When Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar joined ESPN.com as a columnist in February, his basketball credentials were obvious.
After all, the league’s all-time leading scorer spent 20 years in the NBA, amassing 38,387 points with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers, winning six NBA Championships and a record six MVP awards. He was selected to 19 NBA All-Star teams and to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
In college, Abdul-Jabbar won three straight National Championships at UCLA and is the only student-athlete in history to be voted the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament three times. He received the very first Naismith College Player of the Year Award in 1969 and was named “The Best Collegiate Player of the 20th Century” by ESPN and “History’s Greatest Player” by TIME Magazine.
In other words, his basketball resume is unmatched. But during his NBA career and since his retirement, Abdul-Jabbar has also been an actor, coach and a New York Times best-selling author. He started the Skyhook Foundation, which raises the academic aspirations of underserved youth by connecting them with filmmakers, writers and athletes who develop books and films that teach children about important figures in U.S. history. Earlier this year, he became a U.S. Global Cultural Ambassador, a post he was appointed to by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Add it all up, and you can imagine the unique point of view and range of topics his bi-weekly columns will continue to cover.
With the NBA Playoffs in high gear, we asked Abdul-Jabbar to share his views on a few hot topics:
How did you become a columnist for ESPN.com?
I became a columnist for ESPN after writing a few articles for them last summer. I got my introduction to journalism in 1964. That summer, I participated in a jobs program that was designed to challenge the youth of Harlem to figure out how to make Harlem a better place. I was enrolled in the journalism workshop, where I was taught basic skills. That summer changed my life by giving me an idea of what it meant to be a writer, and I have pursued writing in my post-sports life.
To read the rest, check it out on ESPN's Front Row website here.