Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born in New York in 1947. His dominance continued in the NBA, first for the Milwaukee Bucks, and after the Los Angeles Lakers. Abdul Jabbar won six titles and six MVP awards, and completed as the league’s all time scorer. He retired in 1989.
The 7’2″ retired facility is widely regarded as among the best players in NBA history, and his gift was celebrated as soon as high school.
The single son of Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr., a New York City cop, and his wife, Cora, Alcindor was always the tallest child in his class. In the age of 9 he stood an impressive 5’8″, and from the time he hit eighth grade, he had grown another complete foot and might already dunk a basketball.
He began playing the sport for an early age. At Power Memorial Academy, Alcindor come up with a high school livelihood few could rival. He establish Nyc school records in scoring and rebounds, while concurrently leading his team to an astonishing 71 back-to-back triumphs and three straight city titles.
After graduating in 1965, Alcindor registered in the University of California-Los Angeles. There, he continued his unprecedented dominance, becoming the school game’s greatest player.
In the spring of 1969 the Milwaukee Bucks, in just their second year of existence, chosen Alcindor with the initial overall pick in the NBA draft.
Alcindor immediately adapted to the professional game. He also helped radically alter the fortunes of his franchise.
The next season the Bucks, having added future Hall of Fame guard Oscar Robertson to their roll, made another tremendous jump.
Soon following the season finished, Alcindor converted to Islam and adopted the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which translates into “noble, strong servant.”
In spite of all his on-the-court success as a Buck, Abdul Jabbar fought to find well-being off the court in his life in Milwaukee.
“Live in Milwaukee?” he said within an early magazine interview. “No, I suppose you could say I exist in Milwaukee. I’m a soldier hired for service and I am going to perform that service nicely. Basketball has given me a good life, yet this town doesn’t have anything regarding my origins. There is no common ground.”
Following the conclusion of the 1975 season, Abdul Jabbar demanded a trade, requesting Bucks direction send him to either New York or La. He was eventually sent west to get a bundle of players, none of whom came close to delivering for Milwaukee what Abdul Jabbar would give the Lakers.
Within the next 15 seasons Abduljabbar turned Los Angeles into a perennial winner.
His success on the court led to some acting chances. AbdulJabbar appeared in a number of movies, such as the 1979 martial arts movie Game of Death along with the 1980 comedy Airplane!
Even as he aged, the health-aware Abduljabbar stayed in outstanding shape. Well into his 30s, he nevertheless was able to average over 20 points a match. In the 1985 Finals against the Boston Celtics, which the Lakers won in six matches, the 38-year old Abdul Jabbar was named the series MVP.
When Abdul Jabbar retired in 1989, he was the NBA’s all time top scorer, with 38,387 points, and became the first NBA player to play for 20 seasons. His career totals contained 17,440 rebounds, 3, 189 blocks and 1,560 matches.
Years after his retirement, Abdul Jabbar looked particularly proud about his longevity. “The ’80s made up for most of the abuse I took during the ’70s,” he told the Orange County Register. “I outlived all my critics. From the time that I retired, everybody viewed me as a venerable institution. Things do change.”
Since his retirement, Abdul Jabbar has not drifted too far from the game he adores, working for the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers. He even spent a year as a trainer on the White Mountain Apache reservation in Arizona—an encounter that he recorded in the 2000 publication A Season on the Reservation. He’s written several other novels, including 2007’s On the Shoulders of Giants, about the Harlem Renaissance. Abdul Jabbar has additionally was employed as a public speaker as well as a representative for a number of products.
In 1995 Abdul Jabbar was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In November 2009 Abdul Jabbar was identified as having a rare type of leukemia, but his long term prospects seemed favorable. In February 2011, physicians declared the retired NBA star cancer free.
A father of five, Abdul Jabbar has four kids from his first marriage to Habiba Abdul-Jabbar as well as a son from a different relationship.