Kareem Abdul-Jabbar backflips off springboard, belly-flops hard on ‘Splash’ (Video)

Dan Devine
March 20, 2013

Hey, remember when Our Fearless Leader shared a photo of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wearing a Darth Vader mask and hugging Katharine Webb, and you worried that a few of the more chemically eventful nights of your youth had finally come home to roost and stomped your mindgrapes once and for all? It was weird, but actually not a terrifying hallucination — as we found out a couple of days later, the masquerade was part of a "Harlem Shake" video promoting the ABC reality celebrity diving show (yep) "Splash," in which a variety of famous (and "famous") people dive into pools under the instruction of Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis. They are doing this, we assume, for reasons.

[Related: Katherine Webb makes her 'Splash' and it's not terrible]

In training for his appearance, the NBA's all-time leading scorer showed us that he could do a backflip. When the show premiered on Tuesday night, though, we saw that he wasn't quite as successful at sticking the landing under pressure:

As a response to the effort, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh" sounds about right to me.

Despite eating it pretty severely, Kareem's dive was regarded favorably by the show's judges, thanks in large part to the facts that he is 7-foot-2 and 65 years old. (Which seem like reasonable facts to consider.) David Boudia, who won 10-meter platform diving gold for the U.S. at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, gave Abdul-Jabbar a score of 7.5 out of 10; USA Diving High Performance Director Steve Foley called Kareem "inspirational" (sure) and awarded him a 7, giving him an average of 7.25.

That score was high enough to keep Kareem from being eliminated in Week 1 of the competition. Keshia Knight Pulliam, whom you might remember from "The Cosby Show," was not so lucky. Poor Rudy.

This means we're going to get more opportunities to see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dive into pools. I think we can fairly call that a win for men, women and children everywhere. Just remember to complete your rotation next time, Kareem — less danger of a sore belly afterward that way.

If the clip above isn't rocking for you, please feel free to check out the flippin' elsewhere, thanks to GaryGreenLives.

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