Hint: I start with hyperbole.
Dear Mr. Abdul-Jabbar (or Kareem as I called you throughout the 1980s while you terrorized my Celts).
I thought you might enjoy this piece, and especially the historical anomaly in the form of the banner that proclaimed the Celtics to be the "back to back" champions in 1987. It was produced by none other than . . . the Celtics and given to me as a gift by a man who worked there in 1988. As you know, that's not how the Finals unfolded, as I explain.
I'm not looking for a restack or anything of the sort.
I've always thought that this pennant was pretty special in terms of the way it expresses such anticipation and unfulfilled glee -- including my own as a teenager -- and I wanted to share it with you.
GREETING KAREEM, I ALREADY KNOW THAT YOUR NOT A JIVE TURKEY. SO CAN YOU HELP ME WITH SOME MEMORABILIA. I'AM YOUR FORMER TEAMMATE. LOUIS KING. AVANTI SNITCH. YOU INTRODUCED ME TO PAULA ABDUL. "I STILL AM THE ONLY NBA PLAYER THAT HAD A COAST-TO-COAST. THREE POINTER (REPEATEDLY).
YES! THE GOVERNMENT HAS ATTEMPTED TO ERASE ME.
PLEASE WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT ME!
IT WILL HELP YOUR NEWS LETTER.
REMEMBER IN THE NFL. THE WOMEN WOULD STAMPEDE THE NFL FIELD.
YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION, TO WRITE THINGS ABOUT ME.
IT MAY BECOME A MOVIE. " HOW KAREEM ABDUL JABAR, HELPED HIS TEAMMATE. KING NEW SHOES PEANUT.
SEE: U.S.A.#1VICTIM YOUTUBE
AND ALL THAT TIME I THOUGHT, THAT KAREEM WAS GOD!
CALL ME (442)867-8742
OH! YES, YOUR A PRETTY GOOD WRITER. IF YOU HAVE A PICTURE OF ME PUT IT IN THAT PICTURE PLACE
The energy you put into it is reflected! I enjoy reading it so much.
Control Tower to Trans America Airlines - Flight 209 - you're cleared for landing - Gate 8...Gate 9...
I was a lonely nerdy freshman in a Louisville Ky high school in 1969. I remember reading the Courier Journal article about Purdue University players practicing using tennis rackets to simulate your shot blocking ability. Following the pattern you revealed in your article I researched the tournament and found Drake to be the second most dominant team in the tournament. No surprise to a Cardinal/Wildcat fan (yes we do exist) familiar with the Missouri Valley Conference. Talk of GOAT is weak compared to the rules change imposed on you personally making a dunk a technical foul. The corresponding change of the blocked shot becoming ‘the play’ in lieu of the dunk had an effect in basketball played everywhere for years after they changed the rule back when you were no longer an amateur. I don’t know of any other instance like that in sport. Always knew you were a reader from interviews in print and tv but did not know how well you wrote until I discovered your Substack. You continue to be a ‘star player’ on a great team and I’m a fan.
thanks for describing your process. I find it fascinating how writers get from thought to delivery. I'm a writer myself and my process is much more tortured than yours. Yours is a much more logical and rational approach to the writer's challenges and obstacles than mine. Well done.
Wow! And you also find time to eat and sleep. Your newsletter is one of the best parts of my week. I love your constant promotion of critical thinking and open mindedness. I also appreciate when you recommend books and movies. We don't have the same taste , but I will always check out those you mention. Your video breaks give insight into your good heart. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us! Rest well.
Here's a possible prompt for a section of your newsletter. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/12/sports/basketball/dwyane-wade-hall-of-fame.html
As someone who works with texts, both academically (teaching) and professionally (book series editor; journal editor), I find your notes absolutely wonderful and I might share them to my students. It is both encouraging and refreshing to read your comments. Sometimes it is like a lone voice in the desert, but most of the time gives one the hope for humanity. People like you offer a reason for hope for the better future.
I appreciate your thoughtful analysis in every newsletter and I very much enjoy your clever comments on people and events. Change nothing.
Hi Kareem. I really appreciate all the time and effort that you put into generating your newsletter. I enjoy reading your incisive views on the variety of topics that you share with your readers with each edition. I was really impressed with the number of news sources that you read daily. Now that you've shared with us the news sources that you use I would like to suggest that you also share with us periodically what books you've read/recommend perhaps calling it 'Kareem's Book Stack' or something. Readers could offer up suggestions for example I'm currently reading 'God's Shadow: The Ottoman Sultan Who Shaped the Modern World' by Alan Mikhail. The author presents the dramatic biography of Sultan Selim I and how he nearly tripled the the territory under Ottoman rule. I would recommend it if you haven't already read it. Anyway, I hope that you enjoy your time off and come back refreshed. Looking forward when you return.
Hi Kareem, wow, your process for the newsletter is a lot. All that energy. I hope you get good rest and rejuvenation. Also - I am interested in what books you read. They are my sanctuary from my very stressful job. I’d love a list of books you’d recommend by genre or books made into movies. Something to consider. Have a good week.
Dear Mr. Abdul-Jabbar, thank you for the immense effort and hard work you put into each newsletter. I’ve always admired your intellect. Each week you find the perfect way to eloquently present a proper perspective on a multitude of items. Your newsletter is a bright light in a world of biased media outlets. I have enjoyed your movie/television recommendations. As a lover of the jazz genre, I find that your music recommendations are always on point. I am a huge fan of your writing. I’ve read every book you’ve published. I love your writing style and content. You mentioned in a previous newsletter that you have a very small staff that assist you for the newsletter. As a former speechwriter, I know that working with someone of your caliber can be easy or difficult due to your mastery of writing, your intellect, and your deep life experiences. I’m curious-what is the staff’s role in your writing process? Are they employed by you or Substack?
I hope you enjoy your time off, and I hope to hear your analysis of the implosion of the PAC12 after your return. I just barely stopped calling it the PAC10!
Thanks (again) for your thoughts, as usual they are right on. I want to especially thank you for turning me on to Blossom...she is aok in my book!
Thank you for your creativity and meaningful social commentary. Enjoy your vacation.