Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the few who can claim to be the greatest NBA player of all time. Kareem entered the league in 1969 after a spectacular college career at UCLA, where he won 3 national championships and immediately asserted his dominance at the professional level as well.
In just his second season, Abdul-Jabbar was crowned MVP, led the league in scoring, and also won his first NBA title. He would go on to earn a record 6 MVPs to go with 6 titles and remains the all-time leading scorer in league history. Much of Kareem’s success was thanks to his signature Skyhook, a shot that helped him stay productive on the court even into his 40s.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Explains Why NBA Players No Longer Wear Skyhook
Kareem had dominated skyhook in college after the NCAA banned dunks after his first stint at UCLA as a way to reduce his dominance. It didn’t matter as Kareem continued to dominate and perfect the play at the time helped him a lot when he entered the NBA. For all the success he’s had with the skyhook, it’s a shot no one really uses anymore, and during an episode of Byron Scott’s podcast, he was asked why that’s the case.
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“I don’t know, it’s not a difficult shot to learn. You can do the George Mikan Drill and it will give you all the fundamentals, give you footwork. How to use both hands and how to use the table. It teaches you know everything. on how to use this kick. It’s a great exercise, but not a lot of guys are using it and they don’t try to land kicks in a game. So it’s kind of outdated and out of the game.”
It’s out of fashion to post and go on the hook these days. Players only move to the perimeter to raise three and we don’t see a scenario in the future where this way of playing changes.
It’s a shame because it’s there for everyone to see how effective the shot is. Kareem has used this to devastating effect throughout his career and his former teammate Mychal Thompson recently shared a photo of 75-year-old Kareem shooting the skyhook at the Showtime Lakers reunion. They certainly benefited a lot from this kick as it helped establish them as one of the greatest teams of all time.