In 2019, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar showed us another very important life lesson, which was that material possessions don’t equate to true success!
According to Fadeaway World, the former NBA champion sold his four championship rings and three MVP awards among other memorabilia items years ago. At the time, the sale was worth $2.8 million, which Abdul-Jabbar used to help support a youth education program.
Making Room For A Greater Cause
“When it comes to choosing between storing a championship ring or trophy in a room, or providing kids with an opportunity to change their lives, the choice is pretty simple,” said Abdul-Jabbar to ESPN at the time. “Sell it all. Looking back on what I have done with my life, instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating celebrating something I did a long time ago, I’d rather look into the delighted face of a child holding their first caterpillar and think about what I might be doing for their future. That’s a history that has no price.”
Letting Go Of Material Things
Furthermore, for the former L.A. Lakers player, the items are merely just that, material things. Abdul-Jabbar admitted that over the years, he has grown less attached to them.
“Since my life is still happening and ever-evolving, I am less personally attached to those items than I am to my desire to create new history for myself — and futures for others,” he continued. “Much of the proceeds from my auction will go to support my charity, the Skyhook Foundation, whose mission is to ‘give kids a shot that can’t be blocked.’
For Abdul-Jabbar, the inspiration behind the gesture was to ensure that children who were underserved and underrepresented could spend five days in the Angeles National Forest.
A Social Justice Advocate
No stranger to working in his community, from the very beginning, the 75-year-old has been committed to supporting causes that represent actual change.
Abdul-Jabbar has dedicated much of his life to being an agent for social justice work. He has spoken out against discrimination in all forms, including against women, Native Americans, and the LGBTQ community, as well as anti-Semitism and religious intolerance, according to ESPN. He also stood against former President Donald Trump’s travel ban in 2017 in addition to fighting for many other things he believes in.