June 20, 2024

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar may have broken his hip after a nasty fall at a concert Friday night, but the UCLA and Lakers legend’s sense of humor is still fully intact.

Abdul-Jabbar offered his take on the incident — “Humpty Kareem had a great fall,” he joked in the very first sentence — in a Substack post written days after taking a tumble while attending a performance by the Manhattan Transfer at Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

“I’d like to say I fell while trying to save a child from plunging over a balcony, but I just tripped,” the NBA’s No. 2 all-time scorer wrote. “Hard for me to accept that a once world-class athlete just stumbled. But age is the great equalizer and humbles us all. Now, I’m a world-class patient in a bed convalescing from a hip replacement like 450,000 other Americans every year.”

Abdul-Jabbar, 76, wrote that he was at Disney Hall that night for the final performance in the decades-spanning career of the eclectic vocal quartet. He was slated to speak at the show and was going to read a letter from Vice President Kamala Harris honoring the group “and provide some praise of my own for a group I love and admire.”

“But,” he wrote, “I fell and was carted off to UCLA Hospital with a broken hip.”

Abdul-Jabbar was treated by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics before being transferred to the hospital, where he had surgery over the weekend. His business partner and spokesperson Deborah Morales told CNN that the six-time NBA champion and six-time league MVP was “recovering just fine.” She told the Associated Press that Abdul-Jabbar would be in recovery for the next three months.

On Monday, Abdul-Jabbar posted on Substack — where he writes about sports, politics and culture twice a week — to provide an update of his own.

“I will be taking a week or so off over the holidays to fully recuperate and spend time with my family,” Abdul-Jabbar wrote. “When I return, it will be with a shiny new hip and a lot of shiny thoughts to share.”

Before starting his brief hiatus, though, Abdul-Jabbar shared Harris’ letter and what he had planned to say about the Manhattan Transfer before his accident, as well as a few more thoughts written from his hospital bed.

“Goodbye, my friends. I’m sorry I was not able to join you onstage to read the letter and tell the audience how much your music has meant to me,” he wrote. “I hope this makes up for it in some small way.”

“On the plus side,” Humpty Kareem added, “my fall hit all the newspapers so I made your final show even more memorable. Come for the music, stay for the klutzy fall.”

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