Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. on April 16, 1947, stands as an iconic figure in the annals of basketball history. Renowned for his unmatched skills, dominance on the court, and impactful contributions to the game, he left an indelible mark not only in the sporting world but also in society.
Abdul-Jabbar’s journey to basketball stardom began during his high school years in New York, where he showcased exceptional talent, leading Power Memorial Academy to multiple championships. His success continued into college, where he played for UCLA under Coach John Wooden. His impact at UCLA was extraordinary, culminating in three consecutive NCAA championships from 1967 to 1969. His dominance in the collegiate league was unprecedented, setting the stage for a spectacular professional career in the NBA.
Professional Success in the NBA
In 1969, Abdul-Jabbar, then known as Lew Alcindor, entered the NBA as the first overall draft pick by the Milwaukee Bucks. His arrival transformed the franchise, leading them to their first NBA title in 1971. Known for his signature skyhook shot, Abdul-Jabbar’s offensive prowess and defensive presence were unrivalled.
His time with the Bucks was distinguished by numerous accolades, including multiple MVP awards. He played a total of 20 seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar, who was consistently included in the NBA Best Five of the Year team and the NBA Best Defensive Team during his career as a center, is a six-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a nineteen-time NBA All-Star.
In addition to winning six NBA championships, the teams for which he served as an assistant coach also became NBA champions twice. He holds one of the highest scoring averages in NBA history with an average of 38.387 points. As additional information, he received martial arts training from Bruce Lee in America.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, currently 76 years old, has fascinated basketball lovers for years with his height of 218 cm and distinctive glasses. He was known for his technical skills, even though he played as a center, and especially for the hook shot he invented.
In 1971, the legendary basketball player made a significant decision and announced that he had converted to Islam. He changed his name from his family name as a symbol of opposition to slavery and adopted his current name. He also stood by Muhammad Ali when Ali refused to participate in the Vietnam War.
All of the awards received by the basketball player, who retired in 1989, include:
NBA champion (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988)
● 2× NBA Finals MVP (1971, 1985)
● 6× NBA Most Valuable Player (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980)
● 19× NBA All-Star (1970–1977, 1979–1989)
● 10× All-NBA First Team (1971–1974, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1986)
● 5× All-NBA Second Team (1970, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1985)
● 5× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1974, 1975, 1979–1981)
● 6× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1970, 1971, 1976–1978, 1984)
● NBA Rookie of the Year (1970)
● NBA All-Rookie First Team (1970)
● 2× NBA scoring champion (1971, 1972)
● NBA rebounding leader (1976)
● 4× NBA blocks leader (1975, 1976, 1979, 1980)
● NBA anniversary teams (35th, 50th, 75th)
● No. 33 retired by Milwaukee Bucks
● No. 33 retired by Los Angeles Lakers
● 3× NCAA champion (1967–1969)
● 3× NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player(1967–1969)
● 3× National college player of the year (1967–1969)
● 3× Consensus first-team All-American (1967–1969)
● No. 33 retired by UCLA Bruins
● 2× Mr. Basketball USA (1964, 1965)
● 3× First-team Parade All-American (1963–1965)
● Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016)
As a Head Hoach:
● USBL champion (2002)
As an Assistant Coach:
● 2× NBA champion (2009, 2010)