Anyone who watched basketball in the ’80s couldn’t escape “Showtime.”
That was the appropriate label hung on the Los Angeles Lakers for their fast-breaking ways as their decade-long rivalry with the Boston Celtics revitalized the NBA before Michael Jordan ruled it the following decade.
Love them or hate them, point guard Magic Johnson and center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were the centerpieces of the Lakers’ greatness. Johnson was diagnosed as being HIV-positive shortly after leaving the game in 1991. He made a brief comeback later in the decade, but has remained in the spotlight through basketball and business circles.
Abdul-Jabbar has generally kept a low profile since his playing days until the revelation this week he is being treated for a rare form of leukemia.
Regardless of how you feel Abdul-Jabbar personally, the patented “sky hook” shot he used to dominate the paint 20 years ago make him a noteworthy figure. His illness is a reminder that none of us are above the trials of life which our faith helps us face.