Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Biography(Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr., April 16, 1947) 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. At the time of his retirement, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA's all-time leader in points scored, games played, minutes played, field goals made, field goal attempts, blocked shots, defensive rebounds, and personal fouls. Abdul-Jabbar also has been an actor, a basketball coach, and an author. In 2012, he was selected as a U.S. cultural ambassador.

Early life

Abdul-Jabbar was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr., on April 16, 1947, and grew up in Manhattan 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 12 pounds, 10 ounces (5.73 kg), and was twenty-two-and-a-half inches (57.2 cm) long. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and attended St. Jude School in the Inwood section of Manhattan. Later in life, he converted to Islam. He initially joined the Nation of Islam in 1968, before retaking the Shahada and converting to Sunni Islam that same summer.

From an early age he began his record-breaking basketball accomplishments. In high school, he led Power Memorial Academy to three straight New York City Catholic championships, a 71-game winning streak, and a 79"2 overall record.

College

Lew Alcindor played four seasons for the UCLA Bruins; on the freshman team in 1965-66 and from 1966"69 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).

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, 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.

In 1967 and 1968, he also won USBWA College Player of the Year which later became the Oscar Robertson Trophy. Alcindor became the only player to win the Helms Foundation Player of the Year award three times. The 1965"1966 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.

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 1976.

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. He would miss the next two games against Stanford and Portland. This happened right before the momentous game against Houston. His cornea later would be scratched again during his pro career, subsequently causing him to wear goggles for protection.

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.

Besides playing basketball, Alcindor also earned a degree in history from UCLA.

Game of the Century

Main article: Game of the Century (college basketball)
On January 20, 1968, Alcindor and the UCLA Bruins faced the Houston Cougars in the first-ever nationally televised regular-season college basketball game. In front of 52,693 fans 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 1968 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament where UCLA, with a healthy Alcindor, would defeat Houston in the semi-finals 101"69 and go on to win the National Championship.

School records

As of the 2011"2012 season, he still holds or shares a number of individual records at UCLA:

  • Highest career scoring average: 26.4;
  • Most career field goals: 943 (tied with Don MacLean);
  • Most points in a season: 870 (1967);
  • Highest season scoring average: 29.0 (1967);
  • Most field goals in a season: 346 (1967);
  • Most free throw attempts in a season: 274 (1967);
  • Most points in a single game: 61;
  • Most field goals in a single game: 26 (vs. Washington State, February 25, 1967).

Professional career

Milwaukee Bucks

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.) The Bucks won a coin-toss with the Phoenix Suns for first pick. He was also chosen first overall in the 1969 American Basketball Association draft by the New York Nets. 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.

Lew Alcindor's entry into the NBA was timely, as center Bill Russell had just left the Boston Celtics, and Wilt Chamberlain, though still effective, was 33 years old. Alcindor's presence enabled the 1969"70 Bucks to claim second place in the NBA's Eastern Division with a 56"26 record (up from 27"55 the previous year); and he 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 next season, the Bucks acquired All-Star guard Oscar Robertson, known to sports fans as "the Big 'O'." Milwaukee went on to record the best record in the league with 66 victories in the 1970"71 NBA season, including a then-record 20 straight wins. Alcindor was awarded his first of six NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, along with his first scoring title (31.7 ppg). In the playoffs, the Bucks went 12"2 (including a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Bullets in the NBA Finals), won the championship, and Alcindor was named Finals MVP. On May 1, 1971, the day after the Bucks won the NBA championship, he adopted the Muslim name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, its Arabic translation roughly "generous/noble (Kareem), servant of (Abdul) the mighty/stern one (Jabbar) [i.e., of God]."

Abdul-Jabbar remained a dominant force for Milwaukee, repeating as scoring champion (34.8 ppg) and NBA Most Valuable Player the following year, and helping the Bucks to repeat as division leaders for four straight years. In 1974, Abdul-Jabbar won his third MVP Award in five years and was among the top five NBA players in scoring (27.0 ppg, third), rebounding (14.5 rpg, fourth), blocked shots (283, second), and field goal percentage (.539, second).

While remaining relatively injury-free throughout his NBA career, Abdul-Jabbar twice broke his hand. 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. When he returned, after missing the first 16 games of the season, he started to wear protective goggles. The second time he broke his 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. He was out for two months.

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.

Los Angeles Lakers

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. 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. His 1,111 defensive rebounds remains the NBA single-season record (defensive rebounds were not recorded prior to the 1973"74 season). Also it 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 once missed a game in the 1986"87 season due to his eyes drying out and swelling as a result.

In the 1976"77 season, Abdul-Jabbar had another strong season. 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.

