NBA Finals Storyboards: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
See below for the “NBA Finals Storyboards” of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Each and every Finals series he played has been measured, analyzed and charted below. Arguably the greatest player in NBA history cemented his legacy by winning 6 titles and reaching 10 Finals. His championship pedigree is evidenced by the amazing production and success you’ll see in the storyboards below.
These “storyboards” were incredibly FUN for me to assemble, as I learned so much about the players and the teams involved in basketball’s biggest stage. I hope you enjoy reading them! For any questions or comments, tweet me @NBAStatsLab for some fun banter. View from top-to-bottom to see each of his Finals performances in chronological order.
NOTE: I’ve graded each Finals series by calculating the player’s “RINGscore” value. Factoring into this calculation include a player’s box score performance, win/loss result, # of games played, the difficulty of competition, # of times player led a game in stats, the player’s statistical rank over his peers, high-game outputs, and more!
On to the stats and stories of the NBA’s all-time leading scorer…
1) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1971 NBA Finals – MIL vs WAS
Click to enlarge Kareem’s 1971 NBA Finals Storyboard. In one of the most lopsided Finals matchups ever, Kareem’s (or Lew’s) Bucks won their first NBA title. He was absolutely stellar. Unfortunately, steals and blocks weren’t recorded at this time or his averages would be even higher.
2) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1974 NBA Finals – MIL vs BOS
Click to enlarge Kareem’s 1974 NBA Finals Storyboard. Note that steals and blocks were now recorded. However, advanced stats didn’t come into the fold until the mid-1980’s.
3) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1980 NBA Finals – LAL vs PHI
Click to enlarge Kareem’s 1980 NBA Finals Storyboard. This is one of the best Finals’ performances ever, as Kareem posted his career-best RINGscore here. His box score averages, game max outputs, game leads, stat ranks and shooting efficiency were off-the-charts. Even more impressive is that they came against an evenly-matched opponent.
4) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1982 NBA Finals – LAL vs PHI
Click to enlarge Kareem’s 1982 NBA Finals Storyboard. Abdul-Jabbar adds another ring, but his production noticeably takes a dip here. This is likely due to the ascendance of teammate Magic Johnson.
5) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1983 NBA Finals – LAL vs PHI
Click to enlarge Kareem’s 1983 NBA Finals Storyboard. This series was one to forget for the Lakers, as they got swept by a 76ers team seeking revenge for their previous Finals losses vs Los Angeles.
6) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1984 NBA Finals – LAL vs BOS
Click to enlarge Kareem’s 1984 NBA Finals Storyboard. This series kicked off the storied Lakers-vs-Celtics 1980s Finals rivalry. Boston took home the gold here, but Kareem did bounce back with his best Finals statistical output since 1980.
7) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1985 NBA Finals – LAL vs BOS
Click to enlarge Kareem’s 1985 NBA Finals Storyboard. The Lakers fought back this year to defeat Boston. Kareem won his 4th championship ring and the Finals MVP!
8) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1987 NBA Finals – LAL vs BOS
Click to enlarge Kareem’s 1987 NBA Finals Storyboard. One of the greatest NBA teams of all-time, Abdul-Jabbar won yet another championship over the hated Celtics.
9) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1988 NBA Finals – LAL vs DET
Click to enlarge Kareem’s 1988 NBA Finals Storyboard. This was the 6th and final championship ring for the great scoring big man. His production noticeably dipped, mostly due to aging and playing versus a defensive juggernaut in the Pistons.
10) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 1989 NBA Finals – LAL vs DET
Click to enlarge Kareem’s 1989 NBA Finals Storyboard. In the last season of his storied career, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar lost in the NBA Finals to the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons. Despite posting a low RINGscore, there is no shame here. He was 20 years into his career at this time! Reaching 10 Finals is quite an accomplishment, one of the best in this legend’s vast resume.