Thirty years ago today, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar passed the amazing Jerry West’s total of 4,457 points to become the all-time NBA playoff scoring leader. Eventually, Kareem would be passed by Michael Jordan. Currently, Kareem is the all-time NBA points leader in the regular season with 38,387, followed by Karl Malone (Kobe has to get over 3,000 more points to get close to Malone). In Game 3 of the 1985 NBA Finals, Kareem used his signature hook to gracefully attain the record. Check it out below.
His hook almost impossible to block. Much like something seen in a ballet, Kareem’s arm would extend straight out as his body leapt into the air. Then, all it took was a perfect flick of da wrist and the ball glided gently into the basket no matter where he shot from.
Kareem is also known for his ferocious rivalry with Wilt Chamberlain. Both big men towered over 7 feet. Wilt was almost ten years older than the 24 year old Kareem, over 60lbs heavier, and not eager to have his records surpassed by the young buck. Here’s a great video showing their battles.
Before the epic team up of Nike and Michael Jordan, there was adidas and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The adidas Abdul Jabbar Hi, released in 1971, is perhaps one of the first signature sneakers besides the Converse Chuck Taylor. It has since been re-released as the adidas Hook Shot. For more on Kareem’s sneaker history, Aaron Nojima has you covered.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played 20 seasons in the NBA, 1560 games, and won 6 NBA Championships, including the one in 1985 against the Celtics. He is a six-time MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, currently ranked third in most career blocked shots, and has appeared in 19 All-Star games. He lead the league in blocks in 1975, 1976, 1979, and 1980. He was, quite clearly, a force to be reckoned with. Here’s to you C.