Former NBA player and coach Paul Mokeski had his share of battles with the top centers from the 1980s and the 1990s. That list included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Kevin McHale and David Robinson.

But of that mix, it would appear Jabbar would be the hardest to guard. The reason for this is the Los Angeles Lakers legend’s patented skyhook which was pretty much hard to guard.

Mokeski admits that it was practically impossible to stop Jabbar once he goes up to attempt that shot. Hence, he shared an interesting tactic he did to at least make life difficult for the six-time NBA champion when he appeared on the Sports for All PH podcast.

“So how do you guard Kareem? If I let him get to his hook, you can just forget about it. So I stayed on his left side so he could not turn because I would be there and I’d make him go to his right shoulder. Now, he did get to his right shoulder and dunked it sometimes but also, he went on his right shoulder and dribbled it off his foot or traveled or missed it. So at that point, I got a 50-50 shot,” Mokeski stated.

But as far as he is concerned, Abdul-Jabbar was not the one he felt was hardest to guard. Instead, he named Malone and McHale as the tough ones because the two cagers were very unpredictable.

“The players that were really difficult to guard, it was Moses Malone and Kevin McHale. And the reason for that is, well, were Moses Malone and Kevin McHale better scorers than Kareem? No. Not at all, but I know what Kareem wanted to do. I never knew what Kevin McHale or Moses Malone wanted to do. They did crazy stuff that you can’t predict. And they could do multiple moves so you can’t just stick on one move,” Mokeski batted.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Lakers owner Jerry Buss (C) proudly displays the Larry O' Brien NBA World Championship trophy presented to him and the team after they defeated the Boston Celtics 111-100 for the victory at the Boston Garden, (June 9th). Lakers won the best-of-seven series 4-2. Flanking him are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (L) and Bob McAdoo (R). Getty Images

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