Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Basketball player
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a retired American professional basketball player. He is the NBA's all-time leading scorer, with 38,387 points. During his career with the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969 to 1989, Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA championships and a record six regular season MVP Awards. In college at UCLA, he played on three consecutive national championship teams, and his high school team won 71 consecutive games.
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's personal information overview.
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Draymond Green: Knicks owner James Dolan using 'slave master mentality' - ESPN
Google News - 8 days
CBS News Draymond Green: Knicks owner James Dolan using 'slave master mentality' ESPN Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Amin Elhassan and Rachel Nichols offer their takes on Draymond Green saying Knicks owner James Dolan operated with a "slave master mentality" in criticizing Charles Oakley. (1:30). Facebook · Twitter · Facebook Messenger ... Draymond Green: Dolan had 'slave master mentality' toward OakleyUSA TODAY Draymond Green Says James Dolan Has 'Slave Master Mentality' with Charles OakleyBleacher Report Draymond Green calls James Dolan's treatment of Charles Oakley 'a slave-owner mentality'Yahoo Sports Sports Illustrated -FOXSports.com -ESPN all 222 news articles »
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Google News article
Nonfiction: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Two Books About Muslim Identity
NYTimes - about 1 month
Omar Saif Ghobash’s “Letters to a Young Muslim” offers advice for young Muslims in the West, and Ali A. Rizvi’s “The Atheist Muslim” is about a journey from believer to atheist.
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NYTimes article
Athletes Who Inspired Off The Field In 2016
Huffington Post - 2 months
Athletes flexed their muscles off the field on a wide range of social and political issues in 2016. Star players from the NBA, the NFL and women’s soccer showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and eliminating the pay gap between men and women, while the Olympics provided a stage for a marathon runner to highlight a persecuted ethnic group in Ethiopia. Other sports figures made their voices heard on issues like medical marijuana and the refugee crisis.  Here’s a look back at the year in athlete activism.  Black Lives Matter  This year, a black man who told a Minnesota police officer he had a concealed carry license was shot dead anyway. In South Carolina, an officer who’d been caught on video firing bullets into the back of a fleeing, unarmed black man was not convicted.  These events and others made it clear that black Americans still face an unacceptable level of violence and risk in their everyday lives. And more than a few athletes decided it was t ...
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Huffington Post article
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Fast Facts
CNN - 3 months
Read CNN's Fast Facts on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and learn more about the philanthropist, writer and NBA Hall of Fame center.
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CNN article
For Obama, It's The Last Of His Greats: 21 Awarded Presidential Medals of Freedom
Huffington Post - 3 months
For the final time in his presidency, Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor, to 21 recipients at the White House on Tuesday.  Honorees included entertainers Tom Hanks and Diana Ross, philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, architect Frank Gehry, scientist Margaret Hamilton, and athletes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and (a crying) Michael Jordan, whom Obama noted “was more than just an internet meme.” President Obama: Michael Jordan is more than just an Internet meme. #CryingJordan #MedalofFreedom pic.twitter.com/I4pCgpfuqL — Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 22, 2016 The honor is awarded to individuals who have made “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors,” the White House said in a statement earlier this month in announcing the nominees.  Michael Jordan, at 53, was this yea ...
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Huffington Post article
Obama presents Medal of Freedom awards one last time
Reuters.com - 3 months
U.S. President Barack Obama presents his final Presidential Medal of Freedom awards, the nation's highest civilian honor, to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ellen DeGeneres, Robert De Niro, Bill and Melinda Gates, architect Frank Gehry, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Robert Redford, Diana Ross, and Bruce Springsteen amongst others. Gavino Garay reports.
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Reuters.com article
Presidential Medal of Freedom going to Scully, Abdul-Jabbar, MJ
ABC News - 3 months
Vin Scully, the Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster who retired in October after 67 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. In addition to Scully, former NBA greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Michael Jordan also will be honored. The announcement was made by the White House on Wednesday. The medals will be awarded in a ceremony Tuesday at the White House. It will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov/live. The Medal of Freedom, bestowed by the president, is the country's highest civilian honor. It is awarded to individuals who make significant cultural or security contributions to the United States or international contributions in the areas of culture or world peace. Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary and a Dodgers fan, made the call to Scully to inform him of the award. "Oh my gosh ... no. Are you sure?" Scully said. "I'm just an old baseball...
