In short – because Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was too darn good to be stopped in any other way!
In the late 1960’s it was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar that reigned supreme in college basketball. Under Jabbar’s leadership (or as he was then called Ferdinand Lewis Elsindor Jr.) the UCLA bruin balance stood on 88 wins and only 2 losses. He led the team to 3 consecutive NCAA championships and was selected to the outstanding player 3 times in a row!
He was tall, strong, and virtually unstoppable under the basket. The only way to make it slightly even the odds was to change the rules – literally. So, in 1966 the league’s executives decided to ban dunks.
It did not help them. Jabbar just switched back to his famous ‘Hook Shot’, he developed in elementary school.
Bonus fact 1: Abdul-Jabar practiced Kung Fu under Master Bruce Lee, and even appeared in Lee’s movie ‘The Death Game’ (1978). Also, he appeared in several other films and TV shows, most notably in the 1980 comedy ‘Airplane’.
Bonus fact 2: Abdul-Jabar has a special permit to smoke marijuana in the state of California because he suffers from migraines that cause frequent headaches and prolonged nausea.
Bonus Fact 3: Playing in college he suffered a scratch in his left eye and subsequently decided to wear goggles for eye protection, which later became his trademark.