Posts Tagged ‘Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’

Although he hasn’t played a game in almost 30 years, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar remains the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and still has more league MVP trophies (six) than anyone else.

Still, perhaps due to recency bias and names like LeBron James and Michael Jordan, he’s often forgotten in the debate over who’s the greatest player to ever suit up in the NBA.

It doesn’t bother him.

“These ‘GOAT’ discussions are fun distractions while sitting around waiting for the pizza to be served,” Abdul-Jabbar told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. “But they’re on par with ‘Which superpower would you want most: flight or invisibility?’ Whether I’m included or not in anyone’s list doesn’t matter. I played my hardest and I helped my teammates. That’s the most important thing I walked away with.”

Abdul-Jabbar starred in the league from 1969-89, most of which was an era dominated by centers and big men of his ilk. To wit: Only one three-pointer was sunk during the six games of the 1980 NBA Finals.

“The reason there is no such thing as the GOAT is because every player plays under unique circumstances,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “We played different positions, under different rules, with different teammates, with different coaches. Every player has to adapt to their circumstances and find a way to excel. This isn’t ‘Highlander.’ There can be more than one.”



Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar kept up his criticism of LaVar Ball on Friday, saying that the publicity-seeking hoops dad is cheapening the college game.

“Everybody knows about his sons because he has been able to hype them,” Abdul-Jabbar told Philadelphia radio station 97.5 The Fanatic. “But I don’t think that’s good for college basketball. It looks like it’s a huckster show. And that bothers me, you know. You have people going those lengths to promote their kids. I don’t get it.”

The 70-year-old Hall of Famer has been critical of Ball before, saying last month that he doesn’t think LaVar is doing his sons any good. Like Abdul-Jabbar, Lonzo Ball starred at UCLA and could also end up playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Abdul-Jabbar, who has won more NBA MVPs (six) than anyone else in history, also reiterated his viewpoint that the one-and-done rule is a “travesty” for college basketball.

“One-and-dones doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said. “To have somebody come and be on campus for six months and play a basketball season, what is that? … it’s not good for the college game and it hasn’t been good for the pro game. I think they better find a different way of dealing with those issues.”

There’s a sense that alterations will need to eventually come to both eligibility and draft rules. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has gone on record saying the league is considering ditching the one-and-done rule as early as next season.

Only three players in NBA history have scored more than 33,000 career points: Karl Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and, as of Thursday, Kobe Bryant.

The “Black Mamba” dropped 18 points (including an honest-to-goodness alley-oop) in the first half against the Sacramento Kings to wade into rarefied territory.

Bryant entered the game eight points back of the plateau.

It was a throwback performance for the 20-year veteran, as he was noticeably crisper after having taken the last three games off to rest a sore shoulder. He shot 10-of-18 from the floor as he dropped a smattering of daring drives, crafty passes, a few signature fadeaways, and finished with 29 points on the night.

Despite Bryant’s best efforts, his team still trailed by 21 at halftime and by as many as 27 in the second half. But the Lakers made a game of it and eventually took the lead in the fourth quarter, with Kobe on the bench, before falling 118-115.

He won’t be around forever, so cherish these last few moments, and celebrate the rare flashback performances. Legends like Bryant come once in a generation.