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ABC News article
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar condemns 'voter suppression'
CNN - 3 months
Former NBA star turned activist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is denouncing what he called "voter suppression" tactics he says influenced the results of last Tuesday's presidential election.
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CNN article
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: What It Means To Be Black During A Trump Administration
Huffington Post - 3 months
Nicholas M. Butler, the Nobel Prize-winning American philosopher, once said that optimism is the foundation of courage. Today, African Americans will have to dig pretty deep to find that foundation because there’s not much optimism in sight. Yes, we’re all supposed to come together after an election, let bygones be bygones, and march forward unified as neither Democrats nor Republicans but patriotic Americans celebrating the triumph of the democratic process. But it’s difficult to link arms when the home of the free embraces the leadership of a racist. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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Huffington Post article
Westbrook's 51 in triple-double most since '75 - ESPN
Google News - 4 months
ESPN Westbrook's 51 in triple-double most since '75 ESPN Russell Westbrook becomes the first player to score at least 50 points and record a triple-double since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975. (1:17). Facebook · Twitter · Pinterest · Email; comment. 2:28 AM ET. Royce YoungESPN Staff Writer. Close. Covers the ... Westbrook has 51 points and triple-double as Thunder beat Suns in OTUSA TODAY Westbrook takes triple-double heroics to another levelYahoo Sports NBA: Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook scores 51 with a triple-doubleLos Angeles Times Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia -Sporting News -CBSSports.com -SFGate all 60 news articles »
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Muslims and the Making of America
Huffington Post - 4 months
In recent times of rising Islamophobia, rampant misinformation about Islam, and political rhetoric against Muslims, books showcasing the positive aspects of Muslims in America are very welcome. Hussain's book Muslims and the Making of America may be a very short read but it is a much needed one, packed with facts that destroy myths and remove stereotypes. Many writers have written similar topics, but Hussain has a unique angle. He showcases Muslims instead of Islam, and he focuses on people rather than religion. This is an important distinction, because our media, both print and broadcast, offers a plethora of often conflicting information about Islam. In an environment when many Americans ask, What have Muslims ever done for America? Hussain attempts to showcase a wide variety of Muslims in areas that the average American cares about: culture. This topic of course is much vaster than just one writer can or should attempt. One could point to Muslim American contributions to sc ...
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Huffington Post article
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Basketball Legend and Author, to Speak at National Press Club, Oct. 17
Yahoo News - 5 months
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer and the author of more than a dozen books, will speak to a National Press Club luncheon on Monday, Oct. 17.Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA's MVP six times over during the 20 seasons he played for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a member of six championship teams and was named an All-Star a record 19 times.After he retired from his playing career, Abdul-Jabbar has become a successful author, with books on African-American history and graphic novels to his credit. ...
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Yahoo News article
Professor Weighs In On Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Uninformed Voter Comment
NPR - 6 months
Steve Inskeep talks to Morehouse College professor Marc Lamont Hill, who says it's important that Americans, who may be considered to be uninformed citizens, vote in presidential elections.
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NPR article
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Calls Colin Kaepernick's Concerns 'Very Admirable'
NPR - 6 months
The basketball legend weighs in on the 49ers quarterback, who has decided not to stand when the national anthem is played before games.
Article Link:
NPR article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    FORTIES
  • 2016
    In 2016, he performed a tribute to friend Muhammad Ali along with Chance the Rapper.
