Why Abdul-Jabbar wants to see his records broken
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the few genuine legends of the NBA. In a glittering career spanning 20 years, the New York-born centre won pretty much every title and award that it was possible to win, setting numerous records in the process.
He was part of six NBA championship-winning teams and was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP). He was a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member.
Some of these records still stand, despite the fact that roughly the same amount of time – two decades – has passed since he retired in 1989 as he actually spent playing. He remains the all-time leader in the big one of points scored, and also in overall career wins.
Other records have fallen as records inevitably do, and there’s no doubt that the remaining two will as well. LeBron James, generally held to be the finest player of his generation, moved past Michael Jordan to become the NBA’s fourth most prolific scorer earlier this month. He still needs around 6,000 points to catch up to Abdul-Jabbar, but that’s still a distinct possibility if he can avoid serious injury, retain form and extend his career.
Kareem says he cheers others on
Will Abdul-Jabbar be upset to see his most important record fall? Not a bit.
Writing for the Guardian, he said: “Every time I’m introduced in a public setting, my list of NBA records is announced. But whenever someone closes in on one of my remaining records, especially the Moby-Dick as the all-time leading scorer, I’m asked by dozens of media people whether I think they can do it and how I’ll feel if they do. It’s as if people think I’m sitting home watching the games chanting: Miss! Miss! Miss!”
The former Bucks and Lakers legend said that he actively enjoys seeing others approach and then overtake his achievements.
“Actually, when I see these talented veteran players’ remarkable athleticism while shooting, blocking and rebounding, I’m cheering them on with ‘Go, man, go!’ ... I want them to break my records because doing so is one more benchmark of human progress.”
Words: Noah Hart