe, so liked the question and answer to pre-Columbus days. Columbus was not the first explorer to "discover" what we call the Americas; Vikings, for one pre-dated him.

A family story from about 10 years ago:

My baby brother came home from work and his wife had bad news for him. Their baby had reached out of his crib, grabbed a basketball player card from his prized collection, destroying it. She hurried to add that it was not one of his valuable cards, because the player was an unknown.

The player on the card was Lew Alcinder. Brother decided it best not to display cards on the baby's dresser until he got a bit older.

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Captain Kareem

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is considered by many fans and sportswriters to be the greatest basketball player of all time. The 7-foot-2 Hall of Fame center, famous for his indefensible skyhook, dominated the NBA for 20 years, first with the Milwaukee Bucks then with the Los Angeles Lakers. Before that he was the star of the UCLA Bruins teams that won three consecutive NCAA championships. Kareem was the NBA's MVP six times, a 19-time all-star and set the NBA all-time records in nine categories. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points, a record that may never be broken.

Since retiring as a player in 1989, Kareem has balanced his love of basketball with his love of history. In 2002 he led a USBL team, the Oklahoma Storm, to a championship. Since 2005, he has been the special assistant coach for the Lakers, working with Andrew Bynum.

In 2008 he was chosen The Greatest Player in College Basketball History.

Kareem also remains intellectually active, authoring six bestselling history books intended to popularize the contributions of African-Americans to American culture and history. His books include "Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement"; "Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes"; "A Season on the Reservation," which chronicles his time teaching basketball and history on an Apache Indian reservation in White River, Ariz.; and the current New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance."

His audio adaptation, "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Audio & Musical Journey through the Harlem Renaissance," is a four-volume compilation read by Bob Costas, Avery Brooks, Jesse L. Martin, and Stanley Crouch, and features private and fascinating conversations with dozens of icons, including Coach John Wooden, Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, Quincy Jones and Billy Crystal. He has also been written to L.A. Times, under the Sports section.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been appearing on various radio stations and TV shows, as well as the most relevant websites talking about his life and his new audio book, On the Shoulders of Giants.

All images are property of www.iconomy.com unless otherwise stated. All info copyrighted and owned by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not replicated without permission.

Come meet Kareem at the NBA Store on 5th Avenue: Friday, May 16th, from 3:15pm - 4:15pm.

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Mr. Abdul-Jabbar is the 2008 Honorary Chair Library Card Sign-up Month, which takes place in September. He will also appear at the American Library’s National Convention on June 28th and 29th at the Long Beach Convention Center to sign his poster.

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ESPN names Kareem The Greatest Player In College Basketball History

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