    More Details Hide Details He is also co-author of a comic book published by Titan Comics entitled Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook. On offense, Abdul-Jabbar was an unstoppable low-post threat. In contrast to other low-post dominators like Wilt Chamberlain, Artis Gilmore or Shaquille O'Neal, Abdul-Jabbar was a relatively slender player, standing 7'2" (218 cm) but only weighing 225 lbs (though in his latter years the Lakers listed Abdul-Jabbar's weight as 265). However, he made up for his relative lack of bulk by showing textbook finesse, strength and was famous for his ambidextrous skyhook shot, which defenders found impossible to block. It contributed to his high .559 field goal accuracy, making him the eighth most accurate scorer of all time and a feared clutch shooter. Abdul-Jabbar was also quick enough to run the Showtime fast break led by Magic Johnson and was well-conditioned, standing on the hardwood an average 36.8 minutes. In contrast to other big men, Abdul-Jabbar also could reasonably hit his free throws, finishing with a career 72% average.
  • 2015
    In April 2015, Abdul-Jabbar was admitted to the hospital when diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
    More Details Hide Details Later that week, on his 68th birthday, he underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery at the UCLA Medical Center. He is expected to make a full recovery. In 2011, Abdul-Jabbar was awarded the Double Helix Medal for his work in raising awareness for cancer research. Also in 2011, Abdul-Jabbar received an honorary degree from New York Institute of Technology.
    Abdul-Jabbar has also been a regular contributor to discussions about issues of race and religion, among other topics, in national magazines and on television. He has written a regular column for Time, for example, and he appeared on Meet the Press on Sunday, January 25, 2015, to talk about a recent column, which pointed out that Islam should not be blamed for the actions of violent extremists, just as Christianity has not been blamed for the actions of violent extremists who profess Christianity.
    More Details Hide Details When asked about being Muslim, he said: "I don't have any misgiving about my faith. I'm very concerned about the people who claim to be Muslims that are murdering people and creating all this mayhem in the world. That is not what Islam is about, and that should not be what people think of when they think about Muslims. But it's up to all of us to do something about all of it." In November 2014, Abdul-Jabbar published an essay in Jacobin magazine calling for just compensation for college athletes, writing, "in the name of fairness, we must bring an end to the indentured servitude of college athletes and start paying them what they are worth." In 2007, Abdul-Jabbar participated in the national UCLA alumni commercial entitled "My Big UCLA Moment". The UCLA commercial is featured on YouTube.
    In 2015, he appeared in an HBO documentary on his life, Kareem: Minority of One.
    More Details Hide Details Abdul-Jabbar is also a best-selling author and cultural critic. His first book, his autobiography Giant Steps, was written in 1983 with co-author Peter Knobler. (The book's title is an homage to jazz great John Coltrane, referring to his album Giant Steps.) Others include On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance, co-written with Raymond Obstfeld, and Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, World War II's Forgotten Heroes, co-written with Anthony Walton, which is a history of an all-black armored unit that served with distinction in Europe.
    In 2015, ESPN named Abdul-Jabbar the best center in NBA history, and ranked him No. 2 behind Michael Jordan among the greatest NBA players ever.
    More Details Hide Details While Jordan's shots were enthralling and considered unfathomable, Abdul-Jabbar's skyhook appeared automatic, and he himself called the shot "unsexy".
  • 2014
    Abdul-Jabbar has also appeared with Robert Hays (Ted Striker) in a 2014 Airplane! parody commercial promoting Wisconsin tourism.
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  • 2013
    Abdul-Jabbar was selected to appear in the 2013 ABC reality series Splash, a celebrity diving competition.
    More Details Hide Details Abdul-Jabbar has also created the 2011 documentary On the Shoulders of Giants, based on the all-black basketball team New York Renaissance.
  • 2012
    He had a recurring role as himself on the NBC series Guys with Kids, which aired from 2012–13.
    More Details Hide Details On Al Jazeera English he expressed his desire to be remembered not just as a player, but somebody who had many talents and used them.
    In 2012, he was selected by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be a U.S. global cultural ambassador.
