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YouTube Gold: Kareem vs. Bruce Lee

A true battle of the giants

On the set of ‘Game of Death’
 American actor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Chinese American martial artist and actor Bruce Lee on the set of ‘Game of Death’, written and directed by Robert Clouse, 1978.
Photo by Concord Productions Inc./Golden Harvest Company/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Bruce Lee is still legendary as the greatest martial artist of all time. He didn’t actually make that many movies, just a handful really, but even if you never saw any you may have heard of them: Fist Of Fury, The Way Of The Dragon and most of all Enter The Dragon are legendary for a reason.

Before he acted, he taught and among his students was basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and actually, Jabbar was pretty good.

In his final, unfinished movie, The Game of Death - Lee died during filming - he spars with his old student.

Lee was 5-8; Jabbar is 7-2.

As we like to say, mismatches go both ways. Kareem could put power behind punches and kicks that Lee could never match. But of course Lee was much quicker and could do things the much taller Kareem could not.

However, Kareem could fight on his knees and still reach Lee while protecting himself.

But truly, the most impressive thing in this clip?

Kareem’s sunglasses never move. Bruce Lee - the Bruce Lee - is choking him at one point and still, the glasses don’t budge.

It’s amazing.