Lakers Legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar Gave Emmy Award Winning Actor a Hard Time, at a Sport That’s Not Basketball: ‘All I Had to Do Was Stand at the Net..’

Published 06/23/2022, 12:30 PM EDT
SANTA MONICA, CA – JUNE 25: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrives to the NBA Awards Show 2018 held at Barker Hangar on June 25, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Kareem Abdul Jabbar is one of the greatest players of all time. He is the NBA’s all-time leader in points and has won various accolades. Kareem is a giant of a man, standing at 7’2″, and his height has often helped him in certain scenarios. Even when he is not playing basketball, he can dominate others in a few sports, like badminton. That was the case once with a good friend, who found it extremely difficult to play against the former Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers center.

Legendary actor, Billy Crystal has been a friend of Jabbar’s for a long time. They both came into the spotlight around the same time and both of them are icons of their respective fields. While speaking recently about their friendship on a talk show, Kareem shared a hilarious story about the two of them.

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Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Billy Crystal’s game of badminton

Kareem Abdul Jabbar was recently a guest on the hit talk show “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”. He spoke about various things and shared some funny anecdotes with the audience. The host, Jimmy Fallon, asked him about his friendship with Billy Crystal. Kareem shared a story of them playing badminton together.

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He mentioned that they met through one of Billy’s friends, who was also a classmate of Kareem during his time in Manhattan. He remembered the first time he had gone to meet the six-time Emmy award winner at his house. Even though Billy was not present, Kareem made friends with his mother.

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LOS ANGELES: Former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attends the Los Angeles Times Festival Of Books (Photo by Keiper McKennie/FilmMagic)

Fallon asked him if he ever played basketball with Billy. Kareem replied, “No, but we played a game of badminton. It’s kind of tough on him cause all I had to do was stand at the net and hold my racket up like that (holding his hand up).

WATCH THIS STORY: Comparing the on-court and cultural impact of LeBron James and Kareem Abdul Jabbar

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As the crowd erupted in laughter, Jimmy said, “Maybe we’ll get a rematch one day” to which Kareem replied, “Maybe, maybe”. If we ever do get to see a match between these two legends, it’s going to be epic.

It’s always great to hear stories like this of former NBA stars. We hope this trend continues and we get to know more celebrity interactions.

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Pragya Vashisth

66 articles

Pragya is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed Masters in Sports Management from the International Institute of Sports Management, Mumbai, he has been a passionate fan of the NBA since 2010. Pragya is a massive supporter of LeBron James and just wants to enjoy the twilight years of his Hall of Fame career.

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