The 67-year old NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar achieved basically everything there is in professional basketball.
He has the most points scored in NBA history. He won championships on the highest level. He was considered among the best, if not the best, centers in his prime.
In a recent interview with CBS Radio, Abdul-Jabbar was asked about his physical condition, and whether he can still play.
“My joints are deteriorating and making me feel miserable all the time,” Abdul-Jabbar said.
But that doesn’t mean the NBA’s leading scorer in history is totally out of shape.
“I can still dunk,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “I can still dunk – at least up until last year I could still dunk. I haven’t tried it in about a year.”
Abdul-Jabbar was asked if he was a young player in today’s NBA, would he still develop and use his signature sky hook move on the court.
“Easily,” he said. The shot is still unstoppable, it’s not like they figured out how to stop it.”
“People couldn’t appreciate me, because no one was able to guard me”
Abdul-Jabbar also spoke a little regarding the fact that his name is not so often mentioned among the greatest ever players of the game, such as Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan.
“I think just the way I played the game, people couldn’t appreciate what I was doing because no one was able to guard me,” Abdul-Jabbar said.
“They say it was easy for me or something to that effect. It wasn’t easy, but I had a tactic and a method of playing the game that enabled me to do a lot of really great things.”
When he retired, Abdul-Jabbar was not only the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, but also the all-time leader in blocks and defensive rebounds.
“That’s pretty good,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “People just can’t get their head around it. It might take a while, but people who know (the game) understand I did something very special and (that) I deserve some credit for that.”
Tim Duncan and Joakim Noah with Bill Russell’s mentality
Despite the fact that the game has changed a lot since Abdul-Jabbar last played officially, the former MVP likes watching the modern NBA.
As for today’s big men, Abdul-Jabbar enjoys watching Tim Duncan and Joakim Noah.
“I like Joakim Noah,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “He’s a defensive player. He plays for his team. He has a mentality like Bill Russell, making it difficult for their opponents to get shots close to the basket. He guards the basket well. He rebounds well and he’s a good cog in their offense. He plays the game great at both ends of the court.”
A 19th Century detective novel
Abdul-Jabbar wrote an autobiography back in 1983, titled “Giant Steps”, and has been involved in publishing since. His last book was “What Color Is My World? The Lost History of African American Inventors.”
Abdul-Jabbar himself said he was very proud of that book.
“”My book was about black inventors that invented so many wonderful things that we use today, and kids did not know about these people,” he recalled.
Today, as Abdul-Jabbar said, he’s working on a new book. A novel. A “19th century detective novel,” as he described it himself.
“Wait after you read it, you might want to send me back to grade school,” Abdul-Jabbar laughed.
Abdul-Jabbar was a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member.
In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Abdul-Jabbar played 1560 games in the NBA, averaging 24.6 ppg, 11.2 rpg in 36.8 mpg.Follow @exnbadotcom
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