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“Michael Jordan would score at will from the perimeter and I would in the paint”: When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dished on who would win in a 1v1

Samir Mehdi

“Michael Jordan would score at will from the perimeter and I would in the paint”: When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dished on who would win in a 1v1

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar broke down just how him and Michael Jordan would fair in a 1v1 against one another in their primes. 

Michael Jordan, by acclamation, is the greatest player in the history of the NBA,’ is what the NBA’s official website says about the Chicago Bulls legend. Following his third and final retirement from the league in 2003, it was almost a given that the 6x NBA champ was the ‘GOAT’. 

With LeBron James having come into his own and grown into a player to rival Michael Jordan for being the greatest of all time, it’s easy to forget just how dominant and great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Also read: “Michael Jordan told me he’s going for 40 at 40 years old and broke it down”: When Jared Jeffries got told by the Wizards star that he’s going off against Atlanta

After bringing a championship to Milwaukee in 1971 alongside Oscar Robertson, he would go on to join forces with Magic Johnson on the Lakers and win 5 titles in the 1980s decade alone. 

Everything from his patented ‘sky hook’ to his extremely underrated footwork, Kareem was the whole deal on the offensive end of the floor. As far as resumes go, his 6 titles, 6 MVPs, and countless All-NBA and All-Star selections are more than enough to bring him back into this conversation. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on facing off against Michael Jordan. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t exactly known for talking trash to players and certainly held himself to a diplomatic answer when asked by Skip Bayless about who would win in a 1v1 in their primes between himself and Michael Jordan.

Also read: “Love what Shaq said about LeBron”: Skip Bayless concurs with LBJ not being feared in today’s NBA quickly bringing up a Michael Jordan comparison

“Michael would score at will on the perimeter and I would score at will in the paint,” said the 19x All-Star. He continued by saying, “I would be getting high percentage shots very close to the basket and Michael’s strength was on the perimeter.” [around the 11:20 mark]

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Jordan was actually lights out whenever he played against Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his Lakers, averaging 31.3 points and 6.8 assists on 46.2% shooting from the field. 

About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi


Samir Mehdi is a senior strategist for the NBA division at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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