Many people believe Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the greatest NBA player ever, particularly at center. No. 33’s hook shot was lethal, effective, and the Lakers’ go-to offensive weapon. In fact, the NBA released a compilation of 70 of Abdul-Jabbar’s insane hook shots for the legend’s 70th birthday.
Since his retirement in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar has dabbled in many industries and shown fans his talents beyond the hook shot.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s career
Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s leading scorer of all time, with 38,387 points total and 24.6 average points per game. Born in 1947, he was a first-round, No. 1 draft pick out of UCLA. Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA accolades include:
- 11-time All-Defensive Team
- Seven-time NBA Player of the Week
- Six-time NBA Most Valuable Player
- Two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player
- NBA Rookie of the Year
- Hall of Fame inductee
Abdul-Jabbar scored a career-high 55 points against the Celtics in 1971. Aside from his incredible stats, his NBA presence changed the landscape of the game. His textbook finesse, calm under fire, and power in the paint created an entirely new generation of basketball fans.
Abdul-Jabbar’s off-court talents
The NBA legend has a tremendous love for jazz and speaks out concerning social injustice and urban politics. Abdul-Jabbar has accumulated quite an impressive jazz album collection. And his other off-court accomplishments are just as impressive.
Not only has Abdul-Jabbar written several nonfiction books, but he’s a New York Times best-selling author of Becoming Kareem. He has also appeared as himself on numerous TV shows and movies. With an interesting in filmmaking, Abdul-Jabbar was a writer and executive producer of the documentary On The Shoulders of Giants and made-for-TV movie The Raod to Freedom: The Vernon Johns Story.
In 2017, the former athlete teamed up with screenwriter Anna Waterhouse for a Sherlock Holmes movie inspired by Abdul-Jabbar’s thriller novel Mycroft and Sherlock. This Holmes reinvention is Kareem’s first fiction novel. Reviewers give the book and screenplay high marks not just as a thrilling read, but as a refreshing story with complex characters.
Recently, Abdul-Jabbar joined the writing team of Hulu’s reboot of Veronica Mars. After just four seasons, the show earned a cult-classic status, and fans are excited to see the NBA star join the writing team. Mystery arcs are a big part of Veronica Mars, which will allow Abdul-Jabbar to put his sleuth-writing skills to even greater use.
Abdul-Jabbar as a humanitarian
Abdul-Jabbar founded the Skyhook Foundation, a charity that enriches the lives of underserved youths through education and outdoor activities. The nonprofit is specifically aimed at increasing memory and retention.
In 2011, Abdul-Jabbar was awarded the Double Helix Medal for his work with cancer research and awareness. President Barack Obama awarded him the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The President said:
The reason we honor Kareem is more than just a pair of goggles and the skyhook. He stood up for his Muslim faith when it wasn’t easy and wasn’t popular. He’s as comfortable sparring with Bruce Lee as he is advocating on Capitol Hill or writing with extraordinary eloquence on patriotism.