Outside of rookie center Ivica Zubac of the Los Angeles Lakers, no one in the NBA has been brave enough to try to incorporate the skyhook into their game. Not since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dominated the competition on a nightly basis in a Lakers uniform has the skyhook been used by a star player nor may it ever unless Zubac becomes a household name in Los Angeles.
Recently, the six-time NBA champion talked about his patented skyhook and why he thinks it isn’t used in the NBA. Jabbar thinks the post game in the league is becoming extinct with everyone wanting to shoot three-pointers these days, via Chris Mannix of The Vertical:
“I think it has to do with the way they are teaching the game,” Abdul-Jabbar told The Vertical. “They are not teaching kids how to post up. Everyone wants to shoot 3-pointers. It should be part of every [big man’s] game. It’s not.”
Kareem does have a point when it comes to players in the league now working on shooting threes rather than other parts of their game. Defense and post moves are becoming a thing of the past in terms of players not valuing development in those areas of their game.
As for Jabbar, the seven-footer thrived on both ends of the court. Kareem was a matchup nightmare for opposing centers as he could drive defenders crazy trying to block his skyhook while locking up players with his defense on the other end of the floor.
Two-way players aren’t seen much in the game today. Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs is probably the best two-way player in the league, but it’s difficult to name a bunch of others that can be a threat on both offense and defense.
The skyhook, however, remains an unblockable shot which players simply don’t want to even try to attempt. Zubac is the exception and may very well lead the way in bringing it back if he plays a prominent role on the Lakers moving forward. Otherwise, the shot Kareem made famous and can be attributed to helping him become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer will remain a dominant weapon of the past.