NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (KAJ) publicly criticized LeBron James on Sunday for how James conducts himself given his platform. According to Kareem, LeBron should do better when addressing social issues.
Abdul-Jabbar continued. "Some of the great things that he's done, he's standing on both sides of the fence almost, you know? 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," Kareem added.
What is Kareem talking about, exactly?
On his substack, Abdul-Jabbar called out James in December for posting a famous Spider-man meme that questioned the seriousness of COVID-19. Kareem obviously wasn't a fan of James' actions and said this was a blow to James' worthy legacy.
"I admire the things what he's done that have gotten all our attention," Abdul-Jabbar said. "Sending a whole school to college? Wow. That's amazing. His thoughtfulness and willingness to back it up with his wallet, you got to give him credit for that. So I'm not throwing stones. I just wish he wouldn't, you know, some of the things he's done, he should be embarrassed about. That's just where I'm coming from," Abdul-Jabbar added.
Another incident Kareem had a problem with was when James performed the famous "I got balls to dance" after knocking down the game-winner against the Indiana Pacers last November. According to the NBA's current All-Time scoring leader, James should have walked off and remained humble instead of disrespecting his competitors.
"I think he has so much going for him in terms of respect and accomplishment, and he shouldn't stoop to those moments," Kareem wrote on his substack.
Carmelo Anthony wants to patch things up.
Abdul-Jabbar was in attendance on Sunday's game primarily to honor Carmelo Anthony for winning this season's Social Justice award, named after Kareem.
When Anthony was asked about Abdul-Jabbar's comments towards his teammate post-game, he said that he encourages both James and Kareem to sit down and address the issue.
"In our community, we need those tough conversations, we need those uncomfortable conversations," Anthony said. "So if Kareem wants to sit down and talk, if Bron want to sit down and talk, I think that's a conversation that needs to be had. I don't think we need Kareem lashing out at Bron, and you haven't seen Bron say anything about Kareem. I think that would be a powerful conversation."
Kareem remains supportive of James
Despite his disapproval of some of James' actions, Abdul-Jabbar mentioned that he still strongly supports James. Kareem knows that the 19-year-veteran is close to passing him on the NBA's scoring list, and he said that he's going to welcome and root for James' next significant achievement when it happens.
At the end of the day, all Abdul-Jabbar wants is for James to re-think his stance on social issues.
"I'm all for him doing it," Abdul-Jabbar said. "There's no envy there. Just with the issues, I was talking about, things that really affect the Black community, he should be careful. That's all I'm asking."
The relationship between Kareem and James seems pretty complicated, to say the least.