In 1979, the Lakers acquired 1st overall draft pick Earvin "Magic" Johnson. The trade and draft paved the way for a Laker dynasty as they went on to become one of the most dominant teams of the 1980s, appearing in the finals eight times and winning five NBA championships. Individually, while Abdul-Jabbar was not the dominant center he had been in the 1970s, he experienced a number of highlight moments. Among them were his record sixth MVP award in 1980, four more All-NBA First Team designations, two more All-Defense First Team designations, the 1985 Finals MVP, and on April 5, 1984 breaking Wilt Chamberlain's record for career points. Later in his career, he bulked up to about 265 pounds, to be able to withstand the strain of playing the highly physical center position into his early 40s.

While in L.A., Abdul-Jabbar started doing yoga in 1976 to improve his flexibility, and was notable for his physical fitness regimen. 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. 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 sky hook 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.

At the time of his retirement, Abdul-Jabbar held the record for most games played by a single player in the NBA; this would later be broken by Robert Parish.

Post-NBA career

Since 2005, Abdul-Jabbar has served as special assistant coach for the Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar had been interested in coaching since his retirement, and given the influence he had on the league, he thought that the opportunity would present itself. However, during his playing years, Abdul-Jabbar had developed a reputation of being introverted and sullen. He did not speak to the press, leading to the impression that he disliked them. In his biography My Life, Magic Johnson recalls instances when Abdul-Jabbar brushed him off when Magic (as a ball boy) asked for his autograph, Abdul-Jabbar froze out reporters who gave him a too enthusiastic handshake or even hugged him, and refused to stop reading the newspaper while giving an interview. Many basketball observers, in addition to Abdul-Jabbar, believe that Kareem's reticence, whether through disdain for the press corps or simply because of introversion, contributed to the dearth of coaching opportunities offered to Abdul-Jabbar by the NBA. In his words, he said he had a mindset he could not overcome, and proceeded through his career oblivious to the effect his reticence may have had on his coaching prospects in the future. Abdul-Jabbar said: "I didn't understand that I also had affected people that way and that's what it was all about. I always saw it like they were trying to pry. I was way too suspicious and I paid a price for it." Since he began lobbying for a coaching position in 1995, he has managed to obtain only low-level assistant and scouting jobs in the NBA, and a head coaching position only in a minor professional league.

Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament wrote the song "Sweet Lew" about a similar incident when he met Abdul-Jabbar whom he "idolized" at a charity game and got a "complete lack of response or interest". Ament was upset by the incident. The song appears on the Pearl Jam's B-Sides compilation Lost Dogs.

Abdul-Jabbar has worked as an assistant for the LA 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. 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 has also served as a volunteer coach at Alchesay High School on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Whiteriver, Arizona in 1998.

Player profile

Abdul-Jabbar played the center position and is regarded as one of the best players of all time. He is the all-time leading NBA scorer with 38,387 points, having collected six championship rings, six regular season MVP and two Finals MVP awards, fifteen NBA First or Second Teams, a record nineteen NBA All-Star call-ups and averaging 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.6 blocks per game. He is also the third all-time in registered blocks (3,189), which is even more impressive because this stat had not been recorded until the fourth year of his career (1974).

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 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 (see below), 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.

On defense, Abdul-Jabbar maintained a dominant presence. He was selected to the NBA All-Defensive Team eleven times. He frustrated opponents with his superior shot-blocking ability, denying an average 2.6 shots a game.

As a teammate, Abdul-Jabbar exuded natural leadership and was affectionately called "Cap" or "Captain" by his colleagues. He was also known for his strict fitness regime, which made him one of the most durable players of all time. In the NBA, his 20 seasons and 1,560 games are performances surpassed only by former Celtics' center Robert Parish.

Abdul-Jabbar made the NBA's 35th and 50th Anniversary Teams, and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players of All Time in 1996.

Sky-hook

Abdul-Jabbar was well known for his trademark "sky-hook", a hook shot in which he bent his entire body (rather than just the arm) like a straw in one fluid motion to raise the ball and then release it at the highest point of his arm's arching motion. Combined with his long arms and great height (7 feet 2 inches), the sky hook was difficult for a defender to block without goaltending. It was a reliable and feared offensive weapon and contributed to his high lifetime field goal percentage of .559. As a twist, he was adept at shooting the skyhook with either hand, which made him even more difficult to defend against. According to Abdul-Jabbar, he learned the move in fifth grade after practicing with the Mikan Drill and soon learned to value it, as it was "the only shot I could use that didn't get smashed back in my face".

