Last Updated: December 2, 2023
Richest AthletesNBA Players
Net Worth:
$25 Million
Apr 16, 1947 (77 years old)
New York City
7 ft 1 in (2.18 m)
Basketball player, Actor, Author, Basketball Coach, Screenwriter, Film Producer
United States of America
💰 Compare Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Net Worth

What is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Net Worth?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a former American professional basketball player who has a net worth of $25 million. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won multiple awards and accolades over the course of his NBA career. He won the NBA Championship six times and was the league's all-time leading scorer for many years until February 2023 when his record was broke by LeBron James. Some consider him to be the greatest basketball player of all time. Outside of basketball, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has worked as an actor and best-selling author.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, also known as Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr., was born in New York City.  He began making major waves as a basketball player while in high school.  At 6′ 8″ tall, he was a formidable presence on the court, and led his team at Power Memorial Academy to three championships in a row.  They also won 71 games in a row, and had a 79-2 record.  His junior year, the team won the National High School Basketball Championships, and finished in second place the year he graduated.  He went on to play college basketball for the UCLA Bruins.  He quickly distinguished himself, scoring a UCLA record 56 points in a single game – the first time he took the court.  (He later beat his own record – scoring 61 points in a single game. The record still stands.)  During his four years of college, he won just about every major sports honor available to basketball players, including being named the very first Naismith College Player of the Year in 1969.

The Milwaukee Bucks drafted him after he graduated from UCLA with a degree in History.  By the end of his first season with the Bucks, he was a star, and received Rookie of the Year honors.  During his time with the Bucks, he was an NBA Champion, was named an NBA Finals MVP, was named NBA Most Valuable Player three times, and was a two-time scoring champion, among other honors.  In 1975, he began playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, and continued to wrack up honors.  He won the NBA Championship five more times with the Lakers, and was named Finals MVP again.  He was chosen as the NBA Most Valuable Player three more times. He was also chosen for the NBA All-Star Team 19 times, and the All-NBA First Team 10 times. He retired in 1989.


Early Life

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. He was born on April 16th of 1947 in New York City and was abnormally large and heavy as an infant. By the eighth grade, he was 6'8. Throughout his youth, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played basketball and excelled at the sport due to his size. At age 12, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was able to dunk.

When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar started attending high school, his basketball talents became obvious. His school team won the New York City Championships many times, and he contributed greatly to this successful run. Due to the fact that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attended Power Memorial Academy, he earned the nickname "the tower from power." Eventually, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar broke many records during his high school basketball career.

College Basketball

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar started by playing in UCLA's freshman team, although he quickly made the transition to varsity basketball. Media publications such as Sports Illustrated pointed to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as a future star. During this time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar made a notable impact on the team's performance, which included a three-year run with only two losses. He also directly caused the dunk to be banned in college basketball because he was so proficient with this scoring method.

In 1968, he boycotted the US Olympic team and didn't attempt to join their squad. He also converted to Islam during this period and took an Islamic name. Later in 1968, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took part in what became known as "the game of the century." The match between UCLA Bruins and the Houston Cougars was televised nationally for the first time in the history of college basketball, and over 50,000 fans watched the game live. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's team lost the game, although they later defeated Houston during the NCAA Tournament.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

NBA Career

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 for $1.4 million. During his first year in the NBA, the Bucks achieved second place in the Eastern division. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also became the league's second-highest scorer. The next year, the Bucks won the championship and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the top scorer. After he won the championship in 1971, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar officially adopted his Islamic name. Eventually, he requested a transfer in 1974.

In 1975, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar transferred to the Lakers. He began strongly with a high points-per-game average. Although the team was playing well, they continued to be knocked out during the playoffs with each passing season. However, the future looked much brighter after the Lakers acquired Magic Johnson in 1979. This paved the way for a dominant run during the 80s. With the help of Magic Johnson and the experience of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the LA Lakers went on an impressive run during their "dynasty," and won five championship titles.

During the early to mid-80s, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career began to wane. He was entering his early 40s, and his body was struggling to perform because of his physically demanding role on the team. Much earlier, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had started doing yoga in order to maintain flexibility and strength. He also bulked up in an effort to hold his own in the center position. Additionally, he had become well-known for wearing protective goggles. This was due to the fact that his corneas were prone to scratches and impacts. He also developed an eye condition during this time.

In 1989, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar announced that he would retire at the end of the season. His impact on the world of basketball was so great that his retirement became a major event in the sport. Fans gave him various gifts – ranging from an Afghan rug to a yacht. He also received standing ovations at games. His career spanned 20 years, and at the time of his retirement, he held the record for most games ever played by a single player.

Rachel Murray/Getty Images


After his NBA career,  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar assumed that his career path would naturally lead to coaching. However, his reputation created a lack of opportunities.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was very quiet and didn't talk to the press. Some had described him as an introvert. That being said,  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did have some opportunities to contribute to the coaching process.

He worked as an assistant and mentor for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Seattle Supersonics. His one head coaching job was in the now-defunct United States Basketball League for the Oklahoma Storm. He won the championship with the team, but it didn't lead to his appointment as the new coach for Columbia University as he had hoped. He eventually worked as a scout for the New York Knicks. One of the high points of his career was working as a special assistant coach for the Lakers from 2005 to 2011.


During his time in Los Angeles, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appeared in many films and TV shows, mostly in cameo roles where he played himself. Notable examples include the films Airplane! and Bruce Lee's Game of Death. He has also appeared in various TV shows, such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Scrubs, and The Colbert Report. In 2018, it was announced that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was one of the writers for the show Veronica Mars.


Kareem is prolific author, contributing significantly to literature across various genres. His writings often reflect his deep insights into sports, history, social justice, and his personal experiences. Notable works include "Giant Steps," an autobiography that offers an intimate look into his life and basketball career, and "Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White," where he addresses the complexities of race and politics in America. Abdul-Jabbar has also delved into fiction, co-authoring the "Mycroft Holmes" series, which reimagines Sherlock Holmes' brother in a historical mystery setting. His book "Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court" explores his relationship with the legendary UCLA coach John Wooden, blending sports memoir with life lessons. Each book showcases Abdul-Jabbar's intellectual depth, keen observational skills, and commitment to addressing important social issues, making him a respected voice both in and outside the world of sports.

Personal Life

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has published many books, including those that detail his playing career and those on issues such as black history and rights. After marrying Habiba Abdul-Jabbar, he had three children before divorcing her in 1978. He has two other children.

Real Estate

For many years, Kareem owned a stunning home in the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Hawaiian house was actually built in 1986, three years before he played his last official game. Constructed especially for him on 3-acres of land, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's house was designed to accommodate his 7′ 2″ height.  The three-bedroom home features soaring open-beam ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors, and lava rock fireplaces. The house is 5,912 square feet and in addition the main house, there is also a carriage house and a pavilion situated next to the large pool.  The pool itself is 50-feet long and was custom built.  It even has its own waterfall.  A private pathway directs visitors towards Secret Beach.  Birds and other wildlife wander the grounds regularly, as the property is a stone's throw from the National Wildlife Refuge.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar put the property on the market for $5.9 million in 2013. He sold the home in 2015 for $4.8 million. At some point in the subsequent years, Will and Jada Smith, who already owned a neighboring property, acquired Kareem's former house to create a lavish 7-acre estate. In September 2017 Will and Jada sold the combined estate for $12 million.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Career Earnings

  • Los Angeles Lakers (1988-89)
    $3 Million
  • Los Angeles Lakers (1987-88)
    $2 Million
  • Los Angeles Lakers (1985-86)
    $2 Million
  • Airplane!
    $35 Thousand
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