Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talks about new book, Chicago memories

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Basketball icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is in Chicago to tell us about his new book. (WLS)

Basketball icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is in Chicago to tell us about his new book. It's about his ideals, and life on and off the court.

He's has been all over town, and it's all about "writings on the wall, searching for a new equality beyond black and white." It starts with a Stevie Wonder lyric.

"When you believe in things that you don't understand, you suffer. I think that's one of the problems were facing today with all the division in our country. People love this country and when the chips are down we come together and do the right thing," Abdul-Jabbar said.

Abdul-Jabbar's super powers on the court and towering domination began when he was just a kid called Lew Alcindor. But he never let stardom overwhelm him.

Davies asked, "How did you not let your ego take over?"

"I think it's hard but I think my faith really has helped me deal with that issue because too often we think too much of ourselves and we need something to keep us humble," Abdul-Jabbar said.

The athlete turned activist has beat cancer and a recent health scare.

"Last year I had quadruple bypass surgery, it totally snuck up on me. I ended up with major blockages. Fortunately, I found out in time," he said.

At the Democratic National Convention, Abdul-Jabbar told the crowd: "I'm Michael Jordan and I'm here with Hillary. I said that because Donald Trump couldn't tell the difference."

Davies asked: "What was the reaction to the DNC speech?"

"People got a laugh out of it and they got an understanding of where I was coming from so it worked pretty well for me," he said.

On good memories in Chicago, he said: "This is always a good place for me. When I did the petition to change my name I did it here in Chicago. The assemblyman that helped me do that Ed Vrdolyak."

Chicago Cub Ernie Banks was also his neighbor here, too.

"What a wonderful guy, he told me what it was like playing the Negro Leagues and what it was like for him to integrate the Chicago Cubs and what a reception he got. When I was a kid I was a Dodger fan, but I liked Ernie Banks," Abdul-Jabbar said. "The Cubs might break out of it this year. If the Dodgers don't do it, I'll root for them."

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will host a presentation and sign copies of his book at an Anderson's Bookshop event Thursday at 7 p.m. It will be held in Pfeiffer Hall at North Central College in Naperville.

Related Topics:
entertainmentathletesbooksentertainmentChicago - DowntownNaperville
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