There has been a lot of debate (forever) about who is the greatest of all time. Especially with The Last Dance documentary premiering last week. People have compared Michael Jordan’s ring count to LeBron James. They have compared the two eras that each played in.
Jordan is perfect in the finals, averaged over 30 points a game for his career, and is the most iconic player of all. LeBron is one of the most unique and versatile players of all time and his career is still going strong. Neither, however, is the greatest of all time. Kareem Abdul Jabbar should hold that title.
The greatest player of all time is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The reason most people don’t give Jabbar enough credit is that not enough people do enough research they just go by highlights. There are three reasons why Jabbar is the greatest of all time.
The Stats don’t Lie
Many people bring up Jordans’ 6-0 NBA Finals record, his 30 plus career points a game, and multiple MVP awards. All great stats but Jabbar numbers are just as great and in some cases greater.
Jabbar resume includes.
- All-time leader in points
- 3rd all-time in rebounds
- 3rd all-time in blocks
- 43rd all-time in assist
- 6 time MVP
- 15 all NBA selection( Most in history)
- 11x all-defense
- 19-time all-star
- 2x scoring champion
- 4x block champion
- 6x NBA Champion
Jabbar leads Jordan in points, assist, rebounds, blocks, and field goal percentage. Jabbar has more MVPs, All NBA team awards, and the same amount of NBA Championships. By all accounts when it comes to all-time numbers it’s not even close. Oh also keep in mind for four seasons they didn’t even count steals and blocks during Jabbar career!
Longevity does matter
Many will try to use this against Jabbar as negative. The common critique will be “He played a lot longer so of course, he has better overall statistics.” This makes it seems that in year 20 any NBA player could still be viable enough to play 23 minutes a game and still average double digits in points. That is not the case like anything that requires athletism the older you get the less likely you will make an impact. Jordan for as great as he is did retire twice and took off several years.
Jabbar in 20 seasons only played less than 74 games once. That is 20 seasons of playing almost every game every season that is Hall of Fame level of endurance. If every player could do it, believe me, NBA players don’t rush to retire you see players hang on all the time but never make it close to 20 years.
Kareem’s’ consistency can not be mentioned enough
Jabbar is probably the most consistent player of all time. For 19 straight seasons, Jabbar scored 1100 points or more. Jordan did this 13 out of 15 years. Jabbar never scored under double digits for a season in his ENTIRE CAREER 20 SEASONS! For Jabbar’s first 11 seasons he averaged double-digit rebounds. It’s one thing to be great a few seasons Jabbar was Hall of Fame level for most of his career.
We all know how great Jordan and LeBron James are they will go down as the greatest in their respective eras for sure. Jordan in my mind is the second greatest player of all time. Jabbar, however, should not be penalized because not enough people are willing to do the research or think outside the box. Jabbar wasn’t flashy or had his own shoes.
He didn’t have poster dunks or crossovers. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar just consistently dominated for the better part of two decades. Team accomplishments and individual accomplishments Jabbar did it all and did it better than anyone else. I would say that makes him the G.O.A.T.
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