Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob Lanier were the two best players in basketball during their time, but their rivalry always seemed to be overshadowed by one player: Michael Jordan. On January 26th, 1984, Kareem would find out a secret that allowed him to gain an advantage over his rival and win six consecutive NBA championships.
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a basketball player who played for the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest players in NBA history, as well as one of the most dominant centers ever. In his career, he led the league in scoring six times, won five regular season MVP awards, and helped lead three teams to an NBA title. However, Kareem’s rivalry with Bob Lanier was not always easy. Read more in detail here: habiba abdul-jabbar.

Knowledge of a Shameful Secret Helped Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Secure the Upper Hand in His Rivalry With Bob Lanier

Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem is without a doubt the finest NBA center of the 1970s. Throughout the decade, though, the towering Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers player wasn’t the only Hall of Fame big man prowling the paint. Bob Lanier was one of these centers, often going head-to-head with Abdul-Jabbar. Kareem, on the other hand, disclosed a little-known fact about the Detroit Pistons player that helped him win more frequently than not.

In the 1970s, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob Lanier were two prominent centers.

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Milwaukee selected UCLA’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) first overall in the NBA Draft in 1969. A year later, Detroit selected Lanier with the first overall choice out of St. Bonaventure. The centers quickly established themselves as two of the best players in the NBA.

In the 1970s, Abdul-Jabbar received nine of his 19 All-Star selections, starting with his rookie season. More impressively, he won five of his six MVP trophies from 1971 to 1977, three with the Bucks and two with the Lakers. Before the turn of the century, he’d also been named first-team All-NBA six times and first-team All-Defense three times.

Lanier, a 6-foot-11 center, received practically all of his honors and accomplishments prior to the 1980s. After an All-Rookie season in 1971, “Dobber” was named to seven All-Star teams in eight years, earning All-Star MVP in 1974. Despite Kareem’s renowned stats, Lanier averaged a respectable 22.9 points per game over the decade.

Because Abdul-Bucks Jabbar’s and Lanier’s Pistons were in the same division, the two skyscrapers clashed often. Kareem won 34 of the 52 matches, which is unsurprising.

Los Angeles Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Detroit Pistons big man Bob Lanier.

Los Angeles Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Detroit Pistons big man Bob Lanier. Throughout the 1970s, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L) and Bob Lanier (R) had a lengthy rivalry. | Getty Images/Focus on Sport

Years later, Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time champion, revealed some details about his battle with Lanier. Even Bob’s teammates could see that the former Bonnie was outmatched.

In an earlier interview with The Universe Galaxy, Abdul-Jabbar noted, “Bob still resents a couple things.” “Because he was never able to defeat the teams on whom I played whether he was with Detroit or Milwaukee.” And I always appeared to be able to stop him. His teammates referred to him as ‘Number Two,’ and they would say things like, ‘Alright Number Two, you’re about to face Number One.’ He despised it.”

Kareem then divulged his “secret intel” about Lanier, which helped him take the upper hand.

“At halftime, Bob loved to smoke cigarettes. So in the second half, I had Bob run, and I could see he was in agony. It had a significant impact on his game, and he had no idea I was aware of it. Since we’ve been retired, I’ve told him about it, and he’s been like, ‘What?!…’ ‘I should’ve known better,’ says the narrator.’

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The 1970s were unquestionably a different era in sports.

Lanier was someone Kareem admired much.

Despite spending so much time defeating Lanier, Abdul-Jabbar considered the Hall of Famer as a legitimate opponent. When asked who his toughest opponents were, the 15-time All-NBA pick mentioned Lanier and Nate Thurmond, another great center from the 1960s and 1970s.

Ironically, the strongest bond between Abdul-Jabbar and Lanier may not be on the court. In the 1980 film Airplane!, Kareem performed a crucial part as a pilot. In one of the most amusing scenes from the acclaimed film, a small boy tells Abdul-Jabbar about his father’s criticisms of the superstar, the center lashes out.

“Pay attention, child!” Abdul-Jabbar was ecstatic. “I’ve heard that nonsense since I was at UCLA.” Every night, I’m out there kicking my buns! Tell your grandfather to dragged Walton and Lanier around the court for 48 minutes!”

Even though Kareem was aware of his filthy smoking behavior, Lanier may boast that he was talented enough to be mentioned in the film.

Basketball Reference provided all statistics.

RELATED: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Could Have Joined the ABA Had It Not Been for a $1 Million Error by an NBA Legend

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, known as “The Big Fella,” was a professional basketball player who competed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for twenty years. He is one of the most famous and successful athletes to ever play the game. In his career, he won six NBA championships and was named Most Valuable Player four times. His rivalry with Bob Lanier helped him secure the upper hand in their competition. Reference: abdul jabbar.

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