3. Kareem sets the franchise’s playoff scoring and rebounding highs
There’s something remarkable about the fact the playoff scoring and rebounding highs for a Milwaukee Bucks player were achieved in the same game of the very first postseason series the franchise and said player ever took part in, and that they have stood for close to 50 years since.
Of course, the fact it was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who set that record makes its exceptional nature a little less surprising.
Kareem was a unicorn long before the term came to be used in the NBA for players such as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kristaps Porzingis.
In his rookie season, Abdul-Jabbar led the Bucks to a 56-win season in just their second season in existence, setting up a Division Semi-Finals series with the Philadelphia 76ers.
That prospect proved to cause minimal trouble for the Bucks. Milwaukee romped by Philadelphia in a five-game, gentleman’s sweep, and in addition to Abdul-Jabbar setting franchise records in Game 5, the team also established the franchise’s collective high scoring mark of 156 points in Game 3.
Getting back to the way in which Abdul-Jabbar closed out his first playoff series, the Rookie of the Year’s ability to deliver 46 points on 18-of-36 shooting, along with 25 rebounds, was a striking announcement that the Bucks had arrived on the NBA scene armed with a generational talent.
It’s impossible to parse out all these years later, but I can’t imagine there’d have been many people who’d have been surprised if they’d been told that just over a year after that phenomenal performance against the 76ers, Abdul-Jabbar’s Bucks would be the NBA champions.