Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA. Before there was Magic, Jordan, or LeBron, Kareem was the face of the league and one of the most dominant players in the NBA during his peak. Many feel that Kareem paved the way for several superstars in the league.
In his years after retirement, Kareem has been one of the most active and vocal figures in the NBA. He has been especially kind and helpful to the new players in the NBA that have arrived since his retirement. Many consider him one of the most graceful legends in the NBA today.
But Abdul-Jabbar did have a mean streak to him. So much so, that he would take violent action against players who tried to take liberties with him. This is exactly the lesson that rookie player Kent Benson learned in his first game. Benson was playing his first game after being selected first overall in the 1977 NBA Draft.
During the game, Benson elbowed Kareem in the gut during a tie-up in the paint. Kareem felt the effects of the blow and came back to immediately punch Benson right in the face. This was Benson's 'Welcome To The NBA' moment, as he learned not to mess with Kareem.
Kareem was a fierce competitor and took the fight to several superstars in the league. Legendary players like Wilt Chamberlain took on Kareem, and Kareem came out on top. In fact, Kareem and Wilt had a solid friendship, but that turned sour over the years.
Abdul-Jabbar was a transcendent player, who changed the game forever during his stint in the league. His time in the NBA was remarkable, and he was incredibly successful. He won 6 NBA championships and 6 MVPs during his tenure in the league, making himself one of the most successful players in NBA history.