NBA career and statistics

Teams and years

  • 1969"75 Milwaukee Bucks
  • 1975"89 Los Angeles Lakers

Statistics

  • Games played " 1560 (2nd most in NBA history)
  • Field goal % " 55.9 (10th highest in NBA history)
  • Free throw % " 72.1
  • Three-point % " 5.6
  • Rebounds " 17,440 (3rd most in NBA history)
  • Rebounds per game " 11.2 (23rd highest in NBA history)
  • Assists " 5,660 (34th in NBA history)
  • Assist per game " 3.6
  • Steals " 1,160
  • Steals per game " 0.74
  • Blocks " 3,189 (3rd most in NBA history) (Note: blocks were not officially tabulated until the 1973"74 season)
  • Blocks per game " 2.57
  • Points per game " 24.6 (14th highest in NBA history)
  • Holds NBA career record for:
    • Most points (38,387)
    • Most minutes played (57,446)
    • Most field goals made (15,837)
    • Most field goals attempted (28,307)
    • Most All-Star selections (19)
    • Most All-Star games played (18)

Career highs

40 point games

70 times in the regular season
55 with Milwaukee Bucks
15 with Los Angeles Lakers

50 point games

All of Abdul-Jabbar's 50 point efforts occurred while he played for the Milwaukee Bucks.
His career high as a Laker was 48 points against the Portland Trail Blazers on .

Points Opponent Home/Away Date FGM FGA FTM FTA
55 Boston Celtics Home 23 36 9 11
53 Cleveland Cavaliers Away 20 32 13 14
53 Boston Celtics Away 22 31 9 14
53 Cleveland Cavaliers Away 23 31 7 9
53 Philadelphia 76ers Home 18 28 17 22
52 Atlanta Hawks Home 18 29 16 20
51 Seattle SuperSonics Neutral 18 25 15 23
51 Boston Celtics Away 21 36 9 14
50 Los Angeles Lakers Away 22 39 6 8
50 Portland Trail Blazers Home 18 30 14 16

Top shot-blocking efforts

Occurred in playoff competition
Blocks Opponent Home/Away Date Minutes
played
Points Rebounds Assists
11 Detroit Pistons Away 46 29 21 2
11 Detroit Pistons Home 43 27 16 4
11 Kansas City Kings Home 41 25 15 3
10 Detroit Pistons Home 53 19 16 5
10 Atlanta Hawks Home 49 39 23 5
10 Atlanta Hawks Home 39 28 15 2
10 Detroit Pistons Home 35 19 10 0
9 Phoenix Suns Away 39 18 17 2
9 Milwaukee Bucks Away 45 30 20 5
9 Portland Trail Blazers Home 46 41 20 3
9 Phoenix Suns Home 26 28 12 1
9 Golden State Warriors Home 40 40 19 3
9 New Orleans Jazz Away 48 34 16 6
9 Chicago Bulls Away 44 18 10 8
9 Indiana Pacers Away 40 25 13 8

Regular season

Stat High Opponent Date
Points 55 vs. Boston Celtics
Field goals made, no misses 11-11 vs. Phoenix Suns
Field goals made 24 vs. Houston Rockets
Field goal attempts 39 at Los Angeles Lakers
Free throws made 20 at Boston Celtics
Free throw attempts 25 at Boston Celtics
Rebounds 34 vs. Detroit Pistons
Defensive rebounds 29 vs. Detroit Pistons
Assists 14 at Seattle SuperSonics
Minutes played 60 at Cleveland Cavaliers

Playoffs

Stat High Opponent Date
Points 46 vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Field goals made 20 at Chicago Bulls
Field goals made 19 vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Field goal attempts 37 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Free throws made 13
Free throw attempts 18
Rebounds 31 vs. New York Knicks
Defensive rebounds 18 vs. Golden State Warriors
Assists 11 at New York Knicks
Steals 6 at Portland Trail Blazers
Blocked shots 9 vs. Golden State Warriors

Athletic honors

  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (May 15, 1995)
  • College:
    • Player of the Year (1967, 1969)
    • Three-time First Team All-American (1967"69)
    • Three-time NCAA champion (1967"69)
    • Most Outstanding Player in NCAA Tournament (1967"69)
    • Naismith College Player of the Year (1969)
    • National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame (2007)
  • National Basketball Association:
    • Rookie of the Year (1970)
    • Six-time NBA champion (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987"88)
    • NBA MVP (1971"72, 1974, 1976"77, 1980)
    • Sporting News NBA MVP (1971"72, 1974, 1976"77, 1980)
    • Finals MVP (1971, 1985)
    • Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" (1985)
    • One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996)
    • First player in NBA history to play 20 seasons
    • #7 in SLAM Magazine's Top 50 NBA Players of all time in 2009.
  • November 16, 2012 " A statue of Abdul-Jabbar was unveiled in front of Staples Center on Chick Hearn Court, in Los Angeles.

Film and television

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).

