Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Humorous Take on His Hip-Breaking “Great Fall”
NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he’s recovering from hip replacement surgery after falling at a concert, but his Substack account of the incident showed his sense of humor is intact.
“Humpty Kareem had a great fall,” Abdul-Jabbar quipped in the first sentence of his Substack post on Monday that described his fall at a Manhattan Transfer concert in Los Angeles on Friday.
“I’d like to say I fell while trying to save a child from plunging over a balcony, but I just tripped,” the six-time NBA champion wrote. “Hard for me to accept that a once world-class athlete just stumbled. But age is the great equalizer and humbles us all.
“Now, I’m a world-class patient in a bed convalescing from a hip replacement like 450,000 other Americans every year.”
The 76-year-old said he was scheduled to speak at the concert, which was the vocal quartet’s final performance in a decades-long career.
“But I fell and was carted off to UCLA Hospital with a broken hip,” he said.
Deborah Morales, Abdul-Jabbar’s business partner and spokesperson, had issued a statement on Saturday saying he had suffered a broken hip and would undergo surgery.
She told CNN on Sunday that he was “recovering just fine” and on Monday Abdul-Jabbar posted on Substack, where he regularly writes about sports, politics and culture.
“I will be taking a week or so off over the holidays to fully recuperate and spend time with my family,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “When I return, it will be with a shiny new hip and a lot of shiny thoughts to share.”
The iconic 7-foot-2 superstar center made his NBA debut with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 and in 1971 led the Bucks to their first NBA crown.
Abdul-Jabbar was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975 and together with playmaker Magic Johnson combined for a “Showtime” era to bring the Lakers five titles in the 1980s before retiring in 1989.
The 19-time NBA All-Star big man, known for his trademark “Sky hook” shot, broke the NBA all-time scoring record in 1984 and held the NBA career points mark until it was broken by the newest Lakers star, LeBron James, in February.
Abdul-Jabbar has also embraced a role as a social activist, speaking on numerous social justice causes. The author of more than a dozen books, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 by former president Barack Obama.
Abdul-Jabbar has dealt with other serious health issues, revealing in 2009 he had been diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia.
In 2015 he underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery and in 2020 revealed in a magazine article that he had been treated for prostate cancer.