Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pokes fun at 'great fall' that broke his hip | Inquirer Sports

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar pokes fun at ‘great fall’ that broke his hip

/ 02:56 PM December 20, 2023

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar looks on during the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 03, 2023 in Inglewood, California. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says he’s recovering from hip replacement surgery after falling at a concert, but his Substack account of the incident showed his sense of humor is intact.

“Humpty Kareem had a great fall,” Abdul-Jabbar quipped in the first sentence of his Substack post on Monday that described his fall at a Manhattan Transfer concert in Los Angeles on Friday.

“I’d like to say I fell while trying to save a child from plunging over a balcony, but I just tripped,” the six-time NBA champion wrote. “Hard for me to accept that a once world-class athlete just stumbled. But age is the great equalizer and humbles us all.


“Now, I’m a world-class patient in a bed convalescing from a hip replacement like 450,000 other Americans every year.”

The 76-year-old said he was scheduled to speak at the concert, which was the vocal quartet’s final performance in a decades-long career.

“But I fell and was carted off to UCLA Hospital with a broken hip,” he said.

Deborah Morales, Abdul-Jabbar’s business partner and spokesperson, had issued a statement on Saturday saying he had suffered a broken hip and would undergo surgery.


She told CNN on Sunday that he was “recovering just fine” and on Monday Abdul-Jabbar posted on Substack, where he regularly writes about sports, politics and culture.

“I will be taking a week or so off over the holidays to fully recuperate and spend time with my family,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “When I return, it will be with a shiny new hip and a lot of shiny thoughts to share.”


The iconic 7-foot-2 superstar center made his NBA debut with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 and in 1971 led the Bucks to their first NBA crown.

Abdul-Jabbar was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975 and together with playmaker Magic Johnson combined for a “Showtime” era to bring the Lakers five titles in the 1980s before retiring in 1989.

The 19-time NBA All-Star big man, known for his trademark “Sky hook” shot, broke the NBA all-time scoring record in 1984 and held the NBA career points mark until it was broken by the newest Lakers star, LeBron James, in February.

Abdul-Jabbar has also embraced a role as a social activist, speaking on numerous social justice causes. The author of more than a dozen books, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 by former president Barack Obama.

Abdul-Jabbar has dealt with other serious health issues, revealing in 2009 he had been diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia.

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In 2015 he underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery and in 2020 revealed in a magazine article that he had been treated for prostate cancer.

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