In 1980 the Golden State Warriors drafted center Abdul-Jabbar, the top pick in the draft, from the University of Los Angeles. He made an immediate impact on the team, averaging 18 points and 9.7 rebounds per game his rookie year.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. He ranks second all-time in points and blocks. His number of MVP awards is tied for second-most. He is one of two players in league history to average a triple-double for an entire season, and one of just nine to ever average a triple-double in a single season. He has also been named NBA Finals MVP on three occasions.
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During his 20-year NBA career, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar etched out numerous pages in the record books. In addition to becoming the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, he earned a record-tying six MVP trophies. Abdul-Jabbar made the Milwaukee Bucks relevant in only their second season after being selected as the No. 1 overall choice in the 1969 NBA Draft. He did, however, have a temper, particularly in the early half of his career. Abdul-anger Jabbar’s led him into trouble a few occasions.
The Bucks have snatched the No. 1 overall selection four times in their history. On the first night of the 1977–78 season, the first two clashed. That collision became palpable early on in the game. As a result, Abdul-Jabbar was fined the most in NBA history at the time.
During his turbulent early years in the NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar lived up to the expectations.
During his three years at UCLA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won everything there was to win. The athlete then known as Lew Alcindor, who was ineligible to participate as a freshman, made up for missed time. Abdul-Jabbar won the national player of the year award three times in a row. As a senior, he was the first to earn the Naismith Award.
UCLA went 88–2 during Abdul-three Jabbar’s years on school and won three consecutive national titles.
The first overall selection in the 1969 draft was determined by a coin flip. The Bucks won the coin toss and decided to go with Kareem.
After spending his whole childhood in New York or Los Angeles, Abdul-Jabbar negotiated a conversion to Islam, an off-court relationship with martial arts great Bruce Lee, and a relocation to a tiny Midwestern community. In 1971, the Bucks won the NBA title, and in 1974, they advanced to the Finals.
According to The New York Times, Abdul-Jabbar struck a basket stanchion after colliding with Boston Celtics player Don Nelson in a 1974 preseason game. He fractured a bone in his right hand and missed 17 games as a result.
To begin his career, Kent Benson is a well-known actor. is a well-known actor., the Bucks’ next No. 1 overall selection, met Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ Kent Benson (L) drives on the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33) during a game. | Getty Images/Focus on Sport
Kent Benson was a two-time consensus All-American at Indiana, where he led the Hoosiers achieve the most recent undefeated season in collegiate basketball in 1975–76. The Bucks won a coin flip with the Kansas City Kings for the No. 1 overall selection. Benson was selected by Milwaukee, and he was expected to be the team’s next great big man.
Benson’s debut was made to be a huge deal by the NBA schedule designers. The Bucks began the 1977–78 season against the Lakers and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at Madison Square Garden.
Benson and Abdul-Jabbar collided a number of times in the first minute of the game. Abdul-Jabbar threw a right hand that opened a two-stitch gash above Benson’s eye after exchanging elbows beneath the LA basket. Benson suffered a concussion and was forced to miss Milwaukee’s next game.
Abdul-hand Jabbar’s was broken by the blow, and he missed 20 games as a result. His injuries most likely saved him from being suspended. Commissioner Larry O’Brien, on the other hand, conveyed a message to the NBA. He fined Abdul-Jabbar $5,000, which was a world record at the time.
According to The New York Times, O’Brien delivered a harsh statement along with the punishment.
“The fact that two players were injured in a single, quick act of violence highlights the risk and irresponsibility of such behavior. This kind of behavior will not be allowed and will be penalized as a result.”
Larry O’Brien, NBA Commissioner, in October 1977.
Benson went on to enjoy a respectable, though unremarkable, career as a journeyman big man. He was never a star, however.
Kent Benson was an NBA player for almost a decade.
Kent Benson averaged 9.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in 11 NBA seasons. He was a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz, and Cleveland Cavaliers, among others. In 1988–89, Benson finished his professional career in Italy.
On The Restoration Road podcast in 2014, Benson discussed his difficult NBA debut and his run-in with former Buck Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
“We get possession of the ball, and Brian Winters takes a shot from outside that he misses. I go up and over Kareem, rebound the ball, and put it back in. He elbows me numerous times on his way back down the court… I push him back… and he leaps to his feet and sucker-punches me in the temple.”
According to Benson, the event offered an opportunity to learn something off the field.
“It provided me the chance to learn about forgiveness as a result of that. I had forgiven him, despite the fact that it had been difficult. ‘You should sue him,’ a number of people told me. I may have done it if I hadn’t been a Christian, but God provided me with a wonderful group of advisors who both supported and kept me accountable.”
Benson has recovered well after a shaky start to his career. Maybe things got off to a rocky start.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
Only 13.5 percent of No. 1 overall picks have won a championship with the team that drafted them since the NBA’s first draft.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in the NBA for 20 years. He is widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, winning six NBA championships (he was named MVP in 1971) and being the first NBA player to win the Most Valuable Player award three times. Lucky for us, Abdul-Jabbar is also an accomplished author. He has written four books, but the one that will likely stand out is his autobiography, Becoming Kareem , which was released in 2011. In the book, Abdul-Jabbar details the process he used to become an elite athlete and NBA player. He recalls when he was a child living with his nomadic, unemployed father, and how he had to work in. Read more about kareem jabbar and let us know what you think.
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