Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Gives Lift to Skyhook Wireless By Following CEO Ted Morgan on Twitter

If you’re a loyal reader of Xconomy, and have followed stories such as VC Varsity, you know we aren’t above finding a sports angle to our coverage of the innovation community.

Skyhook Wireless is no exception. The company was founded by Ted Morgan and Michael Shean and named in part because of their love of hoop. More to the point, reports Morgan (the CEO), “One of the reasons we named the company Skyhook is because we are huge fans of Kareem.” That would be Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the 7-foot 2-inch hall of fame basketball player known for his unstoppable hook shot—dubbed the Skyhook (photo above by Steve Lipofsky, Basketballphoto.com).

And Morgan (@tedmorgan) has not forgotten Kareem. So it was a few days ago when he excitedly passed on word that Kareem was following him on Twitter. This is no mean feat: @kaj33 (33 was the NBA’s all-time leading scorer’s number) is only following 64 people—against more than 1.2 million who are following him.

Here’s how it came about. A miffed Kareem is in the midst of a PR campaign to get a statue of himself erected outside the Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers, his former team. Other former Lakers, Jerry West and Magic Johnson, have their own statues, and so does former announcer Chick Hearn, among others. But Abdul-Jabbar, despite being a six-time MVP, the NBA’s all-time scorer, and helping the Lakers to five world championships (he won one other with Milwaukee), has no statue. You can read some background here. And here is a statement from Abdul-Jabbar: “I am highly offended by the total lack of acknowledgment of my contribution to Laker success. I guess being the linchpin for five world-championship teams is not considered significant enough in terms of being part of Laker history.”

For his part, Morgan was (and is) completely on Kareem’s side. On May 18, last Wednesday, he tweeted:

“Skyhook Inc. formally endorses the campaign to honor @kaj33 with a statue. Respect people, respect.”

The next day, his hero started following him. “How cool is this?” Morgan says.

Bob is Xconomy's founder and chairman. You can email him at [email protected] Follow @bbuderi

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