ESPN recently held a player bracket to decide who is the greatest college basketball player ever.
Kareem didn’t even make the final four. Magic Johnson went to defend Kareem on Twitter, but it’s time to remember the greatness of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Previously known as Lew Alcindor, he attended UCLA from 1965 to 1969. In his first year, his freshman team beat the varsity team that went to win the National Championship. And in the next three years, while being part of the varsity team, Kareem led the Bruins to an 88-2 record.
Throughout his three years at college, Kareem accomplished many achievements and records, some of them still being untouched.
Here are some of them…
- NCAA champion 3x
- Player of the year x2
- First-team All American x3
- NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player x3 (Record)
These numbers are unmatchable and just shows how dominant Kareem was in college. As if this isn’t enough, the NCAA banned dunking in college basketball because of dominant Kareem was. This didn’t affect Kareem’s game as he developed his famous skyhook.
Now, going to the NBA, Kareem was as good as he was in college. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks, who were going into their 2nd year of existence. Kareem played there for 6 seasons, where he won an NBA championship, NBA Finals MVP, and three NBA MVPs. To this date, Kareem is still the Bucks all-time leading scorer, almost 4 thousand points ahead of the next active player for the Bucks (Giannis) even though Kareem has played 50 games less than him.
For the Los Angeles Lakers, Kareem won another 3 MVP’s, making it 6 total.
He was a crucial part of the Showtime Lakers in the ’80s. The Lakers won 5 NBA championships in that decade, with Kareem winning his second finals MVP in 1985. That award was really special, as that championship was won against the Boston Celtics, marking the first team ever the Lakers have beaten the Celtics in a series. In that series, Kareem was 38 years old, and after a horrible first game where people thought he was finished, he averaged 30,2 points 11,3 rebounds, 6,5 assists and 2 blocks in the Lakers 4 wins.
Finally, Kareem managed to play 20 seasons, retiring at age 42. Every season, except probably his last one, were great performances by Kareem. He also is the player with the most points in NBA history with 38,387. That’s amazing considering he only made one three-point shot in his entire career. Also, let’s not overlook his defense, as he was part of the All NBA Defensive team 11 times.
There are many other impressive records and accomplishments that Kareem holds, but the point has been made.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a great all-around player that should be mentioned more in the conversation of the greatest basketball player of all time.
We will probably never see a player like him, with the most unstoppable shot ever, the skyhook, so let’s appreciate his greatness.
Featured Image: Mundo Deportivo/NBA.com