Kareem and Atari
Bill Simmons: I've always had a vague memory of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appearing in an Atari commercial in the late-1970s — a mental image of him sadly slumped on a seat as a little kid played Atari next to him, only he was dressed in his Lakers uniform and goggles and the whole thing was stupefyingly weird. If not for YouTube, I would have just assumed that I imagined the whole thing. But that's the great thing about YouTube — you can use it to confirm hazy memories, and almost always, they don't match up to what you remembered. In this case, the actual commercial was about 24 percent stranger than I remembered. A few months earlier, Kareem broke his hand punching Kent Benson in the face — apparently this commercial was part of his suspension. Now I'm wondering if my dislike for Kareem (he was my least favorite player even when I was little) drove me away from Atari and toward Intellivision. I mean, something caused me to become an Intellivision kid, right? I have it narrowed down to either Kareem or Carol Channing.