The leading scorer in the history of NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won 6 of the most prestigious NBA titles, five of which were with the Los Angeles Lakers over a period of 20 years. His list of achievements is one of the most extraordinary in league’s history. Not only was Kareem a member of six NBA championships, he also scored the NBA MVP six times and the NBA Finals MVP twice. In addition to this, he is the 19 time All Star, two time scoring champion and a member of the 35th and 50th NBA Anniversary All Time Teams. And if this is not enough, Kareem also has the privilege of owning eight playoff records along with seven All Star records. No other player has ever matched the achievements and success of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Kareem was born on April 16, 1947 in New York City. His father, Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr was a policeman. Kareem was always the tallest kid in class. Being 5’8” at the age of 9 years was quite impressive. By the time he was in eighth grade, Kareem could easily dunk a basketball. He later reached a height of 7’2”. Kareem’s interest in basketball began at an early age. He was a prominent high school basketball player and led his school to becoming the #1 High School Team of the Century. He was signed up to play for UCLA where he trained and played under the renowned coach John Wooden, Kareem ended up winning three national titles. He was also titled the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for those years. His control over the game continued to shine, first for the Milwaukee Bucks, and later the Los Angeles Lakers.
Never failing on his fitness, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar followed a strict physical fitness regimen that always kept him ahead of his time and even players 10 years his junior had a hard time keeping up with him. No other player has ever been accurately able to duplicate his sky-hook shot. His presence brought quickness, grace and versatility to the center position which was previously reserved by size and power. Despite his professional achievements, Kareem did not win the universal affection of basketball fans until the twilight of his career due to his private nature and avoidance of the press. However, he began to open up more during the late stages of his career.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was actually Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. before he converted to Islam before the 1971-72 seasons. Even with his phenomenal success, Kareem was discontented due to the fact the most people did not understand his religious and cultural way of life. However, he never let this come into the way of his performance as a sportsman and continued to shine. He played his final season in 1988-89. His retirement marked the end of a golden era for the NBA. Ever since his retirement, Kareem has published several books as well as served in the entertainment industry while also working as coach and commentator.