USA Today columnist Mike Lopresti wonders aloud why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not among those local sports heroes honored with statues outside Staples Center. Magic Johnson, Wayne Gretzky, Oscar De La Hoya and Chick Hearn are there. But no Kareem. Lopresti writes: " ... When the famous Lakers-Celtics wars of the 1980s are discussed, notice how it is always Magic and Bird. Not to be a pest on the subject, but what about Abdul-Jabbar? He was a vital part of five Lakers championships in the 1980s ... And did we mention he's the leading scorer in the history of the NBA?" Former Celtics player Brian Shaw has a theory:
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"Probably a lot of it is he's more introverted. He keeps to himself, and that's OK, too. Larry Bird was that way in Boston. Not everybody can walk around with a big smile on his face and sign every kid's autograph, like Magic seems to be able to do."