The Los Angeles Lakers are well-known for the commitment to their brand, including their former players. The team hired a former player in Luke Walton to lead them as the head coach last summer. Then, they hired arguably the greatest player in franchise history in Magic Johnson as the president of basketball operations. There has also been talk about Kobe Bryant becoming more involved with the team and it appears as though that’s begun in some capacity.
Now, it appears as though another all-time great Laker could be joining the fold. In an interview with Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News, legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar announced that he would be meeting with the Lakers soon in order to discuss a role in the organization.
Abdul-Jabbar has been involved with the Lakers in different capacities over the years. Most recently, he was among several Lakers legend brought in to speak with the team last season.
But it seems like team owner Jeanie Buss is interested in giving the Captain a bigger and more official role with the team, likely as some sort of player development coach. Kareem spoke to Medina about the team’s potential and singled out one player in particular whom he’d like to mentor:
“They can improve, but it takes hard work,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “They have to listen to the coaches. So many of them are so enamored with their own talent that they don’t realize they still have things to learn.”
Abdul-Jabbar also expressed interest in mentoring Lakers second-year center Ivica Zubac, who has worked on his hook shot with longtime Lakers consultant Bill Bertka.
Zubac surprised everyone with his emergence as a rookie and it seems like the Lakers have high hopes for him. The Croatian sensation brought an air of nostalgia to the team as he spoke about and utilized a Kareem-esque skyhook at times last season. Who better than the all-time leading scorer in NBA history to mentor the 19-year-old?
It’s unclear exactly what role Kareem Abdul-Jabbar would have if he does indeed get an official title with the Lakers. At 70 years old, one would expect that it would not be a day-to-day job. Nevertheless, it’s hard not to get excited about Kareem joining Magic in helping lead the Lakers back to their esteemed status.