On Thursday morning, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar went on ESPN’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd to promote his new children’s book, Sasquatch in the Paint. Among the topics Abdul-Jabbar discussed were the sky hook and how today’s centers fail to utilize it, UCLA and his old coach John Wooden and the topic of Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
Abdul-Jabbar has never been one to shy away from his opinions, and had a rather unique perspective on the greatest to ever play.
“LeBron is awesome, MJ was awesome — but I think Oscar Robinson would have kicked them both in the behind, said Abdul-Jabbar when asked about James and Jordan. “Absolutely. Oscar was awesome. He had brains. […] He had all the skills.
“He could rebound and box out guys four and six inches taller than him. He was ruggedly built. He had fluid, quickness, and just understood the game. No flair, he just got the job done every night. Who’s going to average double figures in points, assists and rebounds?”
The majority of the basketball-watching world considers Jordan the greatest basketball player of all time and James is one of the best the NBA currently has to offer, but Robinson was the only ball player to average a triple-double over the course of a season.
Abdul-Jabbar also spoke about the Lakers, and specifically, Kobe Bryant. Jabbar doesn’t believe that Bryant will be the same player after he returns, and shares why.
“I think this is a rebuilding year for them. Kobe’s hurt, he had a devastating injury, I don’t know how soon he’s going to be able to come back,” began the Lakers Hall of Fame center. “I hope he doesn’t come back too soon, it’ll just set him back further. I don’t know if he’s going to be the same player when he comes back. That’s a tough one to come back from. He might not have the explosive vertical and quickness abilities to the same degree.”
It’s not a secret that an Achilles injury is one of the more difficult injuries to come back from and return at a similar level of play. It’s been done before with soccer star David Beckham, and the Lakers are hoping Bryant can replicate that success.
Don’t forget to check out our interview with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar