Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Net Worth
[Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Net Worth (Credits: Variety)]

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is widely seen as one of basketball's greatest players ever. He performed in the NBA for 20 seasons, winning six titles, six MVP prizes and becoming the league's top all-time scorer. He also made a lasting impact off the court, as a social activist, author and humanitarian. In this piece, we'll explore Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's net worth, career earnings, endorsement deals, investments, charitable work and road to success.

But before going into details, let's have a look at basic information regarding him.



Net Worth

$25 million (as of 2023)


$33 million (total NBA salary)

Date of Birth

April 16, 1947

Place of Birth

New York City, New York, USA




7 ft 2 in (218 cm)


Basketball player, actor, author, coach



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What is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Net Worth?

According to Celebrity Net Worth's estimations, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's net worth is approximately $25 million as of 2023. His wealth comes from various income sources like his NBA salary, endorsement deals, media ventures, business interests and official government posts. He also possesses valuable memorabilia and assets that he's sold or donated for charity.

Annual Income

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's annual income isn't publicly known but he likely earns a substantial amount from his various endeavors. He's a top-selling author of several books including his memoir Giant Steps, his autobiography Becoming Kareem and his historical novels Mycroft Holmes and Writings on the Wall. He also writes columns for media like The Guardian and The Hollywood Reporter on sports, politics, culture and race. He frequently speaks at events and conferences, sharing insights on basketball and social issues. He also appears in documentaries and TV shows as a guest or host, like HBO's Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution and History Channel's Black Patriots. He also serves as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department and a global ambassador for Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.

Total Career Earnings

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar earned $33 million total from his NBA salary during his 20-year career. He started with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 on a six-year, $1.4 million contract. He won his first title and three MVPs with the Bucks before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975. He spent the rest of his career with the Lakers where he won five more championships and three more MVPs. He also became the highest-paid player in 1987-88, earning $3 million in his final season.

Here is a table of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA salary by year:





Milwaukee Bucks



Milwaukee Bucks



Milwaukee Bucks



Milwaukee Bucks



Milwaukee Bucks



Milwaukee Bucks



Los Angeles Lakers



Los Angeles Lakers



Los Angeles Lakers



Los Angeles Lakers



Los Angeles Lakers



Los Angeles Lakers



Los Angeles Lakers

$1 million


Los Angeles Lakers

$1 million


Los Angeles Lakers

$1 million


Los Angeles Lakers

$1 million


Los Angeles Lakers

$1.5 million


Los Angeles Lakers

$2 million


Los Angeles Lakers

$3 million


$33 million

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Endorsement Deals

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has signed several endorsement contracts over time with top global brands. 

1 - Adidas

His most lucrative was with Adidas, who signed him as their first NBA athlete for over $30K. He also had his own signature Adidas shoe called the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Some other brands Kareem has endorsed:

2 - AT&T

Kareem appeared in AT&T commercials in the late 1980s and early 1990s, promoting their long-distance service. He also starred in a 2015 spoof ad as a customer service rep helping with basketball questions.

3 - Nestle

Kareem endorsed Nestle Crunch chocolate bars in print and TV ads with the slogan "For the Kid in You".

4 - NBA 2K

Kareem has been featured as a playable character in the NBA 2K video game series. He's also promoted the games in trailers and interviews.

5 - American Express

Kareem was part of an American Express campaign in 2016, sharing travel tips and experiences as a cardholder. He also did a Facebook Q&A with fans.

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Cash & Investments

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has invested his money in various personal and professional ventures like:

1 - Jazz Recording Company

Kareem is a huge jazz fan and president of Cranberry Records, a jazz label he started in 1987 that produces albums by artists like Oscar Peterson and Thelonious Monk.

2 - Memorabilia Collection

Kareem has collected much memorabilia from his career and interests including Bruce Lee items he was gifted and rare books and artifacts about African American history and culture.

3 - Real Estate

Kareem owns properties across the country including a LA mansion, Hawaii condo and Texas farm. He's also sold some like his Bel Air home for $5.9 million in 2018.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Philanthropic Work

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not just a basketball legend but also a generous philanthropist who's supported various causes and groups over the years, like:

1 - Skyhook Foundation

Kareem founded the Skyhook Foundation in 2009 to provide educational opportunities for underprivileged kids, especially in STEM fields. The foundation runs Camp Skyhook, an outdoor STEM learning experience for youth.

2 - Auction for Charity

In 2019, Kareem auctioned off valuable memorabilia like championship rings and MVP trophies, raising nearly $3 million that mostly went to his Skyhook Foundation. He wanted the items to help kids rather than sit in storage.

3 - COVID-19 Relief

In 2020, Kareem donated 900 safety goggles to healthcare workers battling COVID-19 to protect their eyesight. He also gave $100K to UCLA Health's COVID-19 fund.

4 - Social Justice Advocacy

Kareem has advocated for social justice and racial equality his whole life through books, articles, protests and campaigns on civil rights, Islamophobia, police brutality, Black history and more.

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Road to Successful NBA Player

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's journey to greatness is defined by excellence, resilience and influence. He has overcome many obstacles to become one of basketball's best ever and one of the most respected people worldwide.

Early Life

Kareem was born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. in 1947 in New York City. His parents were talented athletes and devout Catholics. He grew up in poverty-stricken, racially discriminated Harlem. He faced bullying for his height, skin color and religion but found solace in basketball, which he began playing at nine years old. He attended Catholic schools where he excelled academically and athletically. In high school, he led his team to three straight city titles, averaging 33 points and 21 rebounds as a senior and was named National Player of the Year.

