Abdul-Jabbar treated for leukemia

November 11, 2009

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is being treated for a rare form of leukemia, and the basketball great said his prognosis is encouraging.

The NBA's all-time leading scorer was diagnosed last December with chronic myeloid leukemia.

The 62-year-old Abdul-Jabbar said his doctor didn't give any guarantees, but informed him: "You have a very good chance to live your life out and not have to make any drastic changes to your lifestyle."

Abdul-Jabbar is taking an oral medication for the disease. He is a paid spokesman for the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, which makes a drug that treats the illness.

Citing the way Lakers teammate Magic Johnson brought awareness to HIV, Abdul-Jabbar said he wants to do the same for his form of blood cancer, which can be fatal if left untreated.

"I've never been a person to share my private life. But I can help save lives," he said.

•Magic center Dwight Howard has been fined $15,000 by the NBA for publicly criticizing officials on his blog. ... Magic guard Vince Carter returned after missing four games with a sprained left ankle. ... Clippers guard Eric Gordon will be out for at least 10 days with a sore left groin. ... Nuggets guard J.R. Smith returned after a seven-game suspension. He also wants to go by his given name, Earl Smith III.

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