    More Details Hide Details Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. was born in New York City, the only child of Cora Lillian, a department store price checker, and Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Sr., a transit police officer and jazz musician. At birth, he weighed and was long. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and attended Power Memorial Academy, a Catholic high school in Manhattan. From an early age, Lew Alcindor began his record-breaking basketball accomplishments. In high school, where he started as a 6-foot, 8-inch player, he led coach Jack Donahue's Power Memorial team to three straight New York City Catholic championships, a 71-game winning streak, and a 79–2 overall record. This earned him a nickname—"The tower from Power". His 2,067 total points were a New York City high school record. The team won the national high school boys basketball championship when Alcindor was in 11th grade, and was runner-up his senior year.
  • 2011
    On February 10, 2011, Abdul-Jabbar debuted his film On the Shoulders of Giants, documenting the tumultuous journey of the famed yet often-overlooked Harlem Renaissance professional basketball team, at Science Park High School in Newark, New Jersey.
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    Abdul-Jabbar also voiced himself in a 2011 episode of The Simpsons titled "Love Is a Many Strangled Thing".
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  • THIRTIES
  • 2006
    He has also made appearances on The Colbert Report, in a 2006 skit called "HipHopKetball II: The ReJazzebration Remix '06" and in 2008 as a stage manager who is sent out on a mission to find Nazi gold.
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  • 2002
    Abdul-Jabbar has worked as an assistant for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Seattle SuperSonics, helping mentor, among others, their young centers, Michael Olowokandi and Jerome James. Abdul-Jabbar was the head coach of the Oklahoma Storm of the United States Basketball League in 2002, leading the team to the league's championship that season, but he failed to land the head coaching position at Columbia University a year later.
    More Details Hide Details He then worked as a scout for the New York Knicks. Finally, on September 2, 2005, he returned to the Lakers as a special assistant to Phil Jackson to help the Lakers' centers, and in particular their young draftee Andrew Bynum. Abdul-Jabbar's influence has been credited with Bynum's emergence as a more talented NBA center. Abdul-Jabbar also served as a volunteer coach at Alchesay High School on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Whiteriver, Arizona in 1998.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1994
    He also appeared in the television version of Stephen King's The Stand, played the Archangel of Basketball in Slam Dunk Ernest, and had a brief non-speaking cameo appearance in BASEketball. Abdul-Jabbar was also the co-executive producer of the 1994 TV film Road to Freedom: The Vernon Johns Story.
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    He also played himself on the February 10, 1994 episode of the sketch comedy television series In Living Color.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1984
    Abdul-Jabbar played a genie in a lamp in a 1984 episode of Tales from the Darkside.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1980
    In 1980, he played co-pilot Roger Murdock in Airplane!
    More Details Hide Details Abdul-Jabbar has a scene in which a little boy looks at him and remarks that he is in fact Abdul-Jabbar—spoofing the appearance of football star Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch as an airplane pilot in the 1957 drama that served as the inspiration for Airplane!, Zero Hour! Staying in character, Abdul-Jabbar states that he is merely Roger Murdock, an airline co-pilot, but the boy continues to insist that Abdul-Jabbar is "the greatest", but that, according to his father, he doesn't "work hard on defense" and "never really tries, except during the playoffs". When Murdock loses consciousness later in the film, he is carried from the cockpit wearing Abdul-Jabbar's goggles and yellow Lakers' shorts. Abdul-Jabbar has had numerous other television and film appearances, often playing himself. He has had roles in movies such as Fletch, Troop Beverly Hills and Forget Paris, and television series such as Full House, Living Single, Amen, Everybody Loves Raymond, Martin, Diff'rent Strokes (his height humorously contrasted with that of diminutive child star Gary Coleman), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Scrubs, 21 Jump Street, Emergency! Man from Atlantis, and New Girl.
    Abdul-Jabbar combined dominance during his career peak with the longevity and sustained excellence of his latter years. After claiming his sixth and final MVP in 1980, he continued to average above 20 points in the following six seasons, including 23 points per game in his 17th season at age 38.
