Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar put together arguably the most successful basketball career. In many respects, Abdul-Jabbar is overlooked in the conversation as arguably the greatest player in NBA history that is a subject primarily dominated by Michael Jordan. However, he has numerous accolades and resume that speaks for more than itself that has placed him firmly in high regard as an all-time great. Throughout his career, he gathered much success offensively behind the use of the skyhook shot that helped him become the all-time leading scorer in NBA history.
There hasn’t been much of that translating to any other player adopting the use of that shot. With that in mind, Abdul-Jabbar believes he knows why nobody has truly gone that path since his playing days.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s illustrious NBA career
During his playing days, Abdul-Jabbar was one of the most unstoppable players.
He was an extremely gifted player on both ends of the court that translated to success at every level. Abdul-Jabbar was the definition of a winner as he won three NCAA titles along with three National College Player of the Year awards before stepping into the NBA.
That success followed him into the league, racking up numerous accolades with six NBA titles, six regular-season MVP awards, a record 19 All-Star Game selections, 10 All-NBA First Team nods, five All-NBA Second nominations, five All-Defensive First Team nods, and six All-Defensive Second Team selections. Abdul-Jabbar also finished as the all-time leading scorer with 38,387 career points, which is a record that still stands firmly today.
His success offensively was predicated mainly off the use of the skyhook shot, which is arguably the most challenging shot to defend. Abdul-Jabbar continued to be a highly productive player throughout his entire career behind this type of shot.
However, it’s a style of scoring that hasn’t adopted well after his time with no player genuinely utilizing it. That’s something that Abdul-Jabbar believes he knows why that is the case.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on why players don’t use the skyhook
Over the years, Abdul-Jabbar has been quite vocal about his support and push for the use of the skyhook shot.
He continued to face questions about why the use of the shot has been largely neglected as time has passed. The Hall of Famer voiced back in May 2017 that he believes that the fascination with the 3-point shot due to star players like Stephen Curry has been a big reason for that being the case.
“The reason that young kids today learn how to shoot hook shots is because everybody is so enamored with the 3-point shot. So the kids don’t want two points. They don’t want to work with their back to the basket. That’s not cool. They want to go out there in the stratosphere and shoot 3-pointers.”
“Now that you have a guy like Stephen Curry shoot the ball like that. I have never seen anyone shoot like that. Anybody that can shoot like that is on a different plane from all the guys I played against. They are not teaching the young guys to score with their back to the basket. Therefore a lot of them don’t get to learn the hook shot. They don’t get to realize if you get closer to the basket a lot more of your shots go in.”
There is much credence to Abdul-Jabbar comments as Curry has helped lead a revolution in the game toward a significant dependency of the 3-point shot. That has pushed forward the younger generation of players to want to use shooting from beyond the arc as a primary ability in their skill set.
It has had a significant impact on the NBA, with many of the team’s adopting that that change that the Golden State Warriors helped further create. That has alone has diminished the use of big men in the paint and the low post to be notable parts of offensive game plans over the last several years.
Will an NBA player adopt the skyhook shot?
It’s one of the most legendary shots in the game that has drawn a great admiration over the years. However, there hasn’t been a player to embrace using the move entirely.
All it does take is for one player to take on the desire to utilize it as their primary move, but the way the game is currently structured where the 3-point shot is valued most, it may be a while for that situation to arise.
There are talented big men such as Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who could all use that as part of their game. It’s all comes down to a matter of one highly talented player in the league to embody the use of the shot.