Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s story will be told.
The one that will detail how he became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, six-time NBA champion, two-time NCAA champion with UCLA and five-time MVP after mastering the skyhook. The one that will explain how he became an accomplished author, actor and filmmaker. The one that will trace why for all the success Abdul-Jabbar experienced on the hardwood, he experienced social challenges off of it.
HBO Sports and Mandalay Sports Media have partnered with Abdul-Jabbar’s business company, Iconomy, and began producing a documentary on the former Lakers’ star that will debut in early 2015 on HBO.
“Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a legendary figure and an American sports icon,” HBO President Ken Hershman said in a statement. “While he has lived so much of his life in the media spotlight, his extraordinary story has never been explored in depth, and we are grateful to Kareem and his team for allowing us to bring this story to life.”
Those who will tell Abdul-Jabbar’s story will include director Ron Yassen, Abdul-Jabbar’s business manager Deborah Morales (producer) and executive producer Mike Tollin, who earned an Oscar nomination for his documentary on Hank Aaron and produced the HBO hit series, “Arli$$.
The fill will “reveal the complexity and genius of Kareem both on and off the court,” said Tollin, co-charman of Mandalay Sports Media. “By his own admission, Abdul-Jabbar has had a complicated and occasionally hostile relationship with the media. This is a unique opportunity to tell all sides of his story.”