Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most legendary players to have ever played in the NBA. A few years back, he decided to do a documentary about his entire life and NBA career. At the premiere, he walked up on stage in front of a cheering audience and decided to talk about why he did the movie.
One of the questions Kareem answered at that time was this one: Why would a player as media-averse, and deeply protective of his privacy as any star in the history of sports, subject his entire life to the probing eye of a documentary? Visibly emotion, Kareem began by saying:
“When my father died in 2005, I realized how little I knew about him.”
He explained that he didn’t want his own children to one day look back with the same regret, and more than anything, he hoped this movie would allow them and everyone else to “see past the armor that I’ve worn for so long.”
Even though he had one of the best careers in the NBA ever, Abdul-Jabbar’s inherent shyness led many to “typecast him as the brooding black guy. I had to toe a certain line and not be too controversial or too much my own man,” Abdul-Jabbar explained. He added:
When he was 14, Kareem had already made a name for himself. After his team dropped their opening game, he revealed that he sat and cried in the locker room:
“Dad never displayed any emotion. It affected me my whole life, because I thought that was why people respected my dad. All the other guys on the team were looking at me like I just stepped off a spaceship. From that point on, I always had my game face on. I never, ever gave away any emotional vulnerability to anybody from that point on until I retired.”
To read more about Kareem’s speech, click HERE.