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Scoring Giant, Social Conscience, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Double Legacy

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar/People
  • He is a former American basketball player
  • He played for 20 seasons in the NBA
  • He converted to Islam and faced scrutiny for his conversion

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American former professional basketball player who dominated the NBA for 20 seasons playing for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. He played as a centre and left an incredible mark, holding a record for most NBA Most Valuable Player awards six times, tying for most NBA All-Star appearances nineteen times and was also selected to the All-NBA Team 15 times and the All-Defensive Team 11 times.

His legacy can be termed with individual and team honours including six NBA championships as a player, being crowned Finals MVP twice and even holding the NBA’s all-time scoring record.

Kareem Personal Life

He was born in New York City on April 16 1947, as Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor before he converted to Islam in 1971 and changed to his present name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

In the same year, he converted his religion, he married Habiba, also a converter and they lived together for seven years they had three children, two girls and a boy.

After their divorce, Kareem had two more children from different women. When he converted to Islam, this attracted significant media attention about race and religion in America. This led him to be a vocal advocate for social justice throughout his life and founded the Skyhook Foundation which provides education and recreation opportunities for inner-city youth.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Photo/Fox Sports

After his retirement, he embarked on a successful career as an author, screenwriter and filmmaker. He has written numerous books on several topics including his autobiography, historical fiction and children’s literature and has also acted in movies and television shows.

Why was he always wearing glasses?

Kareem was always on goggles and this was a safety precaution to avoid damaging his corneas. He was a dominant force for the Bucks and he became the first player to be named the NBA Most Valuable Player twice in his first three years.

At what Age did Kareem Retire?

Kareem is known for his trademark sky hook and is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He played in the NBA for 20 years and left in 1989 at the age of 42 years, becoming the only player to have scored more points, blocked shots, won more Most Valuable Player Awards and played in more All-Star Games or logged more seasons.

He probably retired due to age and was averaging the lowest numbers of his career. Though he was still a starter in his final season, he was also playing fewer minutes.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Career Journey

The former player dominated at Power Memorial Academy in New York City, leading them to three consecutive city championships leading him to UCLA. At UCLA, he became a Lew Alcindor leading the Bruins to three consecutive NCAA championships for two years, establishing himself as the most dominant college player ever.

Kareem was drafted first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1969 NBA draft and he won the Rookie of the Year and led the Bucks to their first championship two years later. Playing for the Bucks, he became one of the NBA’s most unstoppable forces, winning six MVP awards and two scoring titles.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Photo/CNN

After six years playing with the Bucks, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers forming a legendary partnership with Magic Johnson, winning five more championships with the team. Kareem played for 20 seasons and retired in 1989 at the age of 42 years.

Kareem’s Life After Retirement

After retiring from professional basketball, he embarked on a successful writing career and has since written several books on various topics including his autobiography. In addition, he is also a vocal advocate for social justice and founded the Skyhook Foundation.

He is a cultural icon whose statue outside towers outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles represents his enduring legacy as a champion, activist and model. His Skyhook shot is considered one of the most unstoppable in basketball history and is also a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team.


My passion is capturing the untold journey of global athletes from humble beginnings to superstars in their own right.

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