The 1979-80 season is remembered by Lakers fans for many reasons. During that offseason, the Lakers drafted Magic Johnson with the top pick in the 1979 NBA Draft. Johnson would go on to win the 1980 NBA Finals MVP Award with his 42 point, 15 rebound, seven assist performance in Game 6 of the Finals, after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was injured.
That performance remains one of the greatest moments in NBA history, but what is forgotten is the performance of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. However that performance, and the performance of Abdul-Jabbar throughout that entire season should not be forgotten as he was named the NBA’s regular season MVP for a record sixth time that season.
Abdul-Jabbar was in his eleventh season at the time and many had begun to believe that his best years were behind him, but this season proved otherwise. Abdul-Jabbar averaged just under 25 points and 11 rebounds while also posting a league leading 3.4 blocks all while shooting over 60 percent from the field.
Abdul-Jabbar had already won two MVPs with the Lakers in 1976 and 1977, but his final one in 1980 put him in hollowed ground. To this day, no one has ever won more than five, except for Abdul-Jabbar. Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Michael Jordan each won the award five times, but no one has been able to match Abdul-Jabbar’s six.
Abdul-Jabbar had continued his outstanding play during the postseason, averaging 32 points, 12 rebounds, and four blocks before being injured in Game 5 of the Finals.
There have been many amazing players to enter the NBA, but only one has been consistent and talented enough to win six regular season NBA MVPs.
On this Throwback Thursday we remember Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for winning his NBA record Sixth NBA MVP. A record that has yet to be approached or broken.