A Los Angeles Lakers returning to winning championships was made possible significantly by the playing style of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar throughout the 1980s. Kareem is among the greatest players to ever played basketball, and his impact on the history of the Lakers is well-documented in HBO’s ‘Winning Times the Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. The docu-series of ten episodes also explores Kareem’s relationship with his partner at the time, Cheryl Pistono, who had a significant impact on his life outside of the court. Let’s learn more about her, will we?
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What do you think is Cheryl Pistono?
Cheryl was born in LaSalle, Illinois, leaving her working-class family at the age of 16 years old. Then she relocated to the West Coast and attended high school there. Cheryl recalled her time on the West Coast, saying she was “into the high-life. The time she spent hanging out at the home of Hugh Hefner, weekend parties at Las Vegas, stuff like that.” In the end, Cheryl turned to Buddhism and began to meet Kareem at the age of 1977. In the beginning, the pair seemed unlikely due to their differences. Cheryl was 10 years younger and had no knowledge of basketball. In fact, Cheryl didn’t even recognize Kareem at first.
Later, she spoke about her first encounter with Kareem and said, “I had no interest in him because I did not like people who had a sports mentality. Despite all else, he clearly was. He was expecting me to be swept over by him. The women always did the same expectation, but one day, I was surprised when he gave me a rose out of his flower garden. He was serious as all get out! I thought to myself, “oh! I’ve to get this person to smile. The only thing I could think of was not to hurt him.”
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Throughout their entire romance, Kareem was vocal about the way Cheryl had a profound influence on his life, much more than his teachers, coaches or colleagues. At the moment, Kareem did not have a wife, Habiba 1973. It was Cheryl who persuaded Kareem to seek divorce. She also spoke to him about not being only a participant but also an entrepreneur and that he needed to pay attention to what his fellow players were saying.
The couple remained together until 1984, and they had an infant daughter, Amir. In the latter part of the 1980s, Kareem sued his former business manager Thomas Collins. Cheryl was at the time saying, “There is definitely an amount of deceit and deceit. I would often ask, “Wait a minute, what’s this person (Collins) doing with all this?’ Kareem never asked that kind of question. I did, however, and Tom Collins didn’t like it.”
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What is Cheryl Pistono Now?
After her split from Kareem, Cheryl married Steven Jenkins in 1985 and was blessed with a son. But she was still on good terms with Kareem and said, “The reason we have an excellent relationship is that I don’t try to drag him back to the past and the issues. Doing that could cause more issues. . . . We signed a contract in honour of our son. This mattered more than any other thing else we did not like about one another.” Although her current marital status isn’t clear, Cheryl seems to live in Los Angeles, California, and her profile on Facebook states she’s self-employed.