What is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s biggest weakness?


Prime Bucks Kareem – virtually none.

Older Lakers Kareem – probably his rebounding and lack of defense

When Kareem played for the Bucks he was dominant on both ends of the court. Yes, guys like Nate Thurmond and Wilt would try to contain Kareem but they would only cause Kareem to dip from 30 PPG to 25 PPG ish so it wasn’t containment by any means but just limiting Kareem a bit offensively.

On defense Kareem was a great rim protector in his prime and a good rebounder albeit he would sometimes get out-worked on the glass by shorter guys like Wes Unseld, Dave Cowens and Jerry Lucas who had more hustle and who were great at positioning themselves for a rebound. Those guys were all time rebounders though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAZjqsIY7gI

Here in the 1974 Finals, Cowens pulls an incredible 21 rebounds off the glass which shows just how much hustle he had – Kareem didn’t exactly that same amount of energy.

Later on in his career, Kareem in the Lakers (post 1982) had several weaknesses related to rebounding and defense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRDxv7Z2ruU

Moses Malone clearly demonstrated this at Kareem just couldn’t deal with him at all. Moses completely outscored, outrebounded and out-defended him. Of course this was prime Moses versus older Kareem (who was still very good).

Later in his career Kareem would mainly be called upon for his reliable skyhook rather than anything as his age prevented him from playing effective defense or out-rebounding anyone.