Born: April 16, 1947 (Manhattan, New York)
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Career highlights: Six-time NBA champion (1971, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988), two-time NBA Finals MVP (1971, 1985), six-time NBA MVP (1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980), 19-time NBA All-Star (1970-77, 1979-89), 15-time All-NBA (1970-74, 1976-81, 1983-86), 11-time All-NBA Defensive Team (1970, 1971, 1974-81, 1984), NBA Rookie of the Year (1970), NBA 50th Anniversary Team
Bottom line: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won six NBA titles and six NBA Most Valuable Player awards and is in the conversation when it comes to the greatest basketball players of all time, which automatically puts him in the conversation for toughest players ever, as well.
He will always be tougher than we give him credit for. He played in an age where African-American players were fighting for equal rights on and off the floor and was one of the leaders of that movement.
One stat stands out more than any other. Over two decades after his retirement, Abdul-Jabbar’s 1,797 career games (including the playoffs) are more than anyone in NBA history.