Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: The Most Unstoppable Force in Basketball History
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and an undisputed all-time great. His skyhook shot and goggles define an incredible 20-year career.
Early Life and UCLA College Career
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. in 1947, grew up in New York City before attending college at UCLA. Under legendary coach John Wooden, he won three straight national championships from 1967-1969.
At UCLA, Kareem dominated with his size and fluid skyhook shot. He won three NCAA Most Outstanding Player awards while also excelling academically. His college success foreshadowed an incredible NBA career.
All-Time Great with the Milwaukee Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks selected Alcindor first overall in the 1969 NBA draft. In Milwaukee, he won Rookie of the Year and his first MVP award in just his second season.
Teamed up with Oscar Robertson, Kareem led Milwaukee to a championship in 1971 and a 70-win season the following year. His skyhook and goggles became defining symbols of 70s basketball.
Continued Dominance with the Lakers
In 1975, Kareem requested a trade and joined the Los Angeles Lakers. Alongside Magic Johnson, he won five more titles and three additional league MVP awards.
In his 20-year career, no player could consistently stop Kareem’s graceful shot. He averaged 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists per game, and set the all-time NBA scoring mark (38,387 points).
Lasting Legacy on Basketball
Since retiring in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar has authored books and taken acting roles while coaching sparingly. He earned induction into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
Now 75 years old, Kareem still works to promote education for disadvantaged youth. The league’s all-time scoring leader remains an influential voice in basketball circles.
2023 Update on Advocacy Work
This past November, Abdul-Jabbar donated over 900 pairs of his signature goggles to raise funds for stem cell research. He maintains an active role speaking out on social justice issues.
Kareem also continues to advocate for greater recognition of WNBA players’ skill and achievements. Though decades removed from his playing days, he works to change lives through basketball.