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Los Angeles Lakers

This Day in NBA History: Los Angeles Lakers retire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's jersey in 1990 & more

On March 20 in 1990, less than a year after his retirement, the Los Angeles Lakers retired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's No. 33 jersey with a halftime ceremony at The Great Western Forum.

He had played 14 of his 20 seasons in the league with the Lakers, playing a key role in all of the franchise's five titles in the 1980s (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988).

He was traded to the Lakers in the 1975 offseason along with Walt Wesley from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for centre Elmore Smith, guard Brian Winters and rookie "blue chippers" Dave Meyers and Junior Bridgeman.

Abdul-Jabbar, who is the all-time leading scorer in NBA history with 38,387 points, led the Lakers in scoring for a franchise-record 11 consecutive seasons.

He won three of his six league MVP awards (most in NBA history), five of his six championships and 13 of his 19 All-Star selections as a Laker.

Abdul-Jabbar, who is credited for one of the most unstoppable moves ever - his trademark sky-hook - is one of only a few players in NBA history to have their jersey retired by not one but two franchises.

Other notable events on March 20

  • In 1968, the Detroit Pistons' Dave Bing became the first guard in 20 years to lead the league in scoring when he averaged a league-leading 27.1 points for the 1967-68 season.
  • In 1968, the Los Angeles Lakers' Wilt Chamberlain became the first centre in NBA history to lead the league in assists with an average of 8.6.
  • In 2005, LeBron James recorded his first 50-point game when he finished 56 points in a 105-98 road loss. Playing all 48 minutes of the game, he also finished with 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals.

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