There was some nerd/tomboy excitement in #302 last night when I saw this on espn.com. I have sort of always been in love with The Lakeshowww and I can read about its history all the livelong day and find it fascinating because I'm a tomboy nerd cleverly disguised as a girl in a bikini.
"Abdul-Jabbar's skyhook is one of the all-time signature moves, like George Gervin's finger roll or Hakeem Olajuwon's Dream Shake. The modern game has nothing close, not in status or effectiveness."
J.A. Adande, you know what I like.
"Milwaukee Bucks announcer Eddie Doucette gave the shot its heavenly name during Abdul-Jabbar's early pro years with the Milwaukee Bucks, and it stuck as he moved on to Los Angeles and kept relying on the hook shot as the primary weapon for his assault on Wilt Chamberlain's all-time NBA scoring record. Whenever the Showtime Lakers couldn't get out on the fast break, Magic Johnson would simply hold up a fist, indicating it was time to get the ball to Kareem. In retrospect, it really wasn't fair to go from one of the best fast breaks ever unleashed on the NBA to a Plan B that consisted of the single most effective shot in the history of the sport. It was like following up Larry Holmes' jab with Mike Tyson's uppercut."
"Double-teaming him wasn't an appealing option during his seasons with the Lakers, because he might have had three other All-Stars on the court with him at any given time. Among the options he had to pass to over the years were Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Norm Nixon and Jamaal Wilkes.
'That kinda gave people the choice of "How do you wanna commit suicide?"' Abdul-Jabbar said. 'You want me to get the shot off, or do you want one of those guys to?'"
Additional reasons for you to feel jealous that my team's history, not yours, is replete with stand-up dudes:
June 4, 1967: Top athletes (Bill Russell! Jim Brown! The sports nerd in me just died) converge to support Ali as he explains his reasons for rejecting the draft. Kareem (bottom right) was still Lew Alcindor (name change in '71).