College & NBA Career

  • College Dominance (1966-1969)

Playing for UCLA from 1966-1969, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ruled college basketball, averaging 26.4 points and 15.5 rebounds per game while leading the Bruins to three straight NCAA titles. He also won three Naismith College Player of the Year awards, three Final Four Most Outstanding Player honors and two USBWA College Player of the Year awards. Abdul-Jabbar set numerous NCAA records that still stand, including most points in a season (870), highest career field goal percentage (64%) and most career blocked shots (316).

  • NBA Debut and Rookie Impact (1969-1970)

The Milwaukee Bucks selected Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with the first pick in the 1969 NBA draft. He signed a landmark five-year, $1.4 million contract and made an instant impact, averaging 28.8 points and 14.5 rebounds per game in his rookie season, winning Rookie of the Year.

  • Continued Excellence (1970-1973)

In his second NBA season, Abdul-Jabbar kept improving, putting up 31.7 points and 16 rebounds per game averages. He earned his first All-Star appearance and first league MVP award in 1971.

Statistically, Abdul-Jabbar's third season was his finest, as he posted new career highs of 34.8 points and 16.6 rebounds per contest. He again made the All-Star team and claimed his second MVP trophy in 1972.

  • Peak Years in Milwaukee

Abdul-Jabbar's fourth campaign proved a turning point, as he partnered with Oscar Robertson to create a fearsome Milwaukee duo. Averaging 27 points, 14.5 rebounds and 4.8 assists, he led the Bucks to their first-ever NBA title, also winning Finals MVP along with his third MVP award in 1973.

Over his next six Milwaukee seasons, Abdul-Jabbar maintained averages of 30 points, 15 rebounds and 4 assists per game. He added six more All-Star nods and three additional MVPs in 1974, 1976 and 1977. He further piloted the Bucks to four more division crowns and two more conference finals visits.

  • Transition to the Los Angeles Lakers (1975)

In 1975, Abdul-Jabbar requested a trade, desiring a bigger market and expanded cultural opportunities. He was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Dave Meyers and Junior Bridgeman. With the Lakers, he signed a five-year, $5 million contract to become their cornerstone superstar.

  • L.A. Lakers Era (1975-1989)

Across 14 seasons in L.A., Abdul-Jabbar put up 22 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists nightly. He earned 13 more All-Star selections and three additional MVP awards in 1978, 1980 and 1981. He also captured five further rings with the Lakers in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988, twice more claiming Finals MVP honors.

  • Retirement and Legacy (1989)

When he retired from the NBA in 1989 after 20 illustrious seasons, Abdul-Jabbar left as the league's all-time leading scorer with 38,387 total points. He also set all-time records for games played (1,560), minutes logged (57,446), field goals made (15,837) and attempted (28,307), blocks (3,189) and defensive rebounds (9,394). Additionally, he ranks second in total rebounds (17,440) and third in MVP awards won (6).

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Post-NBA Career & Achievements

In his retirement, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has enjoyed a fulfilling and varied career spanning coaching, acting, writing, activism and diplomacy:

  • Basketball Coaching

Abdul-Jabbar has coached hoops at many levels, serving as an assistant for the 1999-2000 L.A. Clippers and 2005-06 Seattle SuperSonics. He also worked from 2005-2011 as a special assistant coach for the Lakers, mentoring Andrew Bynum and Dwight Howard. In addition, he coached the 2002 USBL Oklahoma Storm and the 2009 WNBA's L.A. Sparks.

  • Acting and Producing

Abdul-Jabbar has appeared in numerous films and television shows as both actor and producer. He made his acting debut playing a co-pilot in the 1977 aviation comedy Airplane! He also starred opposite Bruce Lee in the 1978 martial arts film Game of Death. His TV roles include The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Full House, Living Single, Scrubs and The Big Bang Theory. As producer, he created the documentary On the Shoulders of Giants (2011), chronicling the 1930s all-Black basketball team the Harlem Rens.

  • Bestselling Author and Columnist

As an author, Abdul-Jabbar has written several illuminating books and contributed articles covering a wide range of topics. His autobiographies include Giant Steps, Kareem and Becoming Kareem. He has also penned the Mycroft Holmes historical novel series. In addition, he has published basketball books like Coach Wooden and Me, Kareem: Fifty Years of Basketball Wisdom and Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White. Since 2013, he has also written columns exploring sports, politics, race and culture for The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, Time and The Washington Post.

  • Activism and Ambassadorship

As a vocal activist, Abdul-Jabbar has advocated for civil rights, social justice, education, healthcare, gun regulations and cultural diversity. He has participated in numerous campaigns and protests supporting causes like Black Lives Matter and voting rights. Since 2012, he has served as U.S. cultural ambassador, promoting mutual understanding through basketball worldwide. His activism has earned prestigious honors including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2016), NAACP Image Award (2017) and UCLA Medal (2019).

Final Takeaway

In closing, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a legend on and off the court with an estimated $25 million net worth. His wealth comes from basketball, media, business and government service. He is also a generous philanthropist who has donated millions to various causes and organizations. His journey from humble beginnings to respected NBA icon is truly inspiring.

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Q: What is Kareem's net worth?

Approximately $25 million as of 2023 as per Celebrity Net Worth's estimations,.

Q: What is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's birth name?

Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.

Q: How many 3s has Kareem made?

Just one.

Q: How many books has Kareem Abdul-Jabbar written?

Over 15 books.

Q: What was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's signature move?

The skyhook shot.

Q: What are some awards Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has won?

6 NBA titles, 6 MVPs, 2 Finals MVPs, 19 All-Star selections and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.