If there’s anyone with an iconic basketball move, it’s NBA 1995 Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The imposing 7-foot-2 center may have been popularized because of his spectacular athleticism but it was his patented hook shot, “the Skyhook”, that cemented his legacy in the league.
Abdul-Jabbar was born as Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. He started his basketball career during his high school days and eventually moved on to play for the UCLA Bruins in college. His dunking talent immediately became a sensation. He seized control of the league’s dunking numbers – a move which led the league to ban the dunk in college basketball. Before he left, he led the Bruins into an 88-2 win-loss record in a three-year run.
His sheer dominance propelled him to the NBA as the No. 1 overall pick of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 where he played for six seasons until 1975. He helped the Bucks gain a stronghold over the Eastern division as he led them towards one NBA championship during his tenure.
In his first year, he was named Rookie of the Year. Eventually, his Skyhook became more and more popular. The move was so spectacular and unique that even today, no player has been able to perfectly reciprocate it.
Of course, the league has since changed. From dominant centers, the NBA has evolved to more plays that utilize more floor space; thus, more three-point figures. But sports journalists still believe that it was Abdul-Jabbar’s distinct athleticism and ability which allowed him to perfectly execute such a difficult move.
Even as he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn’t seem to stop. He went on to become one of the greatest players in the league, holding the record for most career points scored at 38,387 points. Second to him is Karl Malone with 36,928 points and Lebron James with 34,087 points. According to ESPN, the Skyhook was the “least suspenseful shot in the league” because we all knew the result: another score for the legend.
Abdul-Jabbar retired as a Laker in 1989. With his experience and the brilliance of Magic Johnson, who joined the franchise in 1979, the Los Angeles Lakers ran a five-year dynasty, garnering over five championship titles in the 80s. Not only did they win championships, but they were one of the most exciting teams in NBA history.
His popularity got him many appearances in film and television, even as an NBA player and even more so as he retired. But that’s not all. The Hall of Famer eventually became a known novelist and writer with many of his works focused on his heritage.
Overall, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP, six-time NBA MVP, 19-time NBA All-Star, and 10-time All-NBA First-Team. In 2016, ESPN named him as the No.2 NBA All-Time Great.
So how much is the former Milwaukee/Laker center worth? According to Celebrity Net Worth, Kareem’s net worth is over $20 million dollars. But his humility shines over this huge number.
Pictures of him flaunting his cars, mansion, and other luxury items, can barely be seen in his social media accounts. Instead, you will see him advertising his shows and writings.
With his many accolades on his belt, from books to reality television to basketball, his $20 million dollar net-worth shouldn’t be a surprise to us all.
After all, you don't become a legend and an icon for nothing.