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Just days after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said Lebron James has done things that are “beneath him” and that he should “be embarrassed by” other things he’s done, Abdul-Jabbar issued an apology and clarified his earlier comments about the Lakers’ star.
Abdul-Jabbar made his initial comments during the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. The six-time NBA champion was in attendance to present Carmelo Anthony with the NBA’s inaugural Social Justice Champion Award.
Sports Illustrated reports that the six-time MVP spoke on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Monday and said that sometimes he can get things wrong.
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“It wasn’t my intention to criticize LeBron in any way. He has done so much for the Black community as well as for the game of basketball. We may not always agree, but I want to wholeheartedly apologize to LeBron and make it clear to him that I have tremendous respect for him. And if he can accept that, I’ll be very happy.”
Abdul-Jabbar also sent an email to the Los Angeles Times on Sunday sharing his thoughts on James as an activist and why he was so critical of James.
KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR CRITICAL OF LEBRON JAMES, EXPLAINS REMARKS
“LeBron [James] is still the daunting hero I described two years ago,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “He’s still a major force in improving lives in the Black Community. He’s still one of the greatest basketball players in history. He’s still a man who has earned the overwhelming admiration of millions. And every day he goes out and proves why he deserves that admiration.
“On occasion I have chided LeBron when I thought he was dropping the ball when it came to supporting the community. But I did so in the spirit of a loving older brother offering guidance, whether wanted or not. So, when I said that he has done some things he should be embarrassed about, that wasn’t a slam or a barb or even a finger wag, it was me recapping some of what I’d said in the past.”
The Lakers (31-48) were officially eliminated from NBA playoff contention Tuesday following a 121-110 loss to the Phoenix Suns.
James did not play in Sunday’s game due to soreness in his left ankle, and he missed Tuesday’s game against the Suns.
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