Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will discuss it, on tonight’s episode of “The Colbert Report” (8:30 p.m., Comedy Central) and on Friday’s “Today” show (Channel 4, 7 a.m.)
His latest tweet on the subject: “I think the essence of my message to employers is learn to appreciate your staff properly especially when they are high producers.”
Following up on the tweets he made Wednesday about how he wasn’t holding his breath about getting a statue of himself erected outside Staples Center, Abdul-Jabbar appeared this morning on ESPN’s “Mike & Mike In the Morning” radio show and had this to say:
“It’s about a whole lot of smaller incidents that as they pile up on you, you get the feeling that you don’t mean anything to them. For example, I had to take a cut in salary. At the same time they tell me I had to take a cut in salary they’re paying the (head) coach $10 million-$12 million a year. You wonder how much you count when they tell you stuff like that.
“We were flying on a plane back from Orlando two years ago (after the NBA Finals) and they put me (a former assistant coach) in a tiny little seat that I couldn’t be comfortable in and there were empty seats up there where (other) coaches sat, which is where I usually flew with the team. It was little things like that, just little things that started to wear on me and make me feel like I wasn’t appreciated and I certainly wasn’t being treated like family.
“My tendency is to grin and bear it because I figured there must be something happening that I don’t understand and this is being done out of necessity. Once I get the idea that that wasn’t the case and it wasn’t, I figured maybe it was time for me to speak out. I’ve never been this vocal about anything. I’ve always tried to stay out of the fray and not be an object of controversy. It doesn’t suit me, but something needed to be said.”