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“It's not a hard shot to learn” — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explains why no player in NBA history has perfected the skyhook

Kareem believes that the skyhook was what paved the way for him to be the league's all-time scoring leader.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

If there's one signature move that will always be associated with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, it's his famous skyhook shot. No player in NBA history has since come close to mimicking the mesmerizing signature move, and until this very day, Kareem's name always comes up when a player attempts a hook shot.

The skyhook shot was the move that gave Abdul-Jabbar an edge over his opponents and paved the way for him to be one of the most successful players in NBA history and the league's all-time scoring leader.

Kareem on why nobody has perfected the skyhook shot

When asked why no player has adopted the skyhook shot since he left the game, Abdul-Jabbar said he has no idea why. The 6-time champion believes that his signature move has gone out of style, but it can still be helpful for many players today, specifically those that score on the post and inside the paint.

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"I don't know, it's not a hard shot to learn. You can do the George Mikan Drill and that will give you all the fundamentals, give you the footwork. How to use either hand and how to use the backboard. It teaches you everything about using that shot. It's a great drill but there's not too many guys that are using it and they don't try to get the shots off in a game. So, it's kind of gone out of style and out of the game," KAJ admitted in his appearance on The Byron Scott Podcast.

Abdul-Jabbar also believes that players have become so enamored with the 3-point shot that it's the first part of their game they focus on. In an interview published by The New York Times in 1988, Kareem also said that the new generation of players prefers to copy Michael Jordan, Julius Erving, and Dominique Wilkins' style more, which is why jump shots and dunks have become more popular instead of his signature move.

The impact of Kareem's skyhook shot on his legacy

The Los Angeles Lakers legend wouldn't be the successful player he was if it weren't for his skyhook shot. Kareem converted 56% of his skyhook shot and believed that's what propelled him to be the leading scorer in NBA history (38,387 points). It's the move that aided him in becoming a 6-time champion, 6-time MVP, 19-time All-Star, and one of the greatest players of all time. Until this day, Abdul-Jabbar believes nobody has figured out how to stop the skyhook.

"When you shoot it, you force people to wait for you to go up," KAJ said, as reported by ESPN. "And if they wait until I started to shoot it then they'd have to judge the distance and time it, and it's gone before they can catch up to it. That's, for me, the beauty of it. You're in control because of when you're gonna release it and where. The defense has to see that and calculate everything before they get an opportunity to block it."

Just as fadeaway and 3-pointers will always be associated with Michael Jordan and Stephen Curry, Kareem will always be known for his skyhook shot. It might not have been passed to one generation after another, but that proves that only Kareem perfected one of the most iconic signature moves in the history of the sport. 

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