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Skip Bayless Says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Move To The Lakers Was One Of The Biggest Trades In Sports History

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Over the years we have seen a few blockbuster deals in the major American sports leagues that changed their landscape for the foreseeable future. It doesn't happen very often as players of that magnitude aren't usually available for trade, so when the Padres shook up the MLB by trading for Juan Soto, that led to the question of what would be the biggest trade in sports history.

Skip Bayless who has been involved with the sports world one way or the other for decades at this point, had his say on the matter, as he named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's trade to the Lakers in 1975 as one of the biggest ones.

"The Kareem deal where the Lakers get who became the all-time leading NBA scorer... they got him for Junior Bridgeman, Dave Meyers, then Elmore Smith and Brian Winters and they were all nice players but they ain't no Kareem. The Lakers got Walt Wesley and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and it's just highway robbery because it's all-time all-time."

It is crazy how little the Lakers had to give up for Kareem, as Winters was the only one from that haul to ever make an All-Star team. Bayless would also go on to mention the late great Bill Russell being traded to the Celtics on draft night as his other biggest trade and while that was important, Russell hadn't even played in the league yet, as opposed to Kareem who by 1975 had won a title, a Finals MVP, and 3 MVP awards.

The Lakers had lost Wilt Chamberlain as well as Jerry West to retirement in the years before Kareem joined and his arrival ensured the team remained relevant. He would win league MVP in each of his first two seasons in Los Angeles and once Magic Johnson arrived in 1979, the two of them would lead the Lakers to 8 NBA Finals in the 1980s. LA would come out victorious in 5 of them, cementing them as one of the greatest dynasties in sports history. Interestingly, Kareem had admitted that he wanted to go to the Knicks in 1975 and who knows how things would have panned out for the two storied franchises if that would have happened.