WALTHAM — When he came into the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks , Doc Rivers  played against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar  and soon found out why the center was considered one of the best ever in the sport.
Following Tuesday’s practice, Rivers was informed that the Hall of Fame center has been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia .
“Obviously, sad, Rivers said of his initial reaction. “Obviously, we hope things work out but that’s tough.”
The 62-year-old basketball legend, born Lew Alcindor, was inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield in 1995, the first year of eligibility after his retirement in 1989.
Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA titles, including five as the post player for the Lakers during their dynasty of the 1980s.