Kareem Abdul-play Jabbar’s during the 1980s aided the Los Angeles Lakers in their return to championship form.
Kareem’s relationship with his then-partner, Cheryl Pistono, is also explored in the ten-part docuseries, which had a big impact on his life off the court. So, how about we learn a little more about her?
Cheryl Pistono, Who is She?
Cheryl was born in LaSalle, Illinois, and moved away from her working-class family when she was 16 years old. She then relocated to the West Coast, where she completed high school.
She discussed her time there, claiming she got “into the high life, hanging around at Hugh Hefner’s, weekends in Las Vegas, and stuff like that.”
Cheryl eventually became a Buddhist and met Kareem in 1977. Because of the disparities, their pairing seemed odd at first. She was approximately ten years younger than him and had little experience with basketball. Cheryl, in fact, didn’t recognise Kareem at first.
“I had no interest in him because I never liked individuals who were into the sports mentality, and despite everything else, he certainly was,” she later said of her first meeting with Kareem.
He was expecting me to smother him. Women had always done so, but he brought me a rose from his garden one day. He was dead serious! Oh, I thought to myself, I’ve got to make this individual laugh. I couldn’t think of anything else but not hurting him.”
Kareem was outspoken about how Cheryl had a greater impact on his life than his coaches, teachers, or teammates throughout their partnership.
Kareem hadn’t lived with his wife, Habiba, since 1973, and Cheryl was the one who persuaded him to file for divorce.
She also spoke with him the importance of being a leader rather than just a player, and how he needed to listen to what others had to say.
The couple married in 1984 and had a son named Amir. Kareem sued his former business manager, Thomas Collins, in the late 1980s.
“There is absolutely a lot of lying, a lot of deception,” Cheryl stated at the time. ‘Wait a second–what is this guy (Collins) getting out of this?’ I used to wonder. Kareem never asked questions like that. Tom Collins didn’t like what I did.”
What Happened to Cheryl Pistono?
Cheryl married Steven Jenkins in 1985 after splitting up with Kareem and had a child with him.
“The reason we have a terrific relationship is because I don’t bring him back through those days and those challenges,” she said of her friendship with Kareem.
That would just exacerbate the situation… Because of our son, we formed a pact. That was more significant than anything about each other we didn’t like.”
Cheryl appears to live in Los Angeles, California, and her Facebook profile states that she is self-employed.