Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

(Lew Alcindor)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Born: April 16, 1947
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Athlete

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10

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62

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. A member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two more as an assistant coach, Abdul-Jabbar twice was voted NBA Finals MVP. In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. NBA coach Pat Riley and players Isiah Thomas and Julius Erving have called him the greatest basketball player of all time.

Quotes About
Author Quote
Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
I have to say I have an incredible musical education because of my father. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
I'm the baddest among the bad guys.
Music is really something that makes people whole. Music, Chants & Rapps
When I was a kid, no one would believe anything positive that you could say about black people. That's a terrible burden.
The extra pass and the extra effort on defense always get the job done.
My choosing Islam was not a political statement; it was a spiritual statement.
I'm not going to disappear.
You can't win if you don't play as a unit.
If not shown appreciation, it gets to you.
I pitched and I played the outfield.
I think I did very well against everyone who tried to defend me.
I would suggest that teachers show their students concrete examples of the negative effects of the actions that gangsta rappers glorify. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
OK, I'll put it like this: I doubt if we will see another All-American basketball athlete who is a Rhodes Scholar.
You can't win unless you learn how to lose. Sports & Athletics
I want to do as little as possible when I finish playing ball - just spend a lot more time with my family. Time ;Families, Children & Parenting
I am highly offended by the total lack of acknowledgement of my contribution to Laker success. Success
Practices were tough.
As brilliant an individual that Michael Jordan was, he was not successful until he got with a good team unit.
I was getting hot flashes and sweats on a regular basis. That's not normal, even for my age.
When I was 17, I worked in a mentoring program in Harlem designed to improve the community. That's when I first gained an appreciation of the Harlem Renaissance, a time when African-Americans rose to prominence in American culture. For the first time, they were taken seriously as artists, musicians, writers, athletes, and as political thinkers. Time
If not for the success that medicine has made, I might be part of a much different story right now. Success
I just like seeing the world, and it doesn't matter where.
I've always tried to stay out of the fray and not be an object of controversy.
I think the NBA will certainly survive without Michael Jordan.
I did a book in 1996, an overview of black history. In that process I became more aware of a lot of the black inventors of the 19th century. History
I felt that a number of people might have questioned my loyalty, but I continue to be a patriotic American.
I think race has been a burden for black Americans. Being Muslim has also been a challenge because so many people do not understand Islam.
I totally alienated some reporters as I retreated.
I listen to jazz mainly. Mainstream jazz.
I'm still my parent's child, I'm still me, but I made a choice. I evolved into Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I think it has to do with evolution.
I want people to understand that I intend to continue living and doing all the things that I love to do up until the end. And the end is by no means rushing up on me. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I need about three seats lengthwise to sleep on a plane. It's not easy for me to curl up.
Sports and entertainment are the only places where inner-city kids see themselves being able to succeed. Their intellectual development is something they don't relate to. Sports & Athletics
I think a lot of people, if they get the opportunity to do some acting, they think, 'I might be a star.'
There are a lot of authors in the world, so it's difficult to find a unique niche to present your take on things. That is always a challenge for any author.
My mother had to send me to the movies with my birth certificate, so that I wouldn't have to pay the extra fifty cents that the adults had to pay. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I have been coaching recently. I coached high school basketball in Arizona, and I hope that more opportunities become available. Hope
I feel that there has been progress made since I was a boy on matters of race, but we have a long way to go.
I hope to be involved in a successful movie script. Hope
I enjoy seeing new places.
I have always thought that writers come with any variety of attributes. Some are capable and some aren't.
I can do something else besides stuff a ball through a hoop. My biggest resource is my mind.
When the doctor told me I had cancer, I was scared.
I think the NBA players have to be held accountable in a reasonable way, just like any other professionals.
In a typical history book, black Americans are mentioned in the context of slavery or civil rights. There's so much more to the story. History
As a parent, I have a job as a role model to my children, and by extension, to other young people.
The type of leukemia that I am dealing with is treatable. So if I do what my doctors tell me to do - get my blood checked regularly, take my meds and consult with my doctor and follow any additional instructions he might make - I will be able to maintain my good health and live my life with a minimum of disruptions to my lifestyle. Life ;Health, Healthcare & Medicine
My most memorable moment came in 1985 as we beat the Boston Celtics.
A lot of players think the game is all about individual performances when it's really all about a team game.
I'm not comfortable being preachy, but more people need to start spending as much time in the library as they do on the basketball court. Time
This is what I would have done if I had to have a real job: I would have been a history teacher. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;History
You're never really cancer-free and I should have known that.
Black people don't have an accurate idea of their history, which has been either suppressed or distorted. History
I expect more people from China and Asia to end up in the NBA.
I always thought I could do a good job coaching, but the opportunities have not presented themselves.
You have to be able to center yourself, to let all of your emotions go... Don't ever forget that you play with your soul as well as your body.
A lot of young players don't really know much about the history of the game and a lot of them are missing out on what the game is all about, especially the whole concept of sportsmanship and teamwork. History
High school dropouts are forfeiting their opportunity to pursue the American Dream.
The '80s made up for all the abuse I took during the '70s. I outlived all my critics. By the time I retired, everybody saw me as a venerable institution. Things do change. Time
I didn't really seek attention. I just wanted to play the game well and go home.
