Larry Mantle |

Kareem visits KPCC studios

It’s always fun to see the reactions of KPCC employees when admired guests visit our studios.  That was certainly the case Wednesday with the appearance of former Laker and Bruin star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  I haven’t seen such a crowd of employees around AirTalk’s studio A in a long time.  Dick Van Dyke might have been the last in-studio guest to get such attention.

I was struck by Kareem’s apparent humility in responding to the backlash against his complaints over not getting a statue outside Staples Center, nor getting help from the Lakers in finding coaching employment in the NBA.  He seemed somewhat chastened by the disappointment of fans, many of whom think him deserving of a statue alongside Magic and West, but not appreciative of him publicly complaining about it.

Regardless of what you think about his criticism of the Lakers, his documentary on the Harlem Rens basketball team is terrific.  We’ve all heard of the Harlem Globetrotters, who were really from Chicago, but the Rens are off the radar for most sports fans.  Kareem and the team that made the film are correcting the oversight.  The documentary also features great original music from jazz pianist, composer, and arranger Bill Cunliffe.

On the Shoulders of Giants is available for instant viewing on Netflix.