The Adidas Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a basketball sneaker, released in 1971, that is named after (endorsed) by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a professional basketball player who played twenty years in the NBA (National Basketball Association) of North America. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an all-time great: winning the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award a record six times and scoring a record 38,387 points during his career; some former coaches and players believe he is the greatest NBA player. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played six seasons (19691975) for the Milwaukee Bucks and fourteen seasons (19751989) for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA Rookie of the Year in 1970, and won the NBA championship with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971. Adidas were competing with Converse as the dominant sports equipment endorser of the NBA during this period. Adidas noted the 'promise' of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and released a sneaker endorsed by him in 1971. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was originally named Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Junior, and played college ball under that name. In 1971, Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Junior adopted the Muslim name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; having converted to the Muslim faith whilst studying at UCLA.
The Adidas Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was released in 1971 in a low-cut and a mid-top version (shown above). The standard colourway for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sneaker is a white leather upper with navy blue stripes / heel patch. The shoe can be identified by the tongue of the shoe: which has a portrait of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar printed upon it. The Adidas Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a modified version of the Adidas Superstar; both sneakers feature a rubber shell toe. The midsole features EVA cushioning, and solid heel support. However, the Adidas Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is of it's era, and does not support the foot and ankle to the same standard as modern basketball sneakers. Modern version of the Adidas Kareem Abdul-Jabbar print "KAREEM" at the end of the three stripes; the original sneaker did not.