Not only is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar revered for his incredible athletic achievements, the former baller and all-time lead scorer for the NBA has also been praised for his decades-long commitment to civil rights. To honor his duel devotion to the game and to our people, the NBA has created a new award and named it after the legend — it’s called the ‘Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion’ award and it comes with some serious influence.
According to ESPN, the winner of the inaugural award will receive $100,000, which he can donate to an organization of his choosing. Four additional finalists will receive $25,000, ESPN adds.
The selection process makes winning all the more special, as all thirty teams in the NBA will get to nominate a player they believe fits the bill before a 7-person committee (composed of league execs, activists and former NBA players) chooses the finalists.
“It’s nice to see the NBA try to promote social justice awareness, and I am very flattered they would see fit to name the award after me,” the 74-year-old told The Undefeated, according to ESPN. “I know I have some history with this, so I’m happy the way it’s worked out.”
Join us in saluting Abdul-Jabbar, a true king, and stay tuned!