Lew Alcindor was once thought of as a semi-bright guy. Ridiculously tall, a string bean, and not much in the looks department. But dammit, he could play some hoops. Hey, when you're almost a foot taller than most of your opponents, especially as a kid, chances are basketball is a pretty good sport to participate in.
But just recently, the Lew turned Kareem Abdul Jabbar exhibited the height of hypocrisy in a shot he took at Dallas Maverick Dirk Novitzski.
KAJ said while DN's shot was hard to block, he remained basically a "one-trick -pony". Evidently, that was in reference to Novitzski's long range shooting skills.
Really, Lew, excuse, Kareem? Let's take a look at your history.
While at UCLA under legendary coach John Wooden, you were surrounded by mega- talent elsewhere on the court the whole time you were there.
After getting drafted by the lowly Milwaukee Bucks, you soon forced a trade so you could go back to LA-LA- land. Once there, you were again surrounded by hoop studs.
It's no great surprise the teams you played on, both in college and the pros, won some championships. While you were certainly "gifted", the talent surrounding you was also incredible. If instead of UCLA, you'd toiled away your college years at, say, Wisconsin, there wouldn't have been any NCAA championships. One guy can't get it done. The late Pistol Pete Maravich at LSU and Larry Bird at Indiana State possessed far more overall basketball skills, but they didn't have the supporting cast you did. Plus, they weren't 7 foot 2 either. So you got championships and they didn't.
Same with the NBA. If you hadn't landed on the Lakers and instead spent year after year playing for, say, Atlanta, chances are you wouldn't have all those rings. Like John Fogerty of Credence Clearwater Revival once sang, you were a "fortunate son" indeed.
But now you have the utter audacity to call out Dirk Novitzski as a one-trick-pony? Let's look a little deeper again.
Back in the day, the only thing you had going for you was the "sky hook". Nobody could block that either. You weren't a particularly good defender, an average free throw shooter, and one is still left to wonder just who was dragging who up and down the court when it came to you and Bill Laimbeer. Let's just say neither of you were exactly known as being gazelles. Slow and slower, but I always thought Laimbeer would beat your plodding butt by a full second in the 40 yard dash.
Get you over 10-12 feet away from the basket, and you were basically useless. You weren't a particularly good passer/assist guy, couldn't ball handle/drive, and nobody -- repeat -- NOBODY feared you shooting from outside. They WANTED you to. Brick city.
Ninety percent of the points you racked up over your career came on two things. Sky hooks and dunks. You didn't even have to jump for the latter.
And YOU, of all people, are calling Dirk Novitzski a one-trick-pony? This guy can shoot the lights out from long range. He's deadly at the free throw line. He can even put the ball on the floor and drive to the hoop on occasion. Dirk will "move his feet" on defense, understands the concept of switching coverages, and will run all over the floor. All you did was plop your tall butt in the "paint", wait for a lob-in pass, fake left, pivot right, and throw up another sky hook on offense. Defensively, you weren't capable of venturing more than 10 feet from the basket, or an opposing player would easily blow by you to the rim.
The hypocrisy screams. Perhaps the good Mr. Alcindor/Jabbar should go back into his meditation mode on a mountaintop somewhere. Lord knows, there are those that consider him quite the guru when he deigns to speak to the masses.
But in this particular instance, he's just made himself out to be a common day fool. Dirk is getting well deserved attention and Kareem doesn't like it.
Make that a jealous fool......