In the beginning there was Lew Alcindor and the skyhook. Then came UCLA, 3 NCAA championships, the Milwaukee Bucks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Los Angeles Lakers, 6 NBA MVP awards, 6 NBA championships, 38,000+ points, 17,000+ rebounds, 3,000+ blocked shots and way too many more accomplishments to list here. Travel back to square one with the offered 4/1/68 Sport Illustrated Vol. 28, #13 issue (EX, label partially removed), captioned with "Lew's Revenge: The Rout of Houston". This classic publication is graced with a cover photo of the graceful "7-footer" in air, about to launch the unstoppable shot that made him famous.
On 1/20/68 Lew Alcindor and the UCLA Bruins took on Elvin Hayes and the Houston Cougars in a match billed as the "Game of the Century". While this game resulted in a two-point win for Houston, the Bruins revenge was swift and mighty, coming a few months later in the 1968 NCAA Tournament semi-finals with a 101-69 UCLA romp. While this vintage SI issue is a worthy keepsake in its own right, value is greatly amplified by the inclusion of an ("8-9") strength "Lew Alcindor" version of Abdul-Jabbar's autograph, accompanied by the pertinent date inscription "1968", which indicates this signature was provided during Kareem's junior year at UCLA, several years before his well-known name change. Full photo LOA from JSA.