1. Thursday, February 11, 2016

    eight years ago today we launched the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar blog 

    kareemhave i told you im the luckiest man in the world? i am.

    it seems like just yesterday, i had held the position of Blog Editor at the LA Times for just a few months when i got an email from the Sports Editor Randy Harvey who said the NBAs top scorer was interested in blogging for our paper.

    because i was new i assumed that this happened all the time and it was going to happen all the time. but alas it was the one and only true celeb who would blog regularly for us. and despite the hiccups that we had it was a dream come true.

    as a kid i idolized #33. the book about his life was my favorite book in grade school. so to work with him on this project was almost as surreal as being the damn blog editor of my favorite paper.

    my terms were simple, if he really wanted it to be a hit he had to have a real blog post every day. was he up for it? he told me he was. he told me about all the books he’d written and all the interests he had. and sure enough he DID have a lot of interests and he was able to mesh those with the current events of the day and he churned out a fascinating, controversial, edgy blog that was much more than just about sports.

    when Herbie Hancock won a bunch of Grammys, boom there was a recent picture of Kareem (a huge jazz fan) with Herbie. when one of the Manning Brothers was in the Super Bowl, there was a picture of Kareem with both brothers. he wrote about movies, health, politics, race, and yes, even sports.

    my belief about a blogging athlete was changed because of my experience with Kareem. at first i thought it would be difficult because most athletes and musicians have this image that they feel compelled to uphold through LACK of communication to the world. i thought it would be hard for someone to be able to write every day because of their schedule, but even though Kareem’s calendar was packed, he made time for it.

    and best of all he was not afraid to keep it real.

    over the years i spent there we had other athletes who asked to do what Kareem did and i asked them a few questions: can you keep it real, can you write every day, are you gonna be freaked out if and when the commenters turn on you? they all backed down.

    here are a few of the mentions the blog got when it launched.

    rock on, Cap!