Former NBA player Lamar Odom recently went on VladTV podcast where he talked about the never-ending GOAT debate and shared his opinion about this topic. Even though Lamar spent a significant portion of his career playing alongside Kobe Bryant, for whom he has tremendous respect and love, he doesn’t believe either him, Michael Jordan, or LeBron James are the GOATs. Instead, Odom says that because of his vast knowledge of the game, that honor should belong to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which might sound like a bit of a surprise, especially for younger NBA fans who haven’t had the opportunity to watch Kareem play.
In these times, you will always say Mike, Kobe, but really, I think, and this is just my basketball knowledge, me knowing the game, studying the game I think it’s Kareem.Lamar Odom, via VladTV
Odom elaborates why he believes Kareem is the GOAT, and it’s all based on the accolades Kareem accumulated throughout his basketball career, which is not only related to the NBA. Kareem was a dominant player in high school, college, and the NBA, and when you add all those things, you can make a reasonable argument for him being the GOAT.
If you think about it from 8th grade, through high school, through college, when they changed the rule for Kareem to take the dunk away cause he was so dominant. Kareem played when you were a freshman, and you couldn’t play with the sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Kareem’s freshman team beat the varsity team when he went to UCLA. So when I add all of that and the skyhook. No one can take and make the skyhook from where he can take and make it. That is the shot nobody can duplicate, unlike the fadeaway or LeBron’s dunk. You can probably get an athletic guy that can duplicate that dunk or get a fadeaway shooter that can duplicate it. So from 8th grade, high school, college, and NBA, I would say Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the best player in NBA history.Lamar Odom, via VladTV
The sheer fact Kareem is the all-time leader in points is a good enough reason for him to be in the GOAT conversation, not even counting all the championships, MVPs, and awards he won in his career. Odom made an interesting argument saying people often skip Kareem in these conversations because he is a center, and apparently, fans prefer guards much more. He also said the only way LeBron might become the GOAT is if he ends his career as the all-time leading scorer, which will be challenging, but it’s not impossible.
The object of the game is whoever can put the ball in the hole the most, and Kareem has done that. Maybe when LeBron tops Kareem’s scoring record maybe, we can have an argument, but I think it’s Kareem. But then again, Mike and Kobe they were so dominant in their own style of play. I think people don’t want to give it to a big man because we fantasize more about an average guy doing it. I mean, 6’6″ is tall but it ain’t 7’1″Lamar Odom, via VladTV
It’s definitely true Kareem doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, at least not from the vast majority of younger NBA fans who haven’t had the opportunity to watch him play. However, multiple former and current NBA players believe he is up there with a few other NBA greats when having the GOAT discussion. Kareem was incredibly dominant, and his patent move the skyhook is still considered the most unstoppable shot that nobody could replicate. Fans, in general, need to put more respect on Kareem’s name because he was a force to be reckoned with in his 20-year-long career.