Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once sued an NFL player with a name eerily identical to his name for using his likeness without any compensation.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was already a sensation in basketball before changing his name to Ferdinand Le Alcindor. He was a UCLA notable and the unanimous number one pick in the 1969 NBA Draft after winning three consecutive NCAA Championships.
After joining the NBA, he won the NBA title along with Oscar Robertson over the Milwaukee Bucks under a new name, a name that basketball fans globally equate to overwhelming dominance. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will eventually join the Los Angeles Lakers and continue to rock his iconic number. 33 jerseys while winning 5 other championships.
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Karim retired as the top scorer in NBA history and perhaps the greatest basketball player who ever lived. Even after his retirement, “Hook Shot” fans seem to have gained so much popularity with the next generation of North American athletes that an NFL player by the name of Sharmon Shah adopted his name and shirt number.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sued Sharmon Shah for stealing his likeness.
Shah not only changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but also started wearing Karim’s number. 33 shirts having been drafted by the Miami Dolphins. The retreat changed his name during the final year of his undergraduate career at the same university, as HoFer basketball carved out his own legacy 3 decades ago: UCLA.
With these stark similarities, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar decided to file a lawsuit against Dolphin, asking a federal judge to award him damages, and to stop the sale of any merchandise bearing his name and shirt number immediately.
Random quality dolphin player RB Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1996-99). pic.twitter.com/9XdMj9H1Rm
– DolphinsHistory August 17, 2021
The reason for the number, according to Karim aka Charmon Shah, was that he was inspired by Tony Dorsett, one of the greatest RBs in the history of the Dallas Cowboys. As for the name, it is clear that he did not have any evidence that there was another Abdul-Jabbar with the same first name and the imam gave him this name.
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“Abed means Abd al-Karim Karim. No one can be the Generous. No one can be the mighty. This is the Creator. We can only be a slave, a servant,” The young man said.
The lawsuit against Karim was likely settled out of court for a lump sum that has yet to be disclosed.