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YouTube Gold: Bill Walton vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Two of the greatest NBA big men go at each other

Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers
INGLEWOOD, CA - 1987: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar #33 of the Los Angeles Lakers posts up against Bill Walton #5 of the Boston Celtics during a game played in 1987 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. 
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar both went to UCLA just a few years apart. They had very different careers in the NBA: Walton had a brilliant few years before injuries set in and derailed his career.

Jabbar was brilliant from Day One and proved to be a durable star, playing in the league for 20 years.

At the end of his career, Walton recovered from his injuries enough to get a three-year run in with the Boston Celtics.

At that point, of course, the Celtics had many run-ins with Jabbar’s Lakers.

In this video we see a battered but still great Walton pull off two great plays: first he takes a rebound and just slams it home. And second, he does something that we can only recall Wilt Chamberlain doing: he blocks Kareem’s sky hook.

Admittedly he got it from the back, unlike Chamberlain who went straight up and got it, but he still got it.

Walton was something else.

We learned something else really surprising about Walton too: his playing weight was 210.

That’s unbelievably thin for an NBA center, even in the ‘70s and ‘80s.