Unveiling set for Kareem's Staples statue

Sept. 1, 2012 at 2:20 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be the next Los Angeles sports star to be immortalized with a statue outside Staples Center, the Lakers announced.

Kareem's bronze statue will be unveiled Nov. 16, expanding the number of Staples statues to six.

Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time scoring leader, will join Lakers greats Magic Johnson and Jerry West plus announcer Chick Hearn. The growing statuary collection at Staples also includes boxer Oscar De La Hoya and Kings star Wayne Gretzky.

The statue is being created by the Illinois husband-and-wife team of Omri Amrany and Julie Rottblatt Amrany, who also did the Johnson and West sculptures. The Los Angeles Times said the couple is noted for the fine detail they add, right down to the tread on the soles of West's sneakers.

The Lakers declined to give any details on what the statue will look like, the Times said.

"We want it to be a surprise," said spokesman John Black. "It's an image of Kareem that the public will be familiar with, and we're confident they'll like it a lot."

Abdul-Jabbar -- known for his trademark skyhook shooting style -- is the NBA's all-time leading scorer. He played on six NBA championship teams in Milwaukee and Los Angeles and won a record six regular-season MVP Awards. He led UCLA to three national championships.

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