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April 03, 2008

The Lakers gotta have heart

Kareem_paugasol After watching the Lakers I was reminded of the song from "Damn Yankees," "You Gotta Have Heart."

Last night the Lakers were enhanced by the return of center Pau Gasol. Gasol has been out with an injured ankle since March 14, and his absence created the worst of situations for the Lakers. When they acquired Gasol from Memphis, he was able to step in and solidify their front line and their confidence almost instantly. Without him, the Lakers have been very unstable and have tried to get by with people playing out of position to fill the void created by his absence. A center is the heart of the team. A player who can do well at that position is a foundation that other players use to fortify their own ability to contribute to the team’s success. Without Gasol, the Lakers seemed tentative and confused at times, and his return will make it possible for them to actually prepare to contend for success in the playoff season.

There is also the hope that Andrew Bynum will be ready to make his return soon. His injury in January started the unsteady tendencies of the Laker squad. All the fans that support the Lakers are waiting with much anticipation to get the opportunity to see Gasol and Bynum on the court together. I know I will be relieved to see Bynum return, because then I’ll be able to go to the market without having to answer the questions about when he’ll return. As it is, I have to shop at 1 a.m. to avoid the constant questions about when Bynum will return. He could make this playoff season one to remember.

(Photo credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)


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I agree 100%

Go Lakers!

Fairweather Fatty

So Kareem, when will Andrew return? lol

"You can run, but you can't hide"

"Pig" Miller

We think he's gonna make it a season to remember too Cap.

I can't wait.


I became a fan of your`s and the UCLA team(1967) when on a Saturday night i stay up till 2 am to watch some of those (channel 5)great bruin teams and that little hook you had,thanks for the memories Kareem.

alyssa berlin

I love reading your blogs, even though I'm not a huge sports fan. I enjoy reading them! My dad explained to me all about basketball, and funny thing is he's explained the center postion almost your words exactly. Keep doing what you're doing, you were an awesome player and you're not an awesome coach...not all that play can coach, thats a major accomplishment to add to your list.


don't understand why kobe healed faster than any other player when injured.


Jon K.

You're fricken hilarious, Cap! Shopping at 1AM to avoid Andrew Bynum questions.



I know the Lakers have heart, this blog was really good.

Can't wait to see the playoff season!



So when is Bynum gonna come back? Just kidding.

As a die hard Laker fan, I do hope that these playoffs will be one to remember.

I do wonder how Bynum and Gasol will mesh on the court together. My opinion is that if both of them focus their efforts on the defensive end of the court, we'll be alright. But at the same time, I think there will be a significant adjustment period for both of them, especially Bynum, at the offensive end, where there will not be as many offensive opportunities as before.

Kareem, if you have a chance, what is your opinion of the adjustments that both players will have to make, if any. And what is your insight as to how Bynum will embrace his role as the true anchor of the defense, now that Kwame is gone. From what I've seen of Bynum, he tends to embrace his role at the offensive end more so than the defensive end.

More to the point, do you think that Bynum has what it takes to impact the game from the defensive end at the championship level?

The Dab


Your Blog gets better and better. It's enlightening, empowering and entertaining.


The Dab

A Joseph

Kareem seeing as how you are generally regarded as the Greatest College Player (in my humble opinion you're the greatest period, but that's a discussion for another day) why are none of the endless series of player of the years not name for you. And should such an award use your birth name which you used in college or your chosen name? I have been a fan of yours for 40 years now. AJ

Jon K.

Ummm... Kareem?

You might want to teach Pau Gasol the Skyhook. If we had Bynum, Gasol, and Odom all throwing up skyhooks, methinks opponents would simply start conceding defeat rather than have to deal with the humiliation of 48 minutes of being powerless to stop it.


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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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