More than 20 years after retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is set to be honored by L.A. with a statue bearing his likeness.
The Abdul-Jabbar statue will be unveiled outside the Staples Center sometime during the coming NBA season, but the Lakers have not set a date, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The NBA franchise previously erected statues in honor of Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn and Jerry West.
There had been friction between the team and its legendary center after Abdul-Jabbar said the team disrespected him by not putting up the statue sooner, according to the Times.
The center, who first came to the NBA as Lew Alcindor with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969, also complained that the Lakers reduced his role with the organization and made him sit at the back of the team airplane, the paper reported.
Basketball fans and players have called the Abdul-Jabbar statue long overdue.
"Like to congratulate Kareem Abdul jabbar for his statue in front of the staple center," tweeted former Laker Shaquille O'Neal. "You deserve it You will always be the G.o.a.T."
"About dang time," said Twitter user @Poppa_Falcon.
"Kareem should've been the first to get a statue built but congrats to a legend!!!" wrote @TheRealDMArtest.
"Kareem Abdul Jabbar deserved to have a statue in front of the Staples Center long ago," said @stevemaxboxing. "For my $, he's a top 3 all-time #nba player."
Former Los Angeles Times sportswriter J.A. Adande of ESPN said it was "about time" Abdul-Jabbar got his statue.
"Congrats to Kareem on getting his statue," said Lakers blogger Darius Soriano. "We've made plenty of jokes but that shouldn't obscure he deserves it & was a transcendent player."
Known for his signature skyhook, Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most dominant NBA centers of all time and holds league records for most points made in a career at 38,837.
"Surprise someone special with a customized video email starring the NBA's All Time Leading Scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar!" he says.
Abdul-Jabbar's career came full circle, starting out collegiately at UCLA and retiring in Los Angeles as a Laker in 1989.
Howard Koplowitz reports on crime and breaking news events for International Business Times. Howard formerly worked on IBT's continuous news desk, where he covered trending...