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Kareem Abdul Jabbar "whole-heartedly" apologizes to LeBron James: "I have tremendous respect for him"

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is hopeful the Lakers superstar will accept his apology
Kareem Abdul Jabbar apologies to LeBron James

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar apologizes to LeBron James

"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," Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said on SiriusXM NBA Radio. "Sunday was one of those nights."

Kareem's apology to LeBron

Kareem referred to comments he had made about LeBron James before the Lakers faced the Nuggets on Sunday night at Crypto.com Arena. The NBA's all-time leading scorer openly criticized James, describing some of his acts as "embarrassing," and beneath the level of someone of his stature, both on and off the court.

Later that night, Kareem tweeted an apology to the Lakers' superstar. He addressed the issue again Monday.

"It wasn't my intention to criticize LeBron in any way," Jabbar said. "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 whole-heartedly 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."

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The respect is still there

Kareem's criticism of LeBron was a continuation of NBA legend calling him out for things he had already expressed disagreement about -- most notably a tweet James issued to illustrate his aggravations with COVID-19 protocols, as well as his 'Big Balls' celebration after a win against the Pacers.

LeBron never responded to any of Kareem's comments, and Sunday was no different. 

He sat out yesterday's loss to the Phoenix Suns due to an ankle injury after missing the game against Denver for the same reason and has not been made available to address the reporters since Kareem called him out.

With the Lakers officially eliminated from the play-in contention, the team might shut down LeBron for the remainder of the regular season, giving him no opportunity to speak on this issue in the near future. And that might be for the best.

Kareem's public apology to James should be enough for the two all-time greats to set the whole thing aside, especially after Jabbar reiterated his excitement about LeBron potentially breaking his all-time scoring record. 

"I think if he stays healthy, he has every shot of breaking the record," Abdul-Jabbar said. "It's a marathon race. It's not a sprint. And he's real close. So I hope that he achieves everything that he wants to achieve because the accolades that he's gotten for himself throughout his career are so well-deserved and absolutely something that he has earned."

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