There was a time when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was portrayed as an unpleasant, possibly somewhat nasty man.
This was largely done by the media and that was perhaps because Kareem resented a lot of foolish, repetitive questions and also because he wanted to be seen as more than a basketball player.
Over time people began to realize that he was fairly authoritative about jazz and that he had a lot to say about many things.
Magic Johnson helped change his image too. He was just so joyous in his approach to the game that he more or less forced the talented center to get on board. They are very different people but Magic made basketball fun again and brought a level of professional joy to Kareem that he hadn’t had very often at that point in his career.
Still, even at this late date it’s amazing to see Kareem being really, truly funny.