For some strange reason, Kareem Abdul Jabbar‘s name often gets neglected when it comes to the GOAT debates. Kareem was one of the greatest and most accomplished athletes in NBA history and still, to this day, leads the league in scored points. Kareem built up a reputation throughout his illustrious career that not many athletes could achieve during their playing days. Many fans, especially the younger generation, would never even consider Kareem to be in their top 5 list, let alone consider him the greatest player in NBA history.
In an interview on the Dan Patrick Show, Kareem shared his opinion on the whole subject and the comparison between Michael Jordan, who is regarded by many as the best basketball player ever. Kareem believes Jordan made incredible things look easy, which primarily appealed to a lot of fans worldwide.
“The appearance of something really takes on the reality on its own that really isn’t justified. I always compare myself in that sense to Roberto Clemente. He made it look easy, and he did some incredible things out there that people can only think about.”Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, via Dan Patrick Show
Unlike many others, Kareem doesn’t believe Jordan is the best to play the game because it’s impossible to compare eras and players in the NBA. Kareem makes a good argument by saying players like Jerry West and Oscar Robertson don’t get their due respect because they played in an era where they didn’t have that much exposure and a platform NBA players now have.
I react by saying those people probably didn’t see Oscar Robertson play. They didn’t see Jerry West play. Some of the guys that played when the games weren’t televised,”Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, via Dan Patrick Show
Kareem’s playing style was way different from Jordan’s, who played above the rim, bringing a lot of excitement for the fans. On the other hand, Kareem played methodically in the post, taking his time while scoring numerous points through his signature move, ‘The Skyhook.’ Interestingly enough, Kareem’s patterned shot is considered one of the most unstoppable moves in basketball history, but you don’t see players use it anymore.
“People admire Michael’s extraordinary athletic ability, which is so obvious, and for me, they just see someone who’s tall. They don’t think I’m working that hard at it.” I couldn’t do what Michael did, and Michael couldn’t do what I did. That’s just something people are going to argue about.”Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, via Dan Patrick Show
If you look at Kareem’s NBA resume, the numbers and accolades speak for themselves. Kareem won, and I would even say dominate on every level he participated in from high school, college, and ultimately the NBA. He was a true professional who worked hard on his craft and was a real franchise player younger fans need to admire much more than they do now.