Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Net Worth: Career & Lifestyle

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Source: AP News)

The living legend Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr., known professionally as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s net worth is a staggering $20 million.

The man is synonymous with the NBA or basketball in general, and even long after his glory days, he is a respected legend of the game. Don’t believe me?

Go on and Google NBA legends!

Lew played 20 seasons in the NBA for Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

One of the greatest players in NBA history, Kareem has been cited as the greatest basketball player of all time by several basketball pundits, including Pat Riley.

Throughout his extraordinary career, Kareem was a record 19-time NBA All-Star, six-time NBA MVP, and 15-time All-NBA selection.

Even after more than three decades, Kareem still remains the all-time leader in points scored, career wins and field goals made.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | Quick Facts

Here are some quick facts about the legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Birth Name Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.
Known As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Age 75 Years Old
Nick Name Lew, The Big ‘A,’ The Tower From Power, Murdock, Big Fella
Birth Date April 16, 1947
Gender Male
Profession Basketball Player, Coach, Actor, Author, Film Producer, and Screenwriter
Birth Place Harlem, New York City, US
Ethnicity Afro-American
Nationality American
Horoscope Aries
Marital Status Divorced
Spouse Habiba Abdul-Jabbar (m. 1971–1978)
Children Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jr., Adam Abdul-Jabbar, Sultana Abdul-Jabbar, Amir Abdul-Jabbar
Father’s Name Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Sr.
Mother’s Name Cora Lillian
Siblings Abdul-Kareem al-Jabbar
Build Athletic
Religion Sunni Islam
Height 7’2″/218 cm/2.18 m
Weight 102 kg/225 lbs.
Eye Color Dark Brown
Hair Color Bald
Distinctive Features
  • Toned Physique
  • Towering Frame
  • Often Sports a Goatee
Net Worth $20 Million
Ex-Partners Heather Hunter, Pam Grier, Cheryl Pistono
Sexual Orientation Straight
Education Power Memorial Academy, University of California (1996-1969)
Position Center
Shirt Number 33
Teams Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers
Career Records Six-Time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), 11-Time NBA All-Defensive Team, 15-Time All-NBA selection, 19-Time NBA All-Star, Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016)
Endorsements Adidas, AT&T, Nestle, NBA2K
First Film Game of Death (1972)
Merch Signed Replica Basketball, Signed Rookie Card, Signed Photo
Social Media Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
Last Update June 2022

Kareem Abdul-Jabber | Net Worth & Income

Net Worth

An American former professional basketball player, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s net worth as of June 2022 is a staggering $20 million.

Kareem has amassed a significant fortune from his successful basketball career, endorsement deals, acting gigs, and also as a bestselling author.

Similarly, he made a decent amount of money from public speaking stints and coaching the NBA team.

Kareem was offered $1 million to play for Harlem Globetrotters, but he declined their offer and was picked first by Milwaukee Bucks in the 1969 NBA Draft.

It was Milwaukee Bucks’ second season in the NBA.

Kareem was also chosen by the New York Nets in the 1969 NBA Draft.

Income

After he agreed on Bucks’ $1.4 million offer, the Nets raised the stake with a guaranteed $3.25 million.

Nevertheless, he declined the offer.

Abdul played for Milwaukee Bucks up until 1975 and was traded to Los Angeles Lakers.

During the final season with the Lakers, Abdul earned his career-high salary of $3 million.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on His Lakers Days
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in His Lakers Days (Source: The National)

With the Lakers, his initial salary was around $500,000. Nonetheless, it increased substantially with time.

He earned $2.03 million in the 1985/86 season.

Similarly, for the 1987/88 season, Kareem made $2 million from his salary.

For the 1988/89 season, he earned a staggering $3 million. It seems way too low for a player like Kareem, but it was back in the late 80.

If adjusted for inflation $3 million in 1989, is the same as $5.8 million today.

Aside from his NBA earnings, Kareem makes a handsome amount of money from his books royalties and acting jobs.

In 1980, Kareem appeared in the comedy/romance film Airplane as Roger Murdock.

For his part in the film, he received $35,000 as a salary.

In addition to that, Kareem served as an assistant coach for Los Angeles Lakers from 1998 to 1999.

An Average NBA assistant coach’s salary in the United States is around $40,000 per year. Given Kareem’s stature, he might have made a bit more.

Whatever the case, Kareem indeed bagged some money from his one-year stint as an assistant coach.

Net Worth of Kareem Abdul-Jabber in Different Currencies

Let’s look into Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s net worth in different currencies, including the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Currency Net Worth
Euro €18,512,200
Pound Sterling £15,308,900
Australian Dollar A$27,021,300
Canadian Dollar C$25,227,700
Indian Rupee ₹1,525,923,000
Bitcoin ฿497.56

Kareem Abdul-Jabber | Houses & Cars

Houses

Though Kareem currently lives in Manhattan, New York, he has traded some of the finest real estate across the United States.

In 2016, an NBA legend listed his gated Marina del Rey community home in Los Angeles for $3 million. He had purchased this property back in 2011 for $1,525,000.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Hawaiian Retreat
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Hawaiian Retreat (Source: Business Insider)

Similarly, in 2014, he listed his 6,000 square feet Hawaiian retreat for $5.9 million.

Aside from these, Jabbar also owned a home in Beverly Hills, California.

Cars

Kareem has owned several high-end automobiles over the years.

In 2014, he purchased a 1948 Packard Super 8 Convertible in Phoenix. The car most likely cost him upwards of $100,000 because of its rarity.

