Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American former professional basketball player who played for 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.
During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player.
He was a 19-time NBA All-Star—tied for the most ever—a 15-time All-NBA Team member, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection.
Why did Kareem change his name?
In 1971, at the age of 24, he converted to Islam and legally changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, which means “noble one, servant of the Almighty.”
Hamaas named him Abdul Khaalis. Abdul-Jabbar purchased and donated 7700 16th Street NW, a house in Washington, D.C., to Khaalis for use as the Hanafi Madh-Hab Center; the location would later become the site of the 1973 Hanafi Muslim massacre. Kareem eventually “found that [he] disagreed with some of Hamaas’ Quran-related teachings,” and the two parted ways.
When asked about being Muslim, he said: “I don’t have any misgiving about my faith. I’m very concerned about the people who claim to be Muslims that are murdering people and creating all this mayhem in the world.
That is not what Islam is about, and that should not be what people think of when they think about Muslims.