Kareem Abdul-Jabbar arrives for the 44th NAACP Image Awards earlier this… (Chris Pizzello / Invision…)
Former Lakers center and champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar opened up in his blog at HuffingtonPost.com, sharing a number of personal regrets.
In an entry entitled, "10 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Turning Pro," Abdul-Jabbar compares dating as a youth to "Darth Vader approaching a bunny."
The logistics of dating were naturally complicated for Abdul-Jabbar at 7-foot-2.
"I wish I'd been able to ignore the physical differences as I can now and just sit down, preferably on a shorter chair than them, and just talk to them about movies and books and history -- anything but basketball," he blogged.
Abdul-Jabbar also writes that he wishes he was emotionally prepared for the "weight of being a pro" and the ramifications it has on the lives of fellow players and coaches.
Other items on his list include better choices in automobiles, taking a more adventurous approach to vacationing, an earlier discovery of yoga and a better diet.
The Hall of Famer and NBA's all-time leading scorer also wishes he did a better job maintaining friendships.
"I wish I'd called more, visited more, and generally paid more attention to those people who were most valuable in my life," wrote Abdul-Jabbar.
He also regrets he didn't pay enough attention to business and his own finances.
"I thought that if I played exceptional basketball, all else would fall neatly into place," blogged Abdul-Jabbar.
Along with NCAA champions Bill Walton, Elgin Baylor, Dominique Wilkins and Tyus Edney, Abdul-Jabbar will appear at the Final Four in Atlanta to celebrate the tournament's 75th season.
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Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.