Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and a Los Angeles-area auction house are disputing who owns the rights to some of the Lakers legend's stuff, and one look at the list of memorabilia in question explains why this debate is so heated.
The inventory, detailed by TMZ, is essentially an interior decorator's guide to designing a rad office.
-- An engraved KAJ tea set
-- A McDonald's "Top Faces of Black History" Award
-- Signed "Game of Death" poster (the movie he did with Bruce Lee)
-- A Stetson black suede hat
-- 5 pairs of Lakers sweatpants
-- Personalized L.A. Kings jersey
-- A "Fletch" script from 1984
-- A custom made rocking chair
... and a special Kareem Abdul-Jabbar snowboard
Acquire any one of these assets, and you're instantly the coolest guy in your set of cubicles. Score them all, and you're looking like a young Robert Duvall in your cowboy hat and sweatpants while sipping from a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar teacup and reading Chevy Chase's finest work from a rocking chair.
Understandably, Julien's Auction House wants to sell this bonanza of awesome, because any snowboarder worth his salt would up the ante for a Lew Alcindor alpine board.
But this memorabilia has sentimental value to Abdul-Jabbar, and that creates a conundrum. After all, Kareem once equated Bruce Lee's influence to John Wooden's, and as cool as a "Game of Death" poster might be on an office wall, it just wouldn't mean as much to anybody but the man who played Hakim.
According to TMZ, Kareem contends he entered into an agreement with Julien's Auction House in 2012, but later reneged on a fraction of the 400 items when nostalgia kicked in. However, Julien's believes its victory in an arbitration hearing against Abdul-Jabbar's KAJ Lifetime Retirement Collection LLC gives the Beverly Hills company every right to keep Kareem's stuff. Aren't legal battles grand?
Here's hoping someone establishes a Kickstarter in hopes of convincing Chuck Norris to roundhouse his way into the auction house and acquire Abdul-Jabbar's assets by any means necessary.
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