Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Neil's office.
Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Neil's office.

Basketball Physics, with NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Neil's office. Credit: Brandon Royal.

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About This Episode

Slam dunks, skyhooks, three-pointers, and more – On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with NBA All-Time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to investigate the physics of basketball. Neil is joined in-studio by comic co-host Chuck Nice, astrophysicist Charles Liu, and NBA analyst Jim Spanarkel, recorded live at the American Museum of Natural History. Kareem and Neil break down the physics of Kareem’s signature shot, the skyhook, and discuss why players don’t shoot the skyhook today. You’ll learn about the impact of the three-point shot and the athletic evolution of NBA players throughout history. We also explore the physics behind the bank shot and grabbing rebounds. Besides being an NBA legend, Kareem is also a scholar and engaged citizen. You’ll hear about his love of reading, his Foundation and “Camp Skyhook,” and what he believes is the true value of sports. Kareem also asks Neil a Cosmic Query about planetary and galaxy rotation. All that, plus, find out what dream role Kareem would love to portray on TV and film – hint, it’s in a galaxy far, far away…

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