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Kareem Hardcover – March 24, 1990

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 233 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st ed edition (March 24, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394559274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394559278
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Arguably the best player in basketball history, undeniably its highest scorer, Abdul-Jabbar (born Lew Alcindor) made sports headlines from his high-school days in New York City until his retirement last spring as the captain of the Los Angeles Lakers. Here he reviews his life to date with the able assistance of McCarthy ( Women Coming of Age ), reprising some of the material in his earlier book, Giant Steps , but concentrating on his final season, a triumphal tour of all the NBA cities. The former star writes of his heroes--among them Jackie Robinson and UCLA coach John Wooden--opponents he has faced, like Larry Bird, such teammates as Magic Johnson, and the problems created by racial discrimination for blacks in general and black athletes in particular. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

As sports biographies go, this one is different. Abdul-Jabbar covers, in diary format, his last season with the Lakers, interspersing the daily events and game highlights with reminiscences of his childhood and early career in basketball . A very private person (he has four children but never discusses the women in his life, other than his mother), Abdul-Jabbar nevertheless reveals his feelings and values--the importance of education and teamwork rank high. Because he holds the NBA record for the most seasons played, the book covers a lot of territory. Statistics are included, but this isn't a biography for reports; rather, it offers interesting insights into a sports legend. --Diana C. Hirsch, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, MD
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
"Kareem" is based on a personal diary written by the legendary center during his final season with the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1988-89 campaign. As the quote from Jackie Robinson in the front of the book reminds us, "Athletes die twice." The Lakers were the two-time defending N.B.A. champions and going for a three-peat. However, in the finals against the Detroit Pistons the Lakers lost both of their starting guards and were swept in four straight. Suddenly Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career was over. Knowing that ending becomes important as you start reading this book, because, as Kareem says, "we were going for writing our names in the sky."
This is not a great sports biography, but it is certainly interesting, mainly because you get the private reflections and personal memories of a man who was also introspective and usually aloof. When his home burned down and his priceless collection of jazz records and Persian rugs was destroyed, Kareem was touched by all the people who sent him records to replace what he had lost. I think it is obvious on at least one level opening up like this was Kareem's way of returning the favor, a "written good-bye" to the fans, his fellow players, and the game for which we was one of the greatest players ever. His final season provides the framework for the book, but Kareem does cover his entire life and playing career, so you will also read about John Wooden and Oscar Robertson as well as Pat Riley and Earvin Johnson. Fans of the game are well aware of what he had done on the court all those years; this book lets us know what he has been thinking.
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Format: Hardcover
In 1988 the Los Angeles Lakers became the first NBA team in 19 years to repeat as champions. The following season, the 1988-89 campaign, was center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's last of a 20-year career, and this memoir is Abdul-Jabbar's remembrance of that season.

The Lakers had a mid-season slump but peaked toward the end of the year in the first three rounds of the playoffs. Injuries, however, helped doom the team's quest for a threepeat against Detroit in the Finals. Abdul-Jabbar's account of the season is a good one, recalling all of the key games and turning points of the season. The reader also gets a good sense of how grueling an NBA season can be for the players with all of the travel involved.

Along the way, Abdul-Jabbar reminisces about growing up in New York City and about some of the most memorable moments of his career, as well as his relationships with basketball figures like John Wooden, his coach at UCLA. He also provides sketches of his Laker teammates and other figures associated with the organization such as Chick Hearn, Gary Vitti, and Jack Nicholson.

Some at the time of this book's publication questioned whether the author should have used the book to settle his longstanding score with Wilt Chamberlain, but the rest of the book is a superb diary of an intriguing NBA season by one of the best ever to play the game.
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By vtown on February 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Do you think you are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's biggest fan? If you are, this is the book for you to read. This book is a diary of Kareem's last season in the NBA. He played an unheard of twenty years.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar decided he was going to retire after the 1989 season before it started. He thought of it as a farewell tour considering all of the other team's crowds would be secretly cheering for him in his final season of a fine NBA career. One thing he didn't realize right away was how he wasn't concentrating as much on the game but on his special honors he received at away games.

Some things I liked were how Kareem had a diary kept for the whole season starting in training camp all the way through the finals. Also the diary wasn't just about the games as it included some talk about his family. A dislike was how it kind of became repetitive after reading the book for a while because Kareem's schedule was the same.

This is another chance for all of you hardcore Laker and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar fans to relive the 1988-1989 season through Kareem's eyes. This is a classic season. Could the Los Angeles Lakers win their third championship in a row? Find out by reading Kareem.
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