Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Open Letter Shows He's Worse Than Scottie Pippen

Daniel M.Correspondent IIJune 1, 2011

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 29:  Former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbarr arrives at the 57th Annual DGA Awards Dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 29, 2005 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote an open letter to Scottie Pippen regarding Pippen’s comments last week about Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

In his comments, Pippen said that Jordan is the greatest scorer in NBA history, but that James may be the greatest player of all time. Abdul-Jabbar answered Pippen with an open letter saying he should do some research on NBA history before declaring Jordan or James the best scorer or best player ever.

Well, both Pippen and Abdul-Jabbar are wrong. Both of them need to do some research. In fact, Abdul-Jabbar needs to do more homework since his comments were worse than Pippen’s.

In the letter, Abdul-Jabbar first deals with the “best scorer” argument. He says Wilt Chamberlain is the “greatest scorer this game has ever known.” I think something important is missing in that statement—very important, I should say. He should’ve said, “greatest scorer the game has ever known in the regular season.”

That’s right. Chamberlain is the greatest scorer in the regular season, because in the playoffs he’s not even close to the best, Michael Jordan. That’s why Chamberlain shouldn’t automatically be declared the greatest scorer since he wasn’t as great in the playoffs, where it matters.

Of course, Abdul-Jabbar never thought about this. He instead talks about Chamberlain’s accomplishments in the regular season. I wonder if Abdul-Jabbar knows that Chamberlain never scored 60 or more points in the playoffs.

Really? He scored 60 or more 32 times in the regular season but never in the playoffs. How is that possible?

How many times did Chamberlain score 50, 40 or 30 points in the playoffs? Does Abdul-Jabbar know that Jordan is ahead of Chamberlain in those statistics? Not to mention the most important scoring stat: the scoring average, and by a wide margin. Jordan averaged 11 more points per game than Chamberlain in the playoffs.

Then he addressed the “best ever” argument. Here he shows his ignorance even more. He says that “the ring is the thing.” If “the ring is the thing,” then why is he saying that Jordan has to take a backseat to Chamberlain? Does he know that Jordan won six NBA championships whereas Chamberlain won just two?

This means that Jordan won four more NBA championships than Chamberlain. Does he know that?

In this “ring” argument he mentions Bill Russell. I find it hard to believe that a center who shot 44 percent from the field can be considered the greatest player of all time, regardless of how many championships he won.

Abdul-Jabbar should know better. After all, he was a center. If Russell is the best because he has 11 rings, then Sam Jones and John Havlicek should also be considered better than Jordan.

He finishes the letter with, “Affectionately, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer.” Yes, Abdul-Jabbar, you are the all-time scoring leader, in the regular season. Maybe that explains why he praises Chamberlain for his regular season accomplishments.

The only reason why Abdul-Jabbar has the all-time record in the regular season is because he played 100 seasons in the NBA. Not to mention that Jordan missed three seasons during his prime.

I’ve lost respect for Abdul-Jabbar. First it was the statue issue with the Lakers, and now this. He tried to look smarter than Pippen, and failed. He proved to be in a need of doing more homework than Pippen.