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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Did Jeff Ament Speak Truth About Kareem?

Remember the 1990’s when it was a good time to be alive? Cable was taking off tremendously, and MTV became one of the biggest channels ever known. During that era, the network released its annual “Rock n’ Jock” sports special, in which musicians, actors, and other entertainers played along with superstar athletes. It started out with softball, but quickly grew into basketball which became a big hit.

Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament was very excited to work alongside Kareem Abdul Jabbar in 1994 while he was the main man for the Violators squad. Apparently, Kareem rubbed Ament the wrong way. As any musician would do, he let out his anger by writing a song called “Sweet Lew”, smiting Kareem about his lost cause of building hotel chains for tall people:

I grew up trying to copy you, Bruce Lee, and a kung-fu

Act a jazzman, yogi too

Little did i know, a loose screw

But you had your own shoe

Build him high, build him tall, a taiku with a basketball

Tear 'em down, one and all

7'2" is a long way to fall

Sweet lew, how's the view?

Sweet lew, how could you?

It sounds like an urban legend, but Brian Cronin of Sports Legend Revealed had something to say in this Los Angeles Times article released Wednesday:

During the early 1980s, Collins formed an investment group called All-Pro Enterprises Inc. with Abdul-Jabbar the most famous name involved, but also including such famous NBA Players as Ralph Sampson, Terry Cummings and Alex English (among others). The group spent most of its money on real estate. They bought the Balboa Inn in Los Angeles for $4.2 million, the Inn of Laguna in Los Angeles for $4 million, the Belmont Hotel in Birmingham, Alabama (I am unsure how much it cost), a $1.4 million Newport Beach restaurant and a $22 million Los Angeles health club. Here, by the way, is where the "building hotels for tall people" came into being. Presumably as part of the deal when they purchased the Balboa Inn (but possibly it was something done even before the group bought the hotel), one of the suites in the hotel was built especially for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, complete with nine-foot high doors.

It seems like Kareem really needed that Cultural Ambassador job after all.