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Abdul-Jabbar Slams Basketball Card Company

8/30/2010 4:00 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is outraged that a trading card company has traded on his image after he specifically shut them down ... and now Kareem is gunning for more than a million.

In a lawsuit filed today in L.A. County Superior Court and obtained by TMZ ... Kareem claims The Upper Deck Company plastered 6 Kareem pics from his days as a UCLA Bruin on its "Greats of the Game" series.

Kareem ... who is the NBA's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points ... claims Upper Deck had the audacity to market the cards after he turned them down flat.

The lawsuit, filed by legal pit bull Marty Singer, notes that when Kareem left the NBA, he blocked more shots, won more Most Valuable Player awards, played in more All-Star Games and logged more seasons than any other player.  Shockingly, Singer makes no mention of Kareem's epic performance in the greatest movie of all time -- "Airplane!"

The lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages.

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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Physical Graffiti    

You can call him an ******* all you want, but the Airplane role was the greatest! The look on his face is priceless when the kid says "My dad says you don't work hard enough on defense". I don't know how any of them made it through that movie with a straight face.

1452 days ago


I flew next to him on a plane from LAX to JFK, and while I rarely, almost never ask for an autograph, I just had to after 2 hours trying to be cordial and stike up some rapport. After I asked he "nailed me to the floor verbally," and never felt like such an ass for asking. I knew better.

Anyway, as we retrieved our bags from the overhead, he unzipped a pocket and signed a Kareem A J card, handed it to me without comment, and that was it.

I'm stoked as hell, but he was not a friendly first class neighbor.

1452 days ago


Hey Brian when you say "nailed me to the floor verbally" what exactly did he say? I see a lot of people saying that he was rude but you guys aren't specific.

1452 days ago


Dave, He told us that he don't have time to be taking pictures. That he just don't want to. For me that was find but for my yound son he was hurt. If I see him again he doesn't have to worry because I wouldn't even look at his ugly ass. If you are in the public eye you should be so nasty. He look like ****.

1452 days ago


All I can say is "karma", you rotten ******. So many times I've heard stories of Kareem Abdul JaKoon stiffing business owners on bills and such. One tailor told me a story of how he stiffed him for thousands and said, "I don't pay for anything in LA!" when he tried to collect.

Love it!

1452 days ago


1 mil isn't enough. Its a drop in the bucket to Upper Deck. He already told them no, and they did it anyway. They need to feel the loss before they'll change their behavior. Doesn't mater if you like or dislike someone. They own their image.

1452 days ago


Well Valerie, I would have to agree with you. I think being in the public eye for so long that he should already know the correct and politeful way to approach fans. I guess he just doesn't care or feels that fans are beneath him.

1452 days ago


Am surprised but not surprised at this lawsuit. Upper Deck has always been one of the most underhanded and selfish companies in the collectibles industry, which charge outrageous prices for trading cards and other sports memorabilia. Absolutely love Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Twenty seasons in the NBA, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, six-time champion, six-time NBA MVP, two-time Finals MVP, and the list goes on. And who can forget Airplane, and even Fletch.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their Kareem stories here (despite the negative outcomes). Actually, Kareem was never really nice to anyone (reporters, fans, even teammates) during his playing career (and it seems after). Even his former teammates have stated that they were never close to him at all. Magic Johnson even said in his bio that Kareem snubbed him for an autograph when he was a kid. Kareem has always been a bit of a loner, and very private. Brian, I was actually lucky to have Kareem sign a photo for me, of him doing the skyhook. Like you, I was completely stoked. If you go on Twitter, he even has his own page, where he replies to fans. I think Kareem has tried to reach out to fans, but still doesn't want to go too far out of his way to do so. He will always be one of my favorite athletes of all time.

Really hope this lawsuit is settled in a polite and professional fashion.

1452 days ago


...And also his son was killed in an automobile crash.I'm sure that may have something to do with his attitude.

1451 days ago


I am glad to hear I'm not the only one who Kareem was a certified douchebag to. A few years ago I was sitting next to him at the airport and kindly waited for him to finish his meal before I politely said, "Excuse me, Mr. Jabbar. My brother is a huge Lakers fan, would you mind signing an autograph or taking a picture for him?" He literally looked at me as if I had four heads and angrily flat out replied "No". I hope he loses his lawsuit - what piece of garbage to treat fans like that. It's not that he said "no" it's just the way he acted about it. I've met Lebron and Michael Phelps as well, and both couldn't have been any nicer.

1451 days ago


If you never liked him anyway, why would you want to bother him for an autograph ? Sounds more like someone else was being the a-hole, not Kareem.

1451 days ago


Just another person for money that isnt his!

1450 days ago


Comin' Kareem, this lawsuit is wack and belongs at http://kingpinfails.com

1417 days ago
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