Kareem Abdul-Jabbar cried.
Not at any point during the 90 minutes we see him and many others detail his life story in the new HBO documentary, “Kareem: Minority of One,” which the network debuts on Tuesday night at 10 p.m.
This moment of unanticipated emotion occurred after the piece premiered in New York last week. The former UCLA icon, Lakers Hall of Famer and current author/social commentator viewed it for the first time in a private theatre on the 10th floor of the Time Warner Building filled with invited guests and friends. Present were NBA commissioner Adam Silver, former commissioner David Stern and former New York Knicks great Walt Frazier.
“It was very heartening to see,” executive producer Mike Tollin said of Abdul-Jabbar’s reaction. “He called it ‘extraordinary.’ He got choked up and shed tears toward the end of it. He acknowledged that this was his story; it represents who he is and what his life has been all about.”
That’s all Tollin, HBO and Abdul-Jabbar himself could have hoped for when this project began two years ago.