Former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabaar speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Thursday, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pro basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar needled Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump with humor Thursday and then skewered him with seriousness.
The 69-year-old NBA legend walked to the Democratic National Convention podium and deadpanned, “I’m Michael Jordan, and I’m here with Hillary.”
He then cracked a smile and told the arena he “said that because I know Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
Delegates’ confusion immediately turned to laughter and applause. Abdul-Jabbar, an outspoken Muslim, then turned serious to criticize Trump’s call for banning non-citizen Muslims from entering the United States.
Abdul-Jabbar, who was born Lew Alcindor and converted to Islam in his 20s, told the story of Humayun Khan, an army captain who was one of 14 Muslim-American soldiers to die in combat since Sept. 11, 2001.