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‘Age is the great equalizer and humbles us all,’ says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as he reflects on hip replacement surgery

Abdul-Jabbar held the NBA all-time scoring record until being surpassed by LeBron James earlier this year. (Photo: Ric Tapia/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has shared a humorous and positive update on his health after undergoing hip replacement surgery.

“You may have heard that Humpty Kareem had a great fall. It’s true,” the basketball Hall of Fame center wrote in his Substack on Monday.

“I was at The Manhattan Transfer’s final public concert at Disney Hall, ready to read a letter from Kamala Harris and provide some praise of my own for a group I love and admire. But I fell and was carted off to UCLA Hospital with a broken hip.

“I’d like to say I fell while trying to save a child from plunging over a balcony, but I just tripped. Hard for me to accept that a once world-class athlete just stumbled.

“But age is the great equalizer and humbles us all. Now, I’m a world-class patient in a bed convalescing from a hip replacement like 450,000 other Americans every year.”

The 76-year-old Abdul-Jabbar, who was hospitalized Friday after breaking the hip, wrote that he will take around a week off over the holidays to recuperate and spend time with family. He also posted a photo of himself smiling in a hospital bed wrapped in a Los Angeles Dodgers blanket.

Directing his words to The Manhattan Transfer, Abdul-Jabbar said: “All my best to you from my hospital bed. Me and my new hip will be dancing to your tunes again. Well, gently swaying.”

Abdul-Jabbar had a storied collegiate career with the UCLA Bruins, winning three national championships under legendary coach John Wooden. The center began his NBA career in 1969 with the Milwaukee Bucks, winning the franchise’s first title in the 1970-71 season, but he is best remembered as a critical player with the Los Angeles Lakers during their dominant “Showtime” era in the 1980s. He led Los Angeles to five NBA championships.

A 7-foot-2-inch, goggles-wearing center, Abdul-Jabbar held the NBA all-time scoring record until being surpassed by LeBron James in February. Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time NBA MVP, had held the record for 39 years.

A social activist and writer, Abdul-Jabbar revealed in 2020 that he had prostate cancer. In 2009, he said he was diagnosed the previous year with chronic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

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