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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Usa
Nba.com: When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left the game in 1989 at age 42, no
NBA player had ever scored more points, blocked more shots, won more Most
Valuable Player Awards, played in more All-Star Games or logged more seasons.
His list of personal and team accomplishments is perhaps the most awesome in
league history: Rookie of the Year, member of six NBA championship teams,
six-time NBA MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 19-time All-Star, two-time scoring
champion, and a member of the NBA 35th and 50th Anniversary All-Time Teams. He
also owned eight playoff records and seven All-Star records. No player achieved
as much individual and team success as did Abdul-Jabbar.
Players 10 years his junior couldn't keep up with Abdul-Jabbar, whose strict physical-fitness regimen was years ahead of its time in the NBA. But if others have since emulated his fitness regimen, no player has ever duplicated his trademark "sky-hook." Although labeled "unsexy" by Abdul-Jabbar himself, the shot became one of the most effective weapons in all of sports. An all-around player, Abdul-Jabbar brought grace, agility, and versatility to the center position, which had previously been characterized solely by power and size.
Despite his incredible success on the court, it wasn't until the twilight of his career that Abdul-Jabbar finally won the universal affection of basketball fans. He was a private man who avoided the press and at times seemed aloof. "I'm the baddest among the bad guys," he once told The Sporting News.
But late in his playing days Abdul-Jabbar began to open up, and as his career wound to a close, fans, players and coaches alike expressed their admiration for what he had accomplished in basketball. During the 1988-89 season, his last, Abdul-Jabbar was honored in every arena in the league.
Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley, who coached Abdul-Jabbar for eight seasons in Los Angeles, once said in a toast recounted in Sports Illustrated, "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."
Name: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (formerly Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr.)
Nickname: The Captain, Captain Hook, (formerly Lew Alcindor)
Born: August 16, 1947
Status: Retired; Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall-Of-Fame as a player on May 15, 1995
Origin: New York, New York, Usa
Schools: Power Memorial Academy, UCLA
Drafted: 1969, First Overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks
Teams (jersey): Power Memorial Academy, UCLA, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers (33)
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