BASKETBALL GREAT KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR IS ALSO A MYSTERY NOVELIST
(P1) When it comes to OBSESSION, all other fans must BOW BEFORE the Holmesians. The followers of Sherlock Holmes have been DIGGING INTO the life of their hero since he was first published in 1887. They’ve created literary societies and published enough FAN-FICTION to fill several libraries.
(P2) So it’s not too surprising that they’ve moved on to the SUPPORTING CHARACTERS in Holmes’ life in their RAVENOUS search for new material. There have been books featuring Irene Adler, Moriarty and now about Mycroft Holmes, the great detective’s smarter older brother, written by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his coauthor, Anna Waterhouse.
(P3) Let’s get this out of the way first: yes, that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers and one of the greatest basketball players of all time. That’s the kind of thing that always stands out on your RESUME, no matter what else you do in your life. But Abdul-Jabbar has also had a long career as a bestselling writer, with multiple books to his credit and a regular column in Time magazine.
(P4) And as it turns out, he’s a huge Holmesian. In the author biography for “Mycroft Holmes,” he says he used the lessons he learned from Sherlock to GAIN AN EDGE on his OPPONENTS on the basketball court.
(P5) Mycroft is an ENIGMATIC figure in Doyle’s original stories. He’s supposedly a minor government FUNCTIONARY, but according to his brother, he’s “the most INDISPENSABLE man in the country,” keeping all the secrets of the British Empire in his MASSIVE brain. Sherlock admits that Mycroft’s intellect far EXCEEDS his own.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the most INTELLECTUAL athletes. Why do you think that athletes are seldom intellectuals?
- Have you read any Sherlock Holmes stories or seen any of the movies based on them? Do you like the character?
- Abdul-Jabbar has been influenced by the Holmes stories in his career. What books have had a strong influence on you?
- Do you like stories with historical settings, or do you prefer contemporary settings?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Bow before
- Dig into
- Supporting character
- Gain an edge
- Fresh out of
- Origin story