The 3-point shot has created a situation in the game akin to 'Lotto' fever.
LeBron James can get a shot off under any and all circumstances and he makes them.
My grandfather and my uncle both died from colorectal cancer, my dad almost died from it and I have the gene for it. Families, Children & Parenting
The transition was difficult. It's hard to stop something that you've enjoyed and that has been very rewarding.
Jackie Robinson, as an athlete and as someone who was trying to make a stand for equality, he was exemplary. Equality & Equal Opportunity
I tell kids to pursue their basketball dreams, but I tell them to not let that be their only dream.
I rooted for the Dodgers when they were in Brooklyn.
I was a baseball fan myself, I wanted to play baseball.
A team will always appreciate a great individual if he's willing to sacrifice for the group.
I think someone should explain to the child that it's OK to make mistakes. That's how we learn. When we compete, we make mistakes.
When the line started to blur between the fans and the players, sometimes things can get ugly.
Even when there are adverse circumstances, I try to do my job. And I usually do.
I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing. Time
Well, I'm a professional.
Fundamental preparation is always effective. Work on those parts of your game that are fundamentally weak. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Five guys on the court working together can achieve more than five talented individuals who come and go as individuals.
One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.
I got all A's and was hated for it; I spoke correctly and was called a punk.
After practice, I would have to go back to the dorm and take a nap.
What I have is P.H. positive chronic myeloid leukemia, which is an aberration in your white blood cells.
Today's youth are told to get rich or die trying and they really shouldn't take that attitude forward with them.
Your mind is what makes everything else work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
You got guys now declaring they're ready to play pro ball in their second or third year of high school. It's crazy! They're missing so much.
In athletics there's always been a willingness to cheat if it looks like you're not cheating. I think that's just a quirk of human nature. Nature
Music rhythms are mathematical patterns. When you hear a song and your body starts moving with it, your body is doing math. The kids in their parents' garage practicing to be a band may not realize it, but they're also practicing math. Music, Chants & Rapps
I think I really benefited from going to college.
I think black Americans expect too much from individual black Americans in terms of changing the status quo.
Michael Jordan and Magic and myself all learned how to play the game in college programs that emphasized the team.
Reporters used to ask me the same inane questions year-in and year-out, city-to-city, and it would drive me crazy.
The game has basically not changed since I ended my career.
Yoga is just good for you.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that the 761st was Patton's best tank unit and nobody knew about it.
Islam is about finding your own space.
When we went up against teams that were better, I just hoped that we could steal the victories.
It's hard for young players to see the big picture. They just see three or four years down the road.
I saw Islam as the correct way to live, and I chose to try to live that way.
I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice.
My health is fine. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
Center is a very tough position to play.
I feel like I've always been a full-time historian, but nobody knows it.
Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group. It enhances everybody.
I wanted to play baseball!
The word 'leukemia' is a very frightening word. In many instances, it's a killer and it's something that you have to deal with in a very serious and determined way if you're going to beat it.
My biggest accomplishment has been making a transition from athlete to author.
I've never been a person to share my private life, but I can help save lives. Life
Cancer is a scary thing and you have to deal with it seriously.
Words are extremely powerful. They have the power to hurt and they have the power to heal. They can help heal the racial divide that still exists in our country. It’s going to take people on all sides of the issue to come together and discuss it. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I became totally disillusioned with Catholicism when I discovered the role of the Catholic Church regarding slavery. Religion & God ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
If you don’t understand how problems came to be, how are you going to know how to fix them? History
… the religion’s [Islam’s] teachings don’t involve acts of terrorism unless — as with every other religion — leaders manipulate the teachings to make whatever they want.
For the person who converts, it is a matter of fierce conviction and defiance. Our belief is based on a combination of faith and logic because we need a powerful reason to abandon the faith of our families and community to embrace the beliefs foreign to both. Conversion is a risky business because it can result in losing family, friends and community support. I know, because I lost all three. For a while.
I learned how to become a team player without losing my individual identity. I learned how to use my championship rings to champion social causes. And though I haven’t played basketball in decades I’m still learning how much my life as an athlete taught me how to live as a man, as an African American and as an American.
The word ‘race’ is ghettoizing language that perpetuates seeing people of color as a different species. The word encourages fear and distrust. Language is the fuel that feeds the great racist generator… for the sake of sharing a common though inaccurate language in order to foster a solution, most of us, myself included, will continue to talk about race as if it actually existed — and racism because it does actually exist.
… if we really want American politics to improve, then American voters will have to improve as well, by being more educated about the facts, more critical in our thinking and more demanding of our elected officials.
Every time a male coach berates his players by referring to them as “ladies” or tells them to “hike their skirts” while playing, we’re perpetuating an atmosphere where women are not men’s equals. Equality & Equal Opportunity ;Minorities & Women
[It] is exactly what politicians want. They want you to feel and behave like children while they pretend to be the all-knowing benevolent father. While they rile you up about how immigrants are stealing your jobs, they distract you from enlightening facts, including the assessment of some experts that the influx of Latino immigrant workers of the past 25 years has had less effect on employment patterns than factories that moved abroad, the decline of labor unions and the recurring recessions. So while we’re told to focus on building a massive wall to keep out immigrants, the real causes of job loss and economic instability continue unabated. Immigration & Emigration ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising