Inspiration & Sports

Abdul-Jabbar & Greatness

Long before Kobe Bryant, Lebron James and Kevin Durant became household names in the National Basketball Association, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was already “sky-hooking” his way to greatness.

He was a proven winner even as a beanpole teenager during the 1960s.  His trademark skyhook has been a potent weapon during his two-decade-long NBA career. Just look at his long list of accomplishments below:

  • led Power Memorial Academy to three straight New York City Catholic championships behind its 71-game winning streak and a whopping 79-2 win-loss record overall.
  • Carried his growth in size and talent to college, suiting up for the UCLA Bruins where he was the fulcrum of the team’s staggering 47-game winning streak. He finished his decorated college career with championships in his final three seasons—1967 to 1969.
  • Rookie of the Year in 1970
  • Holder of six Most Valuable Player awards in the NBA (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977 and 1980).
  • Led the Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA title in 1971
  • Once traded to the LA Lakers in 1976, he helped the NBA’s glamorous team to five more championships in his team-up with Earvin “Magic” Johnson with titles in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988
  • Retired at the end of the 1989 season as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points in 20 seasons.

Abdul-Jabbar’s legendary figure didn’t end there because he helped develop some of the NBA’s centers, most recently the Philadelphia 76ers center Andrew Bynum, whose career has taken a big leap the past two seasons while playing for the Lakers.

Yet, no matter how breath-taking Abdul Jabbar’s accomplishments were in his storied basketball career, I couldn’t help but take a long pause and give the reverence due to God when I read Psalm 71:19-21:

19 Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? 20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. 21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

While we love to see records established in basketball whether, high school, college or professional level, these same records fall when another strong, athletic player comes along.

But God? No one can surpass God. The things He has done, is and will always be unmatched. God is INCOMPARABLE.

Today, Kobe, Lebron and the rest of the NBA stars make one amazing play after the other, but in reality, there’s only one amazing—GOD.

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