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Kareem Still On Clips' Bench


Contrary to published reports, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is still an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers, at least for another month.

"Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is under contract with the Los Angeles Clippers as an assistant coach," Joe Safety, the team's vice president of communications, said Wednesday in a statement. "This status remains unchanged at this time and no one associated with the Los Angeles Clippers has informed Kareem of anything to the contrary."

Safety said news outlets "are the victims of some very bad information" in their reports that Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's leading career scorer, had been released.

Harlan J. Weaver, a spokesman for Abdul-Jabbar, verified the Clippers' statement that he remains on the coaching staff, but Weaver wouldn't comment further.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that Dennis Johnson, another Clippers assistant coach, said Abdul-Jabbar told him of the club's decision not to retain him.

Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time league MVP, was a member of one championship team in Milwaukee and five more with the Los Angeles Lakers following a standout career at UCLA, where he played on three NCAA championship teams.

Abdul-Jabbar, 53, joined the Clippers' staff on Feb. 18, signing a contract through June 30 to serve under under interim coach Jim Todd. Johnson was hired two weeks earlier a day after Chris Ford was fired as head coach.

The Clippers, whose 15-67 record was the NBA's worst, announced recently that Todd was not a candidate for the vacant head coaching job, a position they hope to fill before the NBA draft on June 28.

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