Howard tweets about Abdul-Jabbar
LOS ANGELES -- After mentioning on Twitter that he would like to work out with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, new Los Angeles Laker Dwight Howard took the first step towards that plan by sitting down with the Hall of Fame center Monday afternoon.
"Just sat down with @kaj33," Howard tweeted after the meeting. "Man God is so good. Was in tears. What a blessing. This is like a dream come true. Go Lakers."
Howard then tweeted a picture of the two of them together with the caption, "Me and @kaj33 together. For many years to come."
More on the Lakers
For more news and notes on the Lakers, check out the Land O' Lakers blog from the Kamenetzky brothers. Blog
The "many years to come" will surely come as music to the ears of Lakers fans worried that Howard might leave after this season when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Howard said he has not talked about an extension with the Lakers and won't do so until this season is over.
After the meeting, Abdul-Jabbar tweeted the same picture of the two centers and wrote, "#Dwight Howard Great meeting you today - Laker Nation is in great hands for years to come. Now lets WIN a championship."
Abdul-Jabbar added, "#DwightHoward thankful to impart my knowledge to a highly-motivated, gifted, athlete with integrity and focus on the prize - a championship!"
The meeting occurred thanks to a simple question asked of Howard by a fan on Twitter.
Howard was asked if he was going to work out with Abdul-Jabbar. "I am," Howard responded. "When I am released."
Howard was referring to getting clearance from his doctors to return to the court after undergoing back surgery in April. The six-time All-Star hopes to be back some time in October.
Abdul-Jabbar responded to Howard's tweet with a tweet of his own on Monday.
"Lots of news about me and DH - would be great to coach him but as of now still haven't met him," Abdul-Jabbar tweeted. "Laker fans hope for the best always!"
Shortly after the tweet, Howard and Abdul-Jabbar connected but it is still unclear if Abdul-Jabbar will have a formal role with the Lakers' coaching staff as he previously had.
Abdul-Jabbar worked with Andrew Bynum, who was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers last month in the four-team deal that brought Howard to Los Angeles, as a special assistant coach from 2005-09. The two fell out of favor in 2009, when Bynum reportedly told Phil Jackson and the Lakers' coaching staff that he no longer wanted to work with the NBA's all-time scoring leader.
Abdul-Jabbar's contract as a special assistant for the Lakers expired in 2011. Shortly afterward, he publicly criticized the team for failing to give him a statue and for asking him to take a pay cut and not awarding him playoff shares as a coach due to his reduced role.
The Lakers announced last week that Abdul-Jabbar would get a statue in front of Staples Center on Nov. 16.