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Giant Steps: The Autobiography of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Hardcover – December 1, 1983

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Editorial Reviews

Book by Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem, Knobler, Peter

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books; First Edition edition (December 1, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553050443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553050448
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Fenrich on March 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Giant Steps is an auto-biography of Kareem's first 30-35 years. A lot of people know Kareem as a sullen and bitter man and with good reason. But after reading his perceptions on his own life, you start to get an idea of what shaped Kareem and made him the man he was and how it shaped the man he is today. Raised in NYC, he was always a hoops phenom, always the tallest kid around, and after a few years, he became acutely aware of his blackness. A high school coach spitting a racial slur at him for "motivation" and a bus ride to racially insensitive North Carolina opened Kareem's (at the time his name was Lew Alcindor) eyes to racial inequality. He developed a keen interest in Islam (Kareem mentions the differences between the Islam he believes versus the Nation of Islam that Muhammad Ali believes in--very interesting take on this) and his own race.

After high school, it was on to sunny California and UCLA to play for John Wooden. The UCLA campus, chock full of white folks and scholars, was a bit different from the jazz joints he'd be hanging out at in Harlem.

From the US's two greatest cultural epicenters to Milwaukee? From the year-round paradise-like weather of LA to the frigid temps of Wisconsin? From the shelter of John Wooden's hoops program to the spotlight of the NBA and its aggressive media? Life can't change a lot more than that. And Kareem definitely had his difficulties, which he addresses and doesn't attempt to excuse.

You can feel Kareem's edge throughout the majority of the bio. The unforgiving chip on his shoulder weighs heavy on him, and after reading and understanding what pushed a bit more you can begin to sympathize with his personal struggles.

Near the bio's end you can literally feel weight sliding off of him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Omar Masood on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a decent book. Being an autobiography, it focuses more on the personal than the big picture, which is what most people would be interested in. However, while it often spends an inordinate amount of time on minor episodes in Kareem's life it is a solid book. My only big criticism of the book is that it glosses over his career after around 1977. He says little about Magic Johnson, his relationship with him and the great Lakers' teams of the 1980's and their dominance of that decade, their legendary rivalry with the Bird-McHale-Parish Celtics. Far more time is spent on his time in high school. All of this said, if you are interested in learning about perhaps the greatest basketball player ever I would recommend reading this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Miech on April 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Poignant insight into Kareem's early life, thoughts, and how he had to work to overcome certain stereotypes and prejudices, and his early nba career ...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Kammerdener on December 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
1. One major conflict in this book was all the fighting. All throughout this book fighting was occurring because of the rough streets in New York. Nothing really was full of action until Kareem Abdul- Jabbar came; he got his butt served, in his first fight. Kareem was crying about being bullied, but then he hit his growth spurt. Not a regular growth spurt he was at the least 7 foot 1. As he went to go play basketball in his townhome hoop there was a fight that occurred. Kareem would take notice and jump in, kicking and punching every which way. These fights would occur almost on a daily basis. His urge was never to fight but his quote was "if something started I'm going to finish it by kicking the living H*** out of them."

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar could certainly compared to the princess, because he makes many decisions that benefits himself. He carried this onto the court too! Such as when he changed the play on his coach and they scored in a very tricky manner. These characters would get along great because they both think alike. But they could also hurt each other because they have 2 different mindsets. They think the same way but Abdul-Jabbar uses his benefits on the court and for other people, While the princess is negative and disobeys the prince and gets killed.

"The man that can make a difference in anyones life." Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote this book to inform everyone that making a difference matters. Kareem wants everyone to know that even though he was in daily fighting he still helped people to make a positive cange in there lives. He wants a message to get through to people and that message is that anyone can change, you just have to put your heart and mind in the right place.
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