Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:The Greatest of All Time

9/10/12 in NBA   |   rick_ross95   |   8 respect

The Captain is what he was called in his Laker's glory days, when one thinks about Kareem then I'm sure we all get same vivid visual. Tall,lanky, fair-skinned man, thick sports goggles and a unstoppable trade mark hook shot. 

The image that's painted for us now is a former Laker great that is grumpy from perceived media slights. 

While the latter may or may not be true, I feel that "if: he just so happened to be slighted, he is certainly within his rights. 

I don't feel he will not be wrong at all to grimace every time the greatest of all time debate comes up and his named is called and or ranked so ridiculous low. 

I can see him feeling jaded, hearing that Jordan is by consensus the greatest of all time when by the stats,Kareem's overall basketball career is much better. While is NBA career is slightly better in my opinion. 

In barber shop debates I'm always out numbered, the main stabs are that Kareem played with both Oscar and Magic two of the best point guards of all time. While that is true it doesn't mean a thing concerning his individual talent. Dickie Simpkins played for the Bulls alongside Michael Jordan that didn't make him great! 
Kwame Brown played alongside Kobe Bryant, and in the words of Stephen A, Smith he was still a bonafide scrub! 

The fact of the matter is he was great before he was ever thought about in Tinsel Town. 
At UCLA under the great Coach Wooden, Kareem was the key component in a three peat of the NCAA Title. 

He was twice name college Player of the Year, He was the three time Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament and the First Naismith College Player of the Year. 

One may say who cares that was just college! Well I challenge off the top of your head name another player that accomplished on a collegiate level. I'll tell you who isn't Michael Jordan. While Michael Jordan would go on to be great an progressively become more skilled year after year. Kareem was always great, but what makes him greater is the level of sustainability throughout his length career. 

When debating who's the greatest of all time as far as what was done on the basketball court. One must block out consensus and be fair. Michael Jordan is lauded for making the game global, however that credit should be to David Stern. Mr.Stern being the remarkable business man that he is noticed right away. That the game as it was was good, but the game being dominated by two guard would be ground breaking. The game of basketball up until that point was always dominated by the big men. 

So Jordan's performances, persona and legacy will always come to the fore-front when considering who's the greatest. If not for the simple fact, much of his success was ballooned while failures swept under the rug for the sake of the image. 

Let me clear, when people say Jordan is the greatest of all time it is understandable and I partly agree. The reasoning behind them taking that stance I don't necessarily support. The drive, clutch-gene, the undeniable determination. Yeah, I get that but I also feel that Kareem was just as determined and had as big of a drive to be the best as Jordan did. He is a lot more stoic then MJ is so he wasn't wearing it on his face all the time. We all know it was there, the man played basketball at a competitive level until he reached his 40's. 

While that means nothing to a young man reading this, but to a man who is reaching 40 himself that can barely get up and down the court in the YMCA it means a lot! 

So with out further adieu, I will post both career resumes to demonstrate how greatly Kareem is getting snubbed by rarely being mentioned as the games greatest. 


Career highlights and awards

Career highlights and awards
While MJ's resume is slight longer, where they place in the stats all time favors Kareem. 

First we will start with all time minutes, a stat that doesn't get much publicity in mainstream media. 
This stat directly parallels a players endurance and how much said player gives to his team as far as effort and as you can see up to date no one gave more to the game of basketball as far as effort is concerned then the Captain. 

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1,560 36.8 57,446 
2. Karl Malone 1,476 37.2 54,852 
3. Elvin Hayes 1,303 38.4 50,000 
4. Jason Kidd 1,315 36.6 48,068 
5. Wilt Chamberlain 1,045 45.8 47,859 

In this next stat, I will admit Kareem has the upper hand considering his height, but top 5 is top 5 cut and dry it has been being ignored so its worth the mention. 

1. Hakeem Olajuwon 1,238 3.09 3,830 
2. Dikembe Mutombo 1,196 2.75 3,289 
3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 1,560 2.57 3,189 
4. Mark Eaton 875 3.50 3,064 
5. David Robinson 987 2.99 2,954 

Unlike the fans of today, who expect shooting guards to rebound as good as forwards, or pass as accurately and often as point guards, I will give MJ a pass by not being on this list since most of his time is spent on the perimeter. 

Just as I pardoned MJ in the same breath I must pardon Kareem for not making the following list. 

1. John Stockton 1,504 2.17 3,265 
2. Jason Kidd 1,315 1.95 2,559 
3. Michael Jordan 1,072 2.35 2,514 
4. Gary Payton 1,335 1.83 2,445 
5. Maurice Cheeks1,101 2.10 2,310 
6. Scottie Pippen 1,178 1.96 2,307 

Unlike the other two previous list MJ is near the top on this one, it is worth noticing also that Scottie Pippen is right outside the top 5 all time in steals too. 

Neither one of them are in the Top 30 in assist that is understandable to me. 
MJ is a shooting guard and Kareem is a center. However, to the current NBA fan that expects Kobe to pass as much as Steve Nash, I think they will find it disturbing that MJ isn't on this list as a guard. 

1. John Stockton 1,504 10.5 15,806 
2. Jason Kidd 1,315 9.0 11,842 
3. Mark Jackson 1,296 8.0 10,334 
4. Earvin Magic Johnson 906 11.2 10,141 
5. Steve Nash 1,152 8.6 9,916 

Something worth pointing out is that Scottie Pippen is on this list. 

The next two list everyone is or should be aware, Kareem is 3rd all time in rebounds and tops in points. 
So one may wonder, why a person top 5 in so many statistical categories left out of so many greatest of all time discussions? 

Part of it is due to media exposure, the mainstream media rarely touches on how great the players were before Jordan, outside of Magic and Bird. For instance the vast majority of current NBA fans actually think Kobe has stolen moves Jordan made up. When in all actuality every player tries to emulate something that they have seen work consistently. Kobe added the fade away and reverse lay-ups to his arsenal watching MJ. MJ added to his arsenal watching the likes of Dr.J's throw downs and Elvin Haye's turnaround jump shots and fade aways. 

The other reason why Kareem gets snubbed himself is because of the fan's of basketball are not true to the history of basketball. Just as the fundamentals are slowly digressing with new additions to the NBA, so is the the average basketball knowledge of he fan's. 

In a team sport the term GOAT is so subjective, but if I had to choose one to date, one who has the stats as well as the resume to back it up. I would pick the one who has always been overlooked unjustly, The Captain. 
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