In 1980, he played co-pilot Roger Murdock in Airplane!. 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 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". This causes Abdul-Jabbar's character to snap, "The hell I don't!", then grab the boy and snarl he has "heard that crap since UCLA", he "busts his buns every night" and the boy should tell his "old man to drag [Bill] Walton and [Bob] Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes". 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, including appearances in the movies Fletch, Troop Beverly Hills and Forget Paris, the sitcoms 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 and Emergency!. Jabbar played a genie in lamp in a 1984 episode of Tales From The Darkside. In 2012 he made a guest appearance as himself on the TV Series New Girl.

He also appeared in the television version of Stephen King's The Stand, played the Archangel of Basketball in Slam Dunk Ernest, and a brief non-speaking cameo appearance in BASEketball. Abdul-Jabbar was also the co-executive producer of the 1994 TV movie The Vernon Johns Story. 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. 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.

Abdul-Jabbar was selected to appear in the 2013 ABC reality series Splash, a celebrity diving competition.

As author

Abdul-Jabbar is also a best-selling author. 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.) His latest is On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance, co-written with Raymond Obstfeld. His previous book, Brothers In Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's "Forgotten Heroes, co-written with Anthony Walton, is a history of an all-black armored unit that served with distinction in Europe.

Bibliography:

  • Giant Steps, with Peter Knobler (1983) ISBN 0-553-05044-3
  • Kareem, with Mignon McCarthy (1990) ISBN 0-394-55927-4
  • Selected from Giant Steps (Writers' Voices) (1999) ISBN 0-7857-9912-5
  • Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement, with Alan Steinberg (1996) ISBN 0-688-13097-6
  • A Season on the Reservation: My Sojourn with the White Mountain Apaches, with Stephen Singular (2000) ISBN 0-688-17077-3
  • Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes with Anthony Walton (2004) ISBN 978-0-7679-0913-6
  • On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance with Raymond Obstfeld (2007) ISBN 978-1-4165-3488-4
  • What Color Is My World? The Lost History of African American Inventors with Raymond Obstfeld (2012) ISBN 978-0-7636-4564-9
Audio Book:

In 2007, Abdul-Jabbar participated in the national UCLA alumni commercial entitled "My Big UCLA Moment." The UCLA commercial is featured on YouTube.

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, NJ. The event was simulcasted live throughout the school, city, and state.

Cultural ambassador

In January 2012, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that Abdul-Jabbar had accepted a position as a cultural ambassador for the United States. During the announcement press conference, Abdul-Jabbar commented on the historical legacy of African-Americans as representatives of US culture: "I remember when Louis Armstrong first did it back for President Kennedy, one of my heroes. So it's nice to be following in his footsteps."

Personal life

Abdul-Jabbar was married to Habiba Abdul-Jabbar (born Janice Brown), and together they had three children: daughters Habiba and Sultana and son Kareem Jr, who played college basketball at Western Kentucky after attending junior college. Abdul-Jabbar and Janice divorced in 1978. He has another son, Amir, with Cheryl Pistono. Another son, Adam, made an appearance on the TV sitcom Full House with him.

Religion and name

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."

In 1998, Abdul-Jabbar reached a settlement after suing Miami Dolphins running back Karim Abdul-Jabbar (now Abdul-Karim al-Jabbar, born Sharmon Shah) because he felt Karim was sponging off the name he made famous by having the Abdul-Jabbar moniker and number 33 on his Dolphins jersey. As a result, the younger Abdul-Jabbar had to change his jersey nameplate to simply "Abdul" while playing for the Dolphins. The football player had also been an athlete at UCLA.

Health problems

Abdul-Jabbar suffers from migraines, and his use of cannabis to reduce the symptoms has had legal ramifications.

In November 2009, Abdul-Jabbar announced that he was suffering from a form of leukemia, Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The disease was diagnosed in December 2008, but Abdul-Jabbar said his condition could be managed by taking oral medication daily, seeing his specialist every other month and getting his blood analyzed regularly. He expressed in a 2009 press conference that he did not believe that the illness would stop him from leading a normal life. Abdul-Jabbar became a spokesman for Novartis, the company that produces his cancer medication, Gleevec.

In February 2011, Abdul-Jabbar announced via Twitter that his leukemia was gone and was "100% cancer free". A few days later, he clarified his misstatement. "You're never really cancer-free and I should have known that," Abdul-Jabbar said. "My cancer right now is at an absolute minimum."

Non-athletic honors

  • Double Helix Medal (2011)

See also

NBA

  • List of National Basketball Association players with 1000 games played
  • List of National Basketball Association career scoring leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career rebounding leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career assists leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career blocks leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career turnovers leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career free throw scoring leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff scoring leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff rebounding leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff assists leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff steals leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff blocks leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff turnovers leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association career playoff free throw scoring leaders
  • List of National Basketball Association players with most rebounds in a game
  • List of National Basketball Association players with most blocks in a game
  • List of individual National Basketball Association scoring leaders by season

College

  • List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 60 or more points in a game
  • List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 2000 points and 1000 rebounds


This biography article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.



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