Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 June 2020

On this day: March 20, 1990, LA Lakers retire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's No 33 jersey

Abdul-Jabbar is still the all-time leader in points scored in NBA

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the greatest NBA players of all time, creating a legacy that continues to stand the test of time.

Abdul-Jabbar, born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr., enjoyed an illustrious two-decade long career in NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

In his career as a centre, Abdul-Jabbar was a member of six NBA championship-winning teams as a player and was twice voted as NBA Finals MVP.

Earlier in his career, Abdul-Jabbar – then Alcindor – won 71 consecutive games with his high school team in New York City before was recruited by Jerry Norman, the assistant coach of University of California where he played in three consecutive national championship teams.

He was drafted as the first overall pick by the Bucks in 1969. He spent six seasons in Milwaukee. After leading the Bucks to their first NBA championship at the age of 24 in 1971, he officially adopted the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar having converted to Islam.

His trademark ‘skyhook’ shot is one of the most iconic in the history of the sport, helping him become one of NBA’s top scorers. In 1975, he was traded to the Lakers, with whom he played the remaining 14 seasons of his career that produced five more NBA championships.

During his 20-year NBA career, Abdul-Jabbar’s teams made the play-offs 18 times.

At the time of his retirement in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA's all-time leader in points scored (38,387), games played (1,560), blocked shots (3,189), defensive rebounds (9,394), career wins (1,074), among others.

He remains the all-time leader in points scored and career wins. In 2007, ESPN voted him the greatest centre of all time.

Which is why on March 20, 1990 the Lakers retired Abdul-Jabbar’s No33 jersey in honor of the all-time great.

Updated: March 20, 2020 08:15 AM

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