Why did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar change his name? What was he called before?
All eyes were on LeBron James as he finally became the No. 1 all-time scorer, overtaking Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who was once known by another name.
There’s been a lot of fanfare surrounding LeBron James and his achieving another milestone of greatness-that of being the best all-time scorer in the history of the NBA. The record that he broke, after all, stood since 1989, when Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sank his last shot.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s decades-old record
Abdul-Jabbar, widely recognized as one of the best players ever to join the league, set the record at 38,387 points, until LeBron broke it in their loss to Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Lakers icon who has been called the greatest center of all time was once known by another name. He was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. in April 16, 1947, and was known simply as Lew Alcindor when he began his basketball career in high school. The name he was born with was not common, but he became famous with an even more distinct one.
Converted in UCLA
He was recruited to play at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he converted to Islam. After three years in the university, the player famous for his signature sky hook shot was drafted as the first pick overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969.
He led the Bucks to the franchise’s first-ever NBA championship in 1971 when he was only 24 years old. After that victory, the now-legendary center decided to take on the Muslim name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
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