Kareem Abdul-Jabbar virtually starred in ‘The Princess Bride’

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar virtually starred in ‘The Princess Bride’

NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s trophy case runneth over — however now he’s angling for an Emmy. He has nabbed six NBA MVP awards, six NBA

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NBA legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s trophy case runneth over — however now he’s angling for an Emmy. He has nabbed six NBA MVP awards, six NBA Championships and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The New York native has additionally written quite a few books and pens op-eds — about the whole lot from whether or not LeBron James is the best basketball participant ever to the midterm elections — for The Hollywood Reporter and The Guardian. Now he can add tv scribe to his résumé: At age 71, he’s working as a workers author on the upcoming reboot of the teen-detective TV collection “Veronica Mars.” The outspoken Laker nice, a divorced grandfather of 1, talks to The Submit about his surprising profession change, the one factor he’ll by no means eliminate — and the film position that acquired away.

You’re fairly lively on Twitter. Had social media been round while you have been taking part in within the 1970s and ’80s, is there something you’ll have introduced extra consideration to?

There’s a number of stuff that comes from simply dwelling my life — driving on the NJ Turnpike and being stopped as a result of I used to be a black individual driving an costly automobile. I by no means wrote about it or complained. All black [people] must take care of that. Cell cameras have uncovered that black individuals have been singled out by white cops. It really occurs. As soon as we expose this stuff, daylight is nice for these conditions.

Something out of your video games?

I used to be proper there standing on the court docket when Marvin Gaye sang the Nationwide Anthem on the All-Star Sport [in 1983]. I’d have taken photos of that. The [Los Angeles] Discussion board was nice for star-watching. Did you ever watch ‘The Munsters’? Fred Gwynne [Herman Munster] and Al Lewis [Grandpa] tried to by no means miss my video games at UCLA.

How did you find yourself within the author’s room for the “Veronica Mars” reboot?

[Show creator] Rob Thomas. There was a e-book he did referred to as “Slave Day,” which I referred to [in an Orange County Register story] and he was flattered. I met Rob and had some concepts about doing a restricted collection about South Central Los Angeles. I wanted some assist with that. Rob was gracious sufficient to assist . . . And he provided to deliver me and my right-hand man, [writer] Raymond Obstfeld, in and invited us to assist with the subsequent season of “Veronica Mars.” It’s ­actually serving to us and we’re studying [how to write a show]. We had no expertise. Now that I’m studying this, it’s fascinating, man.

What concepts are you bringing to the desk?

Me personally, not an entire lot. I’m attempting to take it in and determine it out as I’m going alongside. I’m the rookie within the room . . . because it goes alongside I’m able to contribute slightly bit. You anticipate that ­second to occur.

What are you watching now?

The final present I binge-watched was “Atlanta.” I didn’t have [the FX network] on my cable so I had to determine find out how to watch it.

You may have an iconic position within the film “Airplane,” as a co-pilot who denies he’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. You additionally appeared as your self in “Fletch” and “BASEketball.” Ever flip down a component for being too goofy?

No, however there was a task I missed out on . . . the

that Andre the Big had in “The Princess Bride.” I may have had it, however they shot the film throughout basketball season. And I acquired the position in “Airplane” as a result of Pete Rose couldn’t take it. They shot that throughout the summer season and he was taking part in baseball.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (left) and Peter Graves (right) in 1980's comedy 'Airplane!'
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (left) and Peter Graves (proper) in 1980’s comedy ‘Airplane!’©Paramount/Courtesy Everett Col

You’re now auctioning off memorabilia — together with recreation jerseys and championship rings — to learn your Skyhook Basis for underprivileged children. What motivated you?

I had a fireplace [his Bel Air mansion was destroyed in 1983] and it helped me perceive what issues are all about — they’re simply issues, and I’m not within the museum enterprise.

However there needed to be one factor you wished to maintain, proper?

Yeah, I’ve one in every of my MVP trophies. One in every of six. I stored one.

You grew to become a particular assistant coach to the Lakers in 2005 — 16 years after retirement. Why the delay?

I had a really unlucky relationship with the press whereas I used to be taking part in, as a result of I could possibly be prickly. It was a transition, generation-wise. I used to be coping with individuals [in the basketball world] who didn’t like Muhammad Ali — and I used to be a fan of Ali, and there was some antagonism. It acquired out that I didn’t like individuals. I used to be seen as a danger. However I lastly acquired by that and coached with the Lakers for 5 – 6 years. It was a superb expertise. [By the time I retired,] I had burned out. And that was two or three years and . . . when that stopped, I began writing. [The burnout] compelled me to do one thing else.

You collected a number of {hardware} within the NBA. Which accomplishment means essentially the most to you?

My youngsters’s e-book [“What Color is My World,” published in 2012] that gained the NAACP Picture Award. I’m pleased with that as a result of it was vital for teenagers and the kind of factor that lasts. Children can be reaching for that e-book for hopefully time to return, particularly black children that don’t perceive their very own heritage.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar promoting his children's book, 'What Color is My World?'
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar selling his youngsters’s e-book, ‘What Shade is My World?’FilmMagic

Do you assume modern-day athletes are doing a superb job parlaying their highlight into significant roles?

I believed [outspoken NFL quarterback Colin] Kaepernick did an unbelievable job. All that fireside and he was nonetheless capable of be on message . . . It was neat to see that Nike gave him some help there.

What’s subsequent for you?

I all the time consider one thing new to attempt. I’m simply having fun with life and it’s lovely having my granddaughter and seeing my youngsters do properly. Amen. That’s all that counts.