Similarly, he owns other full-sized SUVs, including a Cadillac Escalade.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | Lifestyle

Kareem is one of the most decorated basketball players. He surely has had a long and illustrious NBA career.

He retired from the game in 1989 and currently engages himself in writing and acting.

Moreover, Alcindor converted to Islam in 1971 at the age of 24 and became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

His name in Islam means “the noble one, servant of the Almighty.” The name was given to him by Hamas Abdul Khaalis.

He met Habiba Abdul-Jabbar, his wife, to be at a Lakers game during his senior year at UCLA.

They got married in 1971 and had three children. His son Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jr. played basketball at Western Kentucky.

In 1978, Kareem divorced his wife. He also has two other sons, one with Cheryl Pistono.

Kareem was a good friend of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. He performed a tribute to his friend in 2016 along with Chance The Rapper.

Kareeem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammad Ali
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Muhammad Ali (Source: TIME)

Let’s face it, the legend is not as fit as he used to be. Age has slowly taken its toll.

He suffers from migraines, and his use of medical cannabis to reduce the pain has had legal complications in the past.

Moreover, in 2009, Kareem announced that he was suffering from cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

The disease had been diagnosed in 2009, but Kareem said his condition could be managed by taking oral medications.

However, in 2009, he organized a press conference and said that he did not believe the illness would stop him from living a normal life.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | Charity

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar began his charity Skyhook Foundation in 2009. The foundation provides educational opportunities to 4th and 5th graders in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Similarly, he donated 900 pairs of safety goggles to UCLA Health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abdul-Jabbar donated a house in Washington D.C for Khaalis to use as the Hanafi Madh-Hab Center.

Moreover, Kareem has written a regular column for Time regarding issues of race and religion.

Aside from that, Kareem supports charities such as Stand Up For Cancer, the American Association of Retired Persons, and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

Kareem Abdul-Jabber | Media, Endorsements, Investments & Books

Media

Abdul has also tried his hands at acting. The NBA star made his silver screen debut in 1972 with Bruce Lee’s film Game of Death.

Similarly, he appeared as co-pilot Roger Murdock in the 1980 film Airplane.

Aside from that, Abdul has appeared in several TV shows, including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Colbert Report, and Scrubs.

Likewise, he was announced as one of the writers for the 2019 revival of Veronica Mars.

Kareem appeared in an HBO documentary on his life titled Kareem: Minority of One.

In the same vein, he was nominated for Emmy Award for his mind-blowing narration in the History channel special Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution in 2020.

Moreover, he participated in the ABC reality series Splash (a celebrity diving competition) in 2013.

In April of 2018, he participated in the all-athlete season of Dancing with the Stars, in which his partner was professional dancer Lindsay Arnold.

Endorsements

As a world-renowned athlete Jabbar has endorsed several brands and companies.

Throughout his career, he earned at least $2 million from his endorsement and sponsorship deals.

Low Tops Adidas
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Low Tops Adidas (Source: TSN)

Reportedly, he signed the most lucrative deal with Adidas. Interestingly, he was the first NBA player Adidas had signed and paid over $30,000 for the deal.

Aside from that, Kareem has endorsed AT&T, Nestle, and NBA2K.

Investments

As per Sports Illustrated, in 1980, Kareem’s manager died of cancer. Kareem was earning around a million a season as Laker, an extraordinarily high salary for the time.

However, the problem was Kareem did not know anything about money and investments.

So he hired Tom Collins as his manager.

It started off really well, but sometimes later, Collins became increasingly quiet.

When Abdul-Jabbar ordered an audit of his finances, he was shocked.

The audit showed that Kareem was liable for $9 million in debts.

Collins had used the money on a real estate development deal that went terribly bad in 1984.

Kareem later sued Collins for $55 million in damages.

Book Publications

Aside from being a record-setting NBA superstar, Kareem is also a published writer.

Kareem’s books mostly highlight African-American history.

His first book, his autobiography titled Giant Steps, was published in 1983. It was a collaborative effort of Kareem and Peter Knobler.

Similarly, some of his other books include On the Shoulders of Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion and Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance.

In 2004 Kareem, along with Anthony Walton, published World War II’s Forgotten Heroes.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar | Career

Kareem was born in New York City, United States, on April 16, 1947. He was born with an unusual abnormality. He was large and heavy as an infant.

Astoundingly, he was 6 feet 8 inches by the eighth grade.

 Early Days
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Early Days (Source: Harlem World Magazine)

Nonetheless, due to his irregular size, he excelled in basketball throughout his youth.

Abdul was able to dunk at the age of 12.

His basketball talents became obvious when Kareem started attending high school.

Moreover, Kareem broke numerous records during his high school career.

After high school, Kareem started playing on the University of California’s freshman team, and the rest, what they say, is history, my friends!

Unknown Facts About Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

  • Kareem led his high-school team to a 71-game winning streak.
  • Interestingly, Kareem set the UCLA scoring record in his debut game.
  • Kareem really wanted to join New York Knicks in ‘75.

FAQs

Is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a Nigerian?

His parents were born in Nigeria. Kareem is of Yoruba descent.

Is Kareem better than Jordan?

Well, it is a topic of biasness. Jordan played 1072 games while Kareem played 1,560 games, and their numbers are still comparable. So you decide!

Nonetheless, get this Mr. Jabbar is the most underrated player of all time and says that he is okay with being underrated.

Did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ever play against Michael Jordan?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played eight games against Michael Jordan.

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