Muhammad Ali received a heartrending eulogy from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as well as a lyrical tribute from Chance The Rapper at the 2016 ESPY Awards, Wednesday, (July, 14).
The greatest boxer of all time was honored at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles during the “In Memoriam” part of the show.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar recanted the first time he met the late boxing legend to the audience which included Muhammad Ali’s family.
The retired basketball player said. “I think that encounter epitomized everything that made Ali, at that point in time, the most famous man in the world, his showmanship.”
“His ubiquitousness. It just seemed like he was everywhere. And most of all, his magic.”
“That ability to make the impossible seem real. Every athlete handles fame in their own way,” he continued.
“Some people revel in it. Some people aren’t so comfortable with it. Muhammad Ali used it to speak his mind.” Jabbar added.
Kareem urged everyone to remember Ali’s “fearless fight to help solve injustices and important causes close to his heart.”
“We’re never going to see his likes again walking down the street.”
“But I hope his death spurs his successors to remember what truly made him the greatest.” Abdul-Jabbar concluded.
Chance the Rapper alongside Donnie Trumpet, Jamila Woods, Peter Cottontale, and Teddy Jackson performed a special song for the boxing legend.
Justin Timberlake was also on hand to present three retiring athletes: Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning, and Abby Wambach with the Icon Award.
In 1964, Ali won his first championship at the age of 22, winning the title again in 1974 and 1978.
In July 1979, he publicly announced his desire to retire from professional boxing.
On Dec. 11, 1981, the greatest boxer of all time wore his fighting gloves one last time in a final fight.
The boxing legend’s legacy will forever be remembered.