For years, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wasn't shy about saying he thought the Lakers should have erected a statue of him outside Staples Center. On Friday, standing beside the nearly 16-foot-tall, 1,500-pound statue of himself in his classic skyhook pose, Abdul-Jabbar concluded the timing of the honor was right.
"I'm glad we got here before the pigeons got to it," he said, drawing laughter from an array of former NBA players, executives, family and friends.
"I don't know if you remember, but I had a little too much to say that it hadn't happened right away. But they were patient with me," he said after pulling a gold tassel that removed a curtain and unveiled the statue created by sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany.