Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Remembers His "Friend and Mentor" Muhammad Ali
"I may be 7’2" but I never felt taller than when standing in his shadow."
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar paid tribute to his "friend and mentor" Muhammad Ali following the three-time world heavyweight champion's passing on Friday at the age of 74.
The former NBA star remembered the boxing legend hours after his death in a heartfelt Facebook post, in which he highlighted Ali's impact on sports fans, athletes, the Muslim and African-American communities and "all Americans."
"To sports fans he was an unparalleled champion of the world, faster and smarter than any heavyweight before. To athletes, he was a model of physical perfection and shrewd business acumen," Abdul-Jabbar penned. "To the Muslim community, he was a pious pioneer testing America’s purported religious tolerance. To the African-American community, he was a black man who faced overwhelming bigotry the way he faced every opponent in the ring: fearlessly."
The 1995 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee's post was accompanied by two black-and-white photos of the friends: the first, a captured image of Ali fixing Abdul-Jabbar's tie and the second, a signed picture from Ali of the two playing instruments.
"I may be 7’2" but I never felt taller than when standing in his shadow," Abdul-Jabbar shared.
Read his full post below.