A lot of NBA players have unconventional careers after their time on the courts, but few match Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s fascinating trajectory. Sure, he acted a bit like a lot of NBA stars do (including fighting Bruce Lee in Game of Death and getting laughs in Airplane!), but he’s made his bones the last few decades as a prolific and well-regarded pop culture critic. He’s written fifteen books and countless articles for places like The Hollywood Reporter, opining on everything from reality shows to Trump-era movie villains. Now, he’s shifting into TV writing with maybe the strangest and most exciting first gig a TV writer could have – joining the writing team for Rob Thomas’ upcoming revival of Veronica Mars for Hulu.
According to THR, Thomas announced the show’s writing staff on Monday, acknowledging the strangeness of Abdul-Jabbar’s appointment: “If you’re brilliant and give yourself a #PartyDown Twitter handle, I’ll hire you. Or, you could be the N.B.A.’s all time leading scorer, but you must still be brilliant.”
Granted, Abdul-Jabbar and Thomas aren’t exactly strangers; Abdul-Jabbar took a break from TV punditry to make a cameo on Thomas’ CW show iZombie last summer.
Along with Abdul-Jabbar, Veronica Mars’ writing team consists of Raymond Obstfeld, David Walpert, Heather V. Regnier and Mars alum Diane Ruggiero. The new season, picking up five years after the end of the Veronica Mars movie from 2014, will see the titular detective (Kristen Bell) solve a new set of mysteries, presumably with that quick-witted panache we can expect from Thomas and Bell. And, we can only imagine, from Abdul-Jabbar. Veronica Mars is set to return to the town of Neptune, California sometime in 2019.