    More Details Hide Details He made the NBA's 35th Anniversary Team, and was named one of its 50 greatest players of all-time in 1996. Abdul-Jabbar is regarded as one of the best centers ever, and league experts and basketball legends frequently mentioned him when considering the greatest player of all-time. Former Lakers coach Pat Riley once said, "Why judge anymore? When a man has broken records, won championships, endured tremendous criticism and responsibility, why judge? Let's toast him as the greatest player ever." Isiah Thomas remarked, "If they say the numbers don't lie, then Kareem is the greatest ever to play the game." Julius Erving in 2013 said, "In terms of players all-time, Kareem is still the number one guy. He's the guy you gotta start your franchise with."
  • 1978
    Abdul-Jabbar and Janice divorced in 1978.
    More Details Hide Details He has another son, Amir, with Cheryl Pistono. Another son, Adam, made an appearance on the TV sitcom Full House with him. Speaking about the thinking behind his change of name when he converted to Islam he stated that he was "latching on to something that was part of my heritage, because many of the slaves who were brought here were Muslims. My family was brought to America by a French planter named Alcindor, who came here from Trinidad in the 18th century. My people were Yoruba, and their culture survived slavery My father found out about that when I was a kid, and it gave me all I needed to know that, hey, I was somebody, even if nobody else knew about it. When I was a kid, no one would believe anything positive that you could say about black people. And that's a terrible burden on black people, because they don't have an accurate idea of their history, which has been either suppressed or distorted."
  • 1976
    While in Los Angeles, Abdul-Jabbar started doing yoga in 1976 to improve his flexibility, and was notable for his physical fitness regimen.
    More Details Hide Details He says, "There is no way I could have played as long as I did without yoga." In 1983, Abdul-Jabbar's house burned down, destroying many of his belongings including his beloved jazz LP collection (about 3,000 jazz albums were destroyed). Many Lakers fans sent and brought him albums, which he found uplifting. On June 28, 1989, after twenty professional seasons, Abdul-Jabbar announced his retirement. On his "retirement tour" he received standing ovations at games, home and away and gifts ranging from a yacht that said "Captain Skyhook" to framed jerseys from his basketball career to an Afghan rug. In his biography My Life, Magic Johnson recalls that in Abdul-Jabbar's farewell game, many Lakers and Celtics legends participated. Every player wore Abdul-Jabbar's trademark goggles and had to try a skyhook at least once, which led to comic results. The Lakers made the NBA Finals in each of Abdul-Jabbar's final three seasons, defeating Boston in 1987, and Detroit in 1988. The Lakers lost to the Pistons in a four-game sweep in his final season.
    In the 1976–77 season, Abdul-Jabbar had another strong season.
    More Details Hide Details He led the league in field goal percentage, finished second in rebounds and blocked shots, and third in points per game. He helped lead the Lakers to the best record in the NBA, and he won his record-tying fifth MVP award. In the playoffs, the Lakers beat the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semi-finals, setting up a confrontation with the Portland Trail Blazers. The result was a memorable matchup, pitting Abdul-Jabbar against a young, injury-free Bill Walton. Although Abdul-Jabbar dominated the series statistically, Walton and the Trail Blazers (who were experiencing their first-ever run in the playoffs) swept the Lakers, behind Walton's skillful passing and leadership. Abdul-Jabbar's play remained strong during the next two seasons, being named to the All-NBA Second Team twice, the All-Defense First Team once, and the All-Defense Second Team once. The Lakers, however, continued to be stymied in the playoffs, being eliminated by the Seattle SuperSonics in both 1978 and 1979.
  • 1975
    In the 1975–76 season, his first with the Lakers, he had a dominating season, averaging 27.7 points per game and leading the league in rebounding, blocked shots, and minutes played.
