Kareem Abdul-Jabbar underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery on Thursday. The longtime Laker and all-time NBA leading scorer is expected to fully recover from the operation.
Abdul-Jabbar underwent the surgery after being admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center earlier in the week. From a UCLA spokesman:
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center this week with cardiovascular disease, and he underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery on April 16. The operation was performed by Dr. Richard Shemin, UCLA’s chief of cardiac surgery.
Shemin said the surgery was successful and he expects Abdul-Jabbar to make a full recovery.
At this time, Abdul-Jabbar would like to thank his surgical team and the medical staff at UCLA, his alma mater, for the excellent care he has received. He is looking forward to getting back to his normal activities soon.
He asks that you keep him in your thoughts and, most importantly, cherish and live each day to its fullest.
For those wanting to send well wishes, he thanks you in advance and asks that you support those in your own community who may be suffering from various health issues.
Abdul-Jabbar led the UCLA Bruins to three NCAA titles. After moving on to the NBA, Abdul-Jabbar was the focal point of the Milwaukee Bucks’ 1971 NBA championship team. Following a trade to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975, Kareem eventually teamed with Magic Johnson to win five more titles.
Playing until the age of 42, Abdul-Jabbar finished his storied career with 38,387 points, an NBA record that only Karl Malone (36,928) and Kobe Bryant (32,482 and counting) and Michael Jordan (32, 292) have come close to challenging. Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA MVPs, the all-time record as well, and he made the All-Star team in all but one (after missing an early chunk of the 1977-78 season after a fight with Milwaukee’s Kent Benson) of his 20 NBA seasons.
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Kareem has followed literary, acting and coaching pursuits in the years since retiring from the NBA in 1989. Frustrated at a lack of NBA head coaching job offers, the former Clippers and Lakers assistant coach gave up on his post-playing dream of getting to lead an NBA team several years ago. He successfully battled leukemia in 2009.
The surgery took place on Kareem’s 68th birthday. As he recovers, UCLA announced that Abdul-Jabbar will not giving public updates to the press while on the mend. All of us at Ball Don’t Lie and Yahoo Sports send our best wishes to The Captain.
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