Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has apologized for saying that LeBron James should be “embarrassed” over some of his actions on and off the court.
On Tuesday, Abdul-Jabbar spoke to reporters before bestowing the NBA Social Justice Award bearing his name on Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony. While speaking to reporters, the Laker legend criticized current Lakers star, LeBron James, by saying that some of James’ antics are “beneath him.”
“Some of the things he’s done and said are really beneath him, as far as I can see,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Some of the great things that he’s done, he’s standing on both sides of the fence almost, you know?
Abdul-Jabbar added, “It makes it hard for me to accept that when he’s committed himself to a different take on everything. It’s hard to figure out where he’s standing. You’ve got to check him out every time.”
However, not long after making those comments, Kareem went on SiriusXM NBA Radio to apologize to LeBron.
“All I have to say is this: I was there to give Carmelo Anthony the NBA Social Justice Champion Award,” Abdul-Jabber explained. “I’ve been talking to the press since high school, that’s 60 years of making statements. And I haven’t always gotten it right. And Sunday was one of those nights,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “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.”
Today a reporter asked me a question about Lebron James and I regret my off-handed response which has been blown out of proportion. For years I’ve expressed my deep admiration and respect for LeBron as a community leader and athlete. That hasn’t changed and never will. – @KAJ33
— Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (@kaj33) April 4, 2022
Kareem took exception to a victory dance LeBron performed on the court in December, in which he grabbed his crotch after a win over the Pacers.
In addition, Abdul-Jabbar denounced James for posting a Spider-Man Instagram meme mocking the public confusion over the coronavirus, calling it a “blow to his worthy legacy.”
James has not publicly commented on Abdul-Jabbar’s criticism.