Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was honored Friday night at Staples Center with his very own statue in which he's depicted gliding through the air in his signature move, the sky hook. Mario Solis reports from the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Nov. 16, 2012.
When one thinks about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a single image immediately comes to mind: the sky hook.
A gifted athlete who developed his mind and put work into his game, Abdul-Jabbar crafted the most unstoppable shot in basketball.
How unstoppable was the sky hook? Abdul-Jabbar has more points than any other player in the history of the NBA. Not only that, Kareem is still ahead by some distance.
By the time Abdul-Jabbar retired in 1989, he had scored 38,387 points. To put this in perspective, Kobe Bryant is the active player closest to the all-time record with 29,695 points. "Cap" was that far ahead of everyone else.
Abdul-Jabbar was hardly a one-dimensional player. When he retired, he was also the all-time leader in blocks. Since then, Dikembe Mutombo and Hakeem Olajuwon have topped his mark. Still, Abdul-Jabbar played both ends of the floor and collected plenty of silverware along the way.
He won the NBA Championship six times -- five times in Los Angeles. He was a six-time regular season MVP and All-NBA first-team 10 times. He was a 19-time NBA All-Star, and a two-time NBA Finals MVP.
At UCLA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was known as Lew Alcindor. There, he won three National Championships and averaged 26.4 points over his career. As of the 2011-12 season, that mark still remains a record for the Bruins.
Along with that record, Lew Alcindor still maintains records for most career field goals (943), highest scoring average in a season (29.0), most field goals in a season (346), most free throw attempts in a season (274), most points in a game (61), and most field goals in a game (26).
Alcindor was able to achieve all these records despite the NCAA banning the dunk due in large part to his dominance with that particular shot. Being an intelligent athlete, a young Abdul-Jabbar developed the sky hook, the most unstoppable shot in basketball history. It featured a 7 foot 2 inch Abdul-Jabbar shooting a jumping hook shot off one leg.