    More Details Hide Details His 1,111 defensive rebounds remains the NBA single-season record (defensive rebounds were not recorded prior to the 1973–74 season). Also, Abdul-Jabbar's season marked the last time anyone had 4,000 or more PRA (Points + Rebounds + Assists) in a single NBA season. He earned his fourth MVP award, but missed the post-season for the second straight year. Once he joined the Lakers, Abdul-Jabbar began wearing his trademark goggles (he briefly ditched them in the 1979–80 season). Years of battling under NBA backboards, and being hit and scratched in the face in the process, had taken their toll on his eyes and he developed corneal erosion syndrome, where the eyes begin to dry out easily and cease to produce moisture. He missed one game in the 1986–87 season due to his eyes drying out and swelling as a result.
    In 1975, the Lakers acquired Abdul-Jabbar and reserve center Walt Wesley from the Bucks for center Elmore Smith, guard Brian Winters, and rookie "blue chippers" Dave Meyers and Junior Bridgeman.
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    In 1975, he was traded to the Lakers, with whom he played the last 14 seasons of his career and won five additional NBA championships.
    More Details Hide Details Abdul-Jabbar's contributions were a key component in the "Showtime" era of Lakers basketball. Over his 20-year NBA career his team succeeded in making the playoffs 18 times and past the 1st round in 14 of them; his team reached the NBA Finals 10 times. At the time of his retirement in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA's all-time leader in points scored (38,387), games played (1,560), minutes played (57,446), field goals made (15,837), field goal attempts (28,307), blocked shots (3,189), defensive rebounds (9,394), and personal fouls (4,657). He remains the all-time leading scorer in the NBA, and is ranked 3rd all-time in both rebounds and blocks. In 2007, ESPN voted him the greatest center of all time, in 2008, they named him the "greatest player in college basketball history", and in 2016, they named him the second best player in NBA history. Abdul-Jabbar has also been an actor, a basketball coach, and a best-selling author.
  • 1974
    Although Abdul-Jabbar always spoke well of Milwaukee and its fans, he said that being in the Midwest did not fit his cultural needs and requested a trade to either New York or Los Angeles in October 1974.
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    While remaining relatively injury-free throughout his NBA career, Abdul-Jabbar twice broke one of his hands. The first time was during a pre-season game in 1974, when he was bumped hard and got his eye scratched, which angered him enough to punch the basket support stanchion.
    More Details Hide Details When he returned, after missing the first 16 games of the season, he started to wear protective goggles. The second time he broke a hand was in the opening game of the 1977–78 NBA season. Two minutes into the game, Abdul-Jabbar punched Milwaukee's Kent Benson in retaliation for an overly aggressive elbow, causing Benson's jaw to be broken. Abdul-Jabbar broke a hand in the incident and was out for two months; otherwise, he could have potentially been suspended by the NBA.
    In 1974, Abdul-Jabbar won his third MVP Award in five years and was among the top five NBA players in scoring (27. ppg, third), rebounding (14.5 rpg, fourth), blocked shots (283, second), and field goal percentage (.539, second).
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  • 1972
    Playing in Los Angeles facilitated Abdul-Jabbar's trying his hand at acting. He made his film debut in Bruce Lee's 1972 film Game of Death, in which his character Hakim fights Billy Lo (played by Lee).
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  • 1971
    After winning his first NBA championship in 1971, he adopted the Muslim name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at age 24.
    More Details Hide Details Using his trademark "skyhook" shot, he established himself as one of the league's top scorers.
  • 1969
    He was also chosen first overall in the 1969 American Basketball Association draft by the New York Nets.
    More Details Hide Details The Nets believed that they had the upper hand in securing Alcindor's services because he was from New York; however, when Alcindor told both the Bucks and the Nets that he would accept one offer only from each team, the Nets bid too low. Sam Gilbert negotiated the contract along with Los Angeles businessman Ralph Shapiro at no charge. After Alcindor chose the Milwaukee Bucks' offer of $1.4 million, the Nets offered a guaranteed $3.25 million. Alcindor declined the offer, saying, "A bidding war degrades the people involved. It would make me feel like a flesh peddler, and I don't want to think like that." Alcindor's presence enabled the 1969–70 Bucks to claim second place in the NBA's Eastern Division with a 56–26 record (improved from 27–55 the previous year). Alcindor was an instant star, ranking second in the league in scoring (28.8 ppg) and third in rebounding (14.5 rpg), for which he was awarded the title of NBA Rookie of the Year.
    The Harlem Globetrotters offered Alcindor $1 million to play for them, but he declined, and was picked first in the 1969 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks (who were in only their second season of existence).
    More Details Hide Details The Bucks won a coin-toss with the Phoenix Suns for first pick.
  • OTHER
  • 1968
    In the summer of 1968, while attending UCLA, he took the Shahada twice and converted to Sunni Islam, only later making his name change official.
    More Details Hide Details Alcindor boycotted the 1968 Summer Olympics by deciding not to join the United States Men's Olympic Basketball team that year, protesting the unequal treatment of African-Americans in the United States. He was one of only 4 players to have started on 3 NCAA championship teams; the others all played for Wooden at UCLA: Henry Bibby, Curtis Rowe and Lynn Shackelford. Along with playing basketball, Alcindor earned a Bachelor of Arts with a major in history from UCLA in 1969. In his free time he practiced martial arts. He studied Jeet Kune Do under Bruce Lee. On January 20, 1968, Alcindor and the UCLA Bruins faced coach Guy Lewis's Houston Cougars in the first-ever nationally televised regular-season college basketball game. There were 52,693 people in attendance at the Houston Astrodome. Elvin Hayes scored 39 points and had 15 rebounds—while Alcindor, who suffered from a scratch on his left cornea, was held to just 15 points—as Houston beat UCLA 71–69. The Bruins' 47-game winning streak ended in what has been called the "Game of the Century". Hayes and Alcindor would have a rematch in the NCAA Tournament where UCLA, with a healthy Alcindor, would defeat Houston in the semi-finals 101–69 and go on to win the national championship. In the rematch UCLA limited Hayes, who was averaging 37.7 points per game, to only 10 points. Wooden credited his assistant, Jerry Norman, for devising the diamond-and-one defense that contained Hayes.
    While playing for UCLA, Alcindor suffered a scratched left cornea on January 12, 1968, at the Cal game when he was struck by Tom Henderson of Cal in a rebound battle.
    More Details Hide Details He would miss the next two games against Stanford and Portland. This happened right before the showdown game against Houston. His cornea later would be scratched again during his pro career, subsequently causing him to wear goggles for protection.
  • 1967
    In 1967 and 1968, he also won USBWA College Player of the Year which later became the Oscar Robertson Trophy.
    More Details Hide Details Alcindor became the only player to win the Helms Foundation Player of the Year award three times. The 1965–66 UCLA Bruin team was the preseason #1. But on November 27, 1965, the freshman team led by Alcindor defeated the varsity team 75–60 in the first game in the new Pauley Pavilion. Alcindor scored 31 points and had 21 rebounds in that game. Alcindor had considered transferring to the University of Michigan, because of unfulfilled promises from recruiting. UCLA player Willie Naulls introduced Alcindor and teammate Lucius Allen to businessman Sam Gilbert, who convinced the pair to remain at UCLA. The dunk was banned in college basketball after the 1967 season, primarily because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot. It was not allowed again until the 1976–1977 season.
    Lew Alcindor played on the UCLA freshman team only because the "freshman rule" was in effect. From 1967–69, he played under coach John Wooden, contributing to the team's three-year record of 88 wins and only two losses: one to the University of Houston in which Alcindor had a not fully healed eye injury (see below), and the other to crosstown rival USC who played a "stall game" (i.e., there was no shot clock in those days, so a team could hold the ball as long as it wanted before attempting to score).
    More Details Hide Details In his first college game, Lew set a UCLA single game record with 56 points. During his college career, Alcindor was twice named Player of the Year (1967, 1969); was a three-time First Team All-American (1967–69); played on three NCAA basketball champion teams (1967, 1968 and 1969); was honored as the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament (1967, 1968, 1969); and became the first-ever Naismith College Player of the Year in 1969.
  • 1947
    Born on April 16, 1947.
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