87 Kareem Abdul Jabbar Quotes for Inspiration

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, originally named Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. and known as Lew Alcindor before 1971, is a legendary American basketball player.

Born on April 16, 1947, in New York, he stood at 7-foot 2-inch and dominated basketball in the 1970s and early ’80s.

As a student, he set a scoring record at UCLA and won three national championships.

After joining the NBA, he played for the Milwaukee Bucks and later the Los Angeles Lakers, winning numerous championships.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Famous for his sky hook shot, he retired with several NBA records. After converting to Islam, he adopted his Arabic name.

Off the court, he ventured into acting, writing and coaching.

His numerous books covered various topics, including his relationship with his coach and African American history. In 2016, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Here is a collection of the best quotes by Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Best Kareem Abdul Jabbar Quotes


My opponent now is myself, my inclination toward laziness. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


Today’s youth are told to get rich or die trying and they really shouldn’t take that attitude forward with them. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


The game has basically not changed since I ended my career. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


When the line started to blur between the fans and the players, sometimes things can get ugly. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


I feel that there has been progress made since I was a boy on matters of race, but we have a long way to go. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I try to do the right thing at the… ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I felt that a number of people might have questioned my loyalty, but I continue to be a patriotic American. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

During 1866 and 1922, Native Americans and black soldiers often intermingled in the American west, on the frontier. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


I’m the baddest among the bad guys. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Reporters used to ask me the same inane questions year-in and year-out, city-to-city, and it would drive me crazy. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

If ISIS represents Islam, then the KKK represents Christianity. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

You play with your soul as well as your body. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


I hope to be involved in a successful movie script. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Five guys on the court working together can achieve more than five talented individuals who come and go as individuals. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

What we need are positive, realistic goals and the willingness to work. Hard work and practical goals. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Famous Kareem Abdul Jabbar Quotes

Your best athletes might give basketball a try just when they think, geez, this might be something that pays off for me in the end. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


We don’t have selfish guys here, which sometimes leads to problems. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I expect more people from China and Asia to end up in the NBA. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

All the courage and competitiveness of Jackie Robinson affects me to this day. If I patterned my life after anyone it was him, not because he was the first black baseball player in the majors but because he was a hero. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

When a rap song glorifies violence, death and sadness and loss is inflicted because of the violence. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


Yoga is just good for you. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that the 761st was Patton’s best tank unit and nobody knew about it. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I enjoy seeing new places. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Inspiring Kareem Abdul Jabbar Quotes

I totally alienated some reporters as I retreated. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


I’ve had enough success for two lifetimes, My success is talent put together with hard work and luck. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

When I was a kid, no one would believe anything positive that you could say about black people. That’s a terrible burden. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Elgin’s game was an incredible performance, also. I don’t think there’s any comparison. Elgin did it without three-point lines. His game was attacking the hoop and hitting jumpers inside 20 feet. Kobe’s range is unreal, and he does it his way. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The Lakers were able to maintain a certain level of talent and success, and so were the Celtics. It became part of people’s sports lore. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Sports and entertainment are the only places where inner-city kids see themselves being able to succeed. Their intellectual development is something they don’t relate to. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

As brilliant an individual that Michael Jordan was, he was not successful until he got with a good team unit. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

With 300 million people in America, you can fail to impress 299 million of them and still go platinum. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

OK, I’ll put it like this: I doubt if we will see another All-American basketball athlete who is a Rhodes Scholar. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Top Kareem Abdul Jabbar Quotes

High school dropouts are forfeiting their opportunity to pursue the American Dream. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Don’t hope. Hope is for people who aren’t prepared. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I feel that Dennis Rodman has become a problem. He will be more of a problem than an asset. Of course, he can prove me wrong. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Justice should be blind especially color-blind and able to fairly deal with the very real need for honest law enforcement. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The person unaware of history is like a rudderless boat just floating out in the middle of the ocean, hostages to the waves and currents. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


Good thoughts are no better than good dreams unless they are executed. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Islam is about finding your own space. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I need about three seats lengthwise to sleep on a plane. It’s not easy for me to curl up. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Popular Kareem Abdul Jabbar Quotes

After practice, I would have to go back to the dorm and take a nap. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I’m not going to emphasize the sky-hook as much as work with the specific skills of the guys. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

You’re never really cancer-free and I should have known that. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

If not for the success that medicine has made, I might be part of a much different story right now. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Even when there are adverse circumstances, I try to do my job. And I usually do. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Fundamental preparation is always effective. Work on those parts of your game that are fundamentally weak. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The disconnect lasted too long. I think people got the idea I was sullen and couldn’t communicate, which wasn’t true. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Either because I was an athlete or because I was black – probably both – there seemed to be a clear assumption that I wouldn’t be up to the work. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

When you’re a coach you’ve got to go up the ladder, you’ve got to be ready to travel. That’s the nature of coaching. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Great Kareem Abdul Jabbar Quotes

There are rap groups that have a positive outlook in their art. These groups should be shown as an alternative to gangsta rap. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

You have to be able to centre yourself, to let all of your emotions go… Don’t ever forget that you play with your soul as well as your body. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I think someone should explain to the child that it’s okay to make mistakes. That’s how we learn. When we compete, we make mistakes. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Some stuff can be fixed, some stuff can’t be. Deciding which is which is part of maturing. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I would suggest that teachers show their students concrete examples of the negative effects of the actions that gangsta rappers glorify. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they are executed. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

One man cannot make a team. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I can do something else besides stuff a ball through a hoop. My biggest resource is my mind. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I’ve always tried to stay out of the fray and not be an object of controversy. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

A team will always appreciate a great individual if he’s willing to sacrifice for the group. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I did a book in 1996, an overview of black history. In that process I became more aware of a lot of the black inventors of the 19th century. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

This is what I would have done if I had to have a real job: I would have been a history teacher. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Well, I’m a professional. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Insightful Kareem Abdul Jabbar Quotes

In athletics there’s always been a willingness to cheat if it looks like you’re not cheating. I think that’s just a quirk of human nature. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.


You can’t win unless you learn how to lose. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I needed to go to class; I needed to go to practice; I needed to have a life away from basketball. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

If not shown appreciation, it gets to you. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

LeBron James can get a shot off under any and all circumstances and he makes them. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I don’t know if I was the baddest. People kind of saw me in that light. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

There’s a ball. There’s a hoop. You put the ball through the hoop. That’s success. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I’m not comfortable being preachy, but more people need to start spending as much time in the library as they do on the basketball court. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Powerful Kareem Abdul Jabbar Quotes

Yoga is somewhat hard to quantify in terms of benefits because you see them in all the injuries you don’t get. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The word ‘leukemia’ is a very frightening word. In many instances, it’s a killer and it’s something that you have to deal with in a very serious and determined way if you’re going to beat it. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I think black Americans expect too much from individual black Americans in terms of changing the status quo. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

I don’t get a big charge out of being the leading scorer. The object of competing is winning. I just try to do what has to be done for us to win. That might be anything at the time – defense, rebounding, passing. I get great satisfaction out of being a team player. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

The first time I shot the hook, I was in fourth grade, and I was about five feet eight inches tall. I put the ball up and felt totally at ease with the shot. I was completely confident it would go in. I’ve been shooting it ever since. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

My biggest accomplishment has been making a transition from athlete to author. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

My biggest resource is my mind. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

My mother had to send me to the movies with my birth certificate, so that I wouldn’t have to pay the extra fifty cents that the adults had to pay. ~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

So these were the 87 top Kareem Abdul Jabbar quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Kristin Armstrong quotes and Kris Carr quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar