Kareem Abdul Jabbar:
Via a post on his Web site, KareemAbdulJabbar.com, the legendary Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks center said he will be selling his championship rings from 1980, ’85, ’87 and ’88. All of those titles were earned while he was a member of the Lakers. In addition, he will be auctioning other items including game-worn uniforms and jerseys. One such item is the game-used and signed ball from his final game in the NBA in 1989.
Why is this sporting legend unloading the tangible reminders of his glory days?
“My sports memorabilia also have a history. My history. My life,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “And, oddly, since my life is still happening and ever-evolving, I am less personally attached to those items than I am to my desire to create new history for myself — and futures for others. Much of the proceeds from my auction will go to support my charity, the Skyhook Foundation, whose mission is to ‘give kids a shot that can’t be blocked.’
“So, when it comes to choosing between storing a championship ring or trophy in a room, or providing kids with an opportunity to change their lives, the choice is pretty simple. Sell it all. Looking back on what I have done with my life, instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating celebrating something I did a long time ago, I’d rather look into the delighted face of a child holding their first caterpillar and think about what I might be doing for their future. That’s a history that has no price.”
Abdul Jabbar was an unfairly brilliant athlete. He has been an awesome post-athlete for a long time. This is just the latest in a story I hope goes on for many years to come.
I thought we could all use a story of a good human doing good. Open thread.
Abbot Handerson Thayer, Lunar Caterpillar, study for book Concealing Coloration in the Animal Kingdom, 1909, revised 1918.