Game Changer – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Skyhook

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Credit: Brandon Royal.

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About This Episode

For the first installment in their “Game Changers” series, hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice turn to the “Showtime” dynasty of the Los Angeles Lakers when they won 5 NBA Championships in the 1980s under the leadership of the legendary Magic Johnson. In addition to Neil deGrasse Tyson, in the last of our off-season episodes brought to you by TuneIn you’ll hear from not one, but three of the team’s superstars: Jamaal “Silk” Wilkes, Michael “Coop” Cooper, and of course, the NBA’s all-time leading point scorer, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At the core of this week’s episode is Kareem’s signature shot called “The Skyhook”, a shot so impossible to defend against that Jamaal calls it, “The most devastating offensive weapon in any sport I’ve ever seen.” Neil and Kareem break down the physics of the shot, which amounted to about 75% of Kareem’s 38,387 career points. You’ll hear how the skyhook, and much of the Laker’s success, came not from the flashy, Hollywood image the team projected, but rather from hard work and practice. Discover why the secret to succeeding on a team full of superstars is, surprisingly, humility, and the importance of sacrificing for the good of the team. Explore why, despite its “unjustifiable accuracy,” the hook shot has disappeared in today’s game, with its emphasis on the slam dunk and the 3-point shot. Finally, join us as we compare the 1980s Lakers to the teams of today, and Kareem tells the story of the only 3-point shot he sank in his entire career.

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