Kareem Abdul-Jabbar On Tonya Harding As A ‘DWTS’ Threat: ‘She Doesn’t Need To Break My Legs’

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is only days away from getting ready to cha cha on “Dancing with the Stars,” and he’s dishing details on who he sees as competition. 

The all-athlete cast is stacked with people who will likely be strong dancing contenders, especially considering Mirai Nagasu, Adam Rippon and Tonya Harding are all figure skaters and have a heavy artistic and dancing background. The artistic nature of their sport requires them to take dance training, which is definitely different than Kareem’s basketball skillset. 

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But he told Access Live’s Natalie Morales and Kit Hoover that he’s not sweating the competition. 

“Well, I’m not competing against Tonya in a way where she needs to break my legs so you know,” Kareem said as he laughed. “Tonya tries to get along with everybody. I found most of the people that I met in connection with this have been great. They’re friendly and we’re gonna go out there and have some fun with it.”

Tonya made headlines in 1994 after her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly arranged an attack on her competition, Nancy Kerrigan. The story and attack wrecked her figure skating career and also made her a pop culture icon. 

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So does Kareem believe the embattled figure skater deserves a second chance at the spotlight? 

“Absolutely,” Kareem shared. “You know people make mistakes and when you understand her circumstances, it will affect how you deal with judging her. I don’t feel I try to judge anybody. I wish her success and hope she feels good about what she does, you know?”

“Dancing with the Stars: Athletes” premieres on Monday April 30 on ABC 8/7 central. 

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