Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to headline AP’s 1970s NBA team

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The 1970s team for the NBA, as voted by AP Sports staff members, directly engaged in the NBA At 75 series throughout the season. The team members are:

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR

The master of the skyhook remains the top scorer in NBA history. He won his first NBA title as Lew Alcindor with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971 before changing his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar later that year as part of his conversion to Islam. He won the MVP award as Alcindor in 1971 and as Abdul-Jabbar in 1972, winning top scorer titles in both years. He won five of his six league MVP awards in the 1970s – two for the Bucks and three for the Los Angeles Lakers. His best statistical season was in 1971-72, averaging 34.8 points and 16.6 rebounds per game. He’s been selected for the first or second fully defensive team eight times over the decade. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

RICK BARRY

Barry was a versatile 6-foot-7-inch scoring machine. He was a capable slasher with a powerful leap shot, but he’s perhaps best known for his sneaky free throws. He has dominated the league in free throw percentage over five of his last six seasons and retired as the most accurate free throw shooter in NBA history. In 1975, he was NBA Finals MVP and led the Golden State Warriors to the NBA title. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.

WALT “CLYDE” FRAZIER

Frazier was perhaps as well known for his flashy clothes as he was for his play. But there was a lot of substance on the ground. The elite general and perimeter defenseman led the New York Knicks to their only NBA titles in 1970 and 1973. He was an All-Star every year from 1970 to 1976 and was a part of the first fully defensive team each. year from 1969 to 1975. He was the MVP of the All-Star Game of 1975. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.

JEAN HAVLICEK

Havlicek won the last two of his eight NBA titles for the Boston Celtics in the 1970s. He was the NBA Finals MVP in 1974, when he led the Celtics to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Milwaukee Bucks. He was an All-NBA first team selection each year from 1971 to 1974 and was on the first or second team in defense seven times during the decade. In his best season, he averaged 28.9 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists in 1970-71. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984. He died in 2019.

ELVIN HAYES

Hayes, a model of consistency, was an All-Star every year of the decade. The 6-9 power forward helped the Washington Bullets win the 1978 NBA title over the Seattle SuperSonics. He dominated the league in rebounds in 1970 and 1974. Known for his midrange turnaround jumper, he averaged 21 points and 12.5 rebounds over his career. He is the 11th leading scorer and fourth best rebounder in NBA history. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990.

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