Number 3 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
For Abdul-Jabbar’s review, we looked at his only Finals MVP with the Lakers. In 1985 the team would face the Boston Celtics in the finals, as Abdul-Jabbar would win the award for the second time in his career, at the age of 37.
Here is an excerpt from ‘The Greatest Lakers of All-Time: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘:
The Lakers won 62 games in the ’84-’85 season, finishing 1st in the Western Conference. Led by the dynamic duo of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson. As The Captain led the team in points and rebounds, 22 PPG and 7.9 RPG, Johnson helped with the scoring and led the team in assists, 18.3 PPG and 12.6 APG.
Los Angeles stormed their way through the ’85 playoffs, first sweeping the Phoenix Suns in the 1st round, 3-0. It was an easy series for the Lakers, as Abdul-Jabbar only played 24 MPG, scoring 19 PPG. Showtime would then face the Portland Trail Blazers, beating them in 5 games. Abdul-Jabbar averaged 21 PPG and 9.6 RPG. As his partner in crime, Johnson, scored 21.8 PPG and passed 17 APG. They would then advance to face the Denver Nuggets in the Conference Finals, an easy series would follow, as the Lakers beat the Nuggets 4 games to 1. Abdul-Jabbar would average 20 PPG on a team led by Byron Scott‘s scoring of 23.4 PPG. Along with Johnson’s passing, 15.6 APG. The Lakers would advance to their 4th straight finals, facing fierce rivals, the Boston Celtics.
Game 1 would prove to be a great struggle for the purple and gold. After the 1st half, the Celtics would lead 79-49 in a game that already looked over. In the 2nd half, the trend would continue, as Boston tore a hole in the Lakers, winning 148-114. Earning the game its own nickname, the “Memorial Day Massacre”. LA’s defence was no match for the offensive machine of the Celtics, as all 5 starters for Boston scored in double figures, led by Kevin McHale&amp; and Scott Wedman, with 26 points each. Abdul-Jabbar would face brawling defence from McHale and Robert Parish in the post as he only managed 12 points, on 6 for 11 shooting from the field.
To read on, make sure to go and check out the original article.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was always destined for greatness in the NBA. Many consider him the greatest college player of all-time. Following his selection by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 1st pick in the 1969 NBA Draft, he went on to achieve a myriad of accomplishments. Including an NBA Championship.
Following his trade to the Lakers in 1975, he would earn an NBA rebounding title, 3 NBA block leader titles, 13 NBA All-Star appearances, 4 NBA All-Defensive Second Team selections, 3 NBA All-Defensive First Team selections, 4 All-NBA Second Team selections, 6 All-NBA First Team selections, 3 NBA MVPs, 5 NBA Championships, an NBA Finals MVP, and later an induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
In 1990 the franchise made it so no other Laker would wear number 33 again. Hanging his jersey in the rafters of The Forum, and now the Staples Center. Becoming the 4th player to have his number retired by the Los Angeles Lakers. All these achievements more than cement his number 3 place as a true Laker great!