Thursday, 22 November 2012
BBallFanSite: ESPN: Looking Back: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar NBA Career: The Big Man Who Stands Out Higher Then The Rest
On this Thanksgiving day and I want to wish anyone out there who may see this a wonderfully happy Thanksgiving. But on this Thanksgiving day, I want to give thanks to Karrem Abdul-Jabbar, who I'm thankful to of seen the last six years of his career. Some people might say, the last six years, well Kareem was in his his late thirties at that point and no longer as dominant. The key words being not as dominant, because at that point of his career, he was still the captain of the. Los Angeles Lakers, he was still their go to player and go to scorer, who still managed their defense. Who the Lakers looked to for the big score, big block or big rebound, big outlet pass, who was still. The best low post scorer and best passing big man in the game, because even though he wasn't as dominant. He was still dominant, there's this question of who was the best center in basketball in the mid and late 1980s. Was it Kareem or was it Moses Malone or perhaps Patrick Ewing, during the regular season by the late 1980s. You could make a case for Moses and Pat but when the game was on the line, especially in the playoffs. If you didn't have Kareem, you came up short.
I'm not going to make my full case for why Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the greatest center of all time in this blog. Other then to say he's the one player that stands out amongst the rest and not just because he's the tallest. Of the greatest group of big man the NBA has ever produced in the 1970s and 80s, I could end it right there but here's something else to think. No other center in this period and I would argue all time as well, was more complete, both offensively. Or defensively then Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, you try to double or triple team him on defense, he would shoot over you. Or hook you with the sky hook, very difficult player because of his size, intelligence and vision to double or triple team. Or he would give the open teammate like a Mike Cooper or Byron Scott, and open layup or outside shot. Because he always knew who was open and who had the best shot of scoring, whether it was him or someone else.
Kareem loved to score, especially that shot he made against the Boston Celtics in game 6 of the 1985 NBA Finals. That clinched the championship for the Lakers but Kareem loved to win more, thats why he played twenty years. And why he worked so hard to be able to play so long, to win as many games and championships as possible. He was about team and winning first and last and everything else in between and maximize all of his skills to accomplish that. Which is why he stands out amongst every other big man whose ever played basketball.