Former UCLA Basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar went on XM Radio today and gave his not-so-confident take on Bruin hoops.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is one of the greatest basketball players ever. He dominated in high school, he dominated in college and he dominated in the NBA. Needless to say, he is a legend.
Today, the greatest UCLA Basketball player and all-time leading scorer in the NBA sounded off about the state of his alma mater.
Zach Helfand of The Los Angeles Times reported that “The Captain” talked about the state of UCLA Basketball on NBA Today on XM Radio. What he said was not exactly a vote of confidence for Head Coach Steve Alford and his program.
Abdul-Jabbar, had made comments such as, “People used to learn how to play the game at UCLA and I don’t think that is happening now.”
He added, “I watched them in the playoffs, they don’t even know how to run a fast break.”
If that dagger did not cut deep, then his next comment really cuts to the bone, ” I think that is a real disappointment to those of us who are part of the tradition.”
To be fair, Abdul-Jabbar, known as Lew Alcindor back in his playing days at UCLA, did have the greatest coach in basketball history to learn from… John R. Wooden. There will never be a coach like him again.
People used to learn how to play the game at UCLA and I don’t think that is happening now. – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
But in general, does he have a point? Since taking over, Alford has not been able to maintain a full roster which limits what he can do on the court. Lately he has upped his recruiting game, so that could pay dividends in the near future, but as for coaching details, that is still on the inconsistent side.
Alford has had some brilliant moments as the Bruin coach, but equally he has had some head scratching moments as well. He has been able to get to the Sweet Sixteen in his first two years, but in both games his teams were exposed and beaten pretty badly.
Regardless of what you think about the state of UCLA Basketball, it speaks volumes when a Kareem-calibur player comes out and says what he did. Still, Alford looks to have his best team at UCLA this coming season so we are going to see a different kind of basketball. And maybe, just maybe, we can see that type of basketball The Captain is talking about.