Kareem Abdul-Jabbar underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery Thursday.
The Lakers great was diagnosed with cardiovascular disease earlier in the week.
A press release from UCLA said:
“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.”
This week we heard the details of him battling through leukemia.
Since 2005, Abdul-Jabbar has served as special assistant coach for the Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar had been interested in coaching since his retirement, and given the influence he had on the league, he thought that the opportunity would present itself. However, during his playing years, Abdul-Jabbar had developed a reputation of being introverted and sullen. He did not speak to the press, leading to the impression that he disliked them. In his biography My Life, Magic Johnson recalls instances when Abdul-Jabbar brushed him off when Magic (as a ball boy) asked for his autograph, Abdul-Jabbar froze out reporters who gave him a too enthusiastic handshake or even hugged him, and refused to stop reading the newspaper while giving an interview.
We pray he has a speedy recovery.
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