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NBA legend Karim Abdul-Jabbar says his criticism of LeBron James over the weekend was not intended to be “a slam or a bird or even a finger shake.”
The explanation came from an exchange during which Abdul-Jabbar spoke to reporters during the unveiling of his social champion trophy on Sunday, where he praised James for his activism before he was “embarrassed” by some of his decisions away from the basketball court. , Especially his management of being a prominent voice during the COVID-19 epidemic.
In a statement shared on social media by NBA.com author Mark Medina, Abdul-Jabbar made it clear that his comments were made “in the spirit of a loving older brother” and that he still sees James as “a key force in improving the quality of life. The black community.” Abdul-Jabbar said the whole comment was a summary of his earlier remarks about James – good and bad – instead of fancy condemnation and praise.
Abdul-Jabbar, who has advocated the use of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the epidemic, had previously issued an issue with James in December when he posted a Spider-Man meme with “flu”, “cold” and “covid”. They all point out to each other, unfoundedly. Abdul-Jabbar then called it “a blow to his worthy legacy”.
Although he received the COVID-19 vaccine, James stated that he was reluctant to do so and said that it was “not his job” to advocate for it.
“[I have] A higher expectation for (James) because he understands the problems and speaks to them quite forcefully and eloquently. ” Abdul-Jabbar said, according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “I think there’s a lot going on for him in terms of respect and achievement and he shouldn’t stop at those moments.”
Abdul Jabbar issued A. Follow-up statement After his comments went viral on Sunday night. In the statement, he cites a past article he wrote Sports sickJames was outraged when Muhammad Ali won the Legacy Award for social activism.
The statement said, “Of course I reprimanded LeBron when I thought he was throwing the ball while supporting the community. But I did it in the spirit of instructing a loving older brother, whether I like it or not.” “So when I think he can deviate from the path that compelled him to win this award, I’ll mention it. I’m a journalist. I do.
“But I believe that LeBron is strong enough and compassionate enough to understand that I have only love for him in my heart.”
Abdul-Jabbar added that he would not mind meeting with James to discuss their differences over vaccine advocacy, according to Ben Gulliver. The Washington Post.
The legacy of James and Abdul-Jabbar as basketball players has been increasingly linked as James continues his efforts to break Abdul-Jabbar’s record as the all-time top scorer in the NBA. James is currently in second place with 36,072 points, while Abdul-Jabbar is leading with 36.38 points.
Despite James paving the way for Abdul-Jabbar to pass soon next season, the six-time NBA champion says he is not jealous.
“I think the time has come. I’m not going to be jealous of LeBron. He’s got it. It’s a nice thing to see him go through all this and be the top scorer in the end,” he said.