Today in Sports History: December 14

By Veronica An

During a 1975 game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Detroit Pistons, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar grabbed a record-setting 29 defensive rebounds. Abdul-Jabbar helped lead the Lakers to a 110-100 victory over the Pistons. Abdul-Jabbar was a center for the Milwaukee Bucks (1969-1975) and Los Angeles Lakers (1975-1989). He played for the Lakers during their prosperous “Showtime” era and won five championships with the team. Abdul-Jabbar won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award six times and was known for his finesse and ambidextrous skyhook shot. Similar to a hook shot, Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook involved bending his entire body towards to raise the ball and then release it at the highest point of his arm’s arching motion. This signature move helped Abdul-Jabbar retire with 38,387 career points and 15,837 field goals made. He is still the all-time leader in points scored, field goals made, and career wins. Abdul-Jabbar was selected to the All-NBA team 15 times, the NBA All-Stars 19 times and the NBA All-Defensive Team 11 times. He was named the second best player in NBA history, behind Michael Jordan, and was appointed as a global cultural ambassador in 2012. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

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