Six-time NBA champion Abdul-Jabbar claimed on Friday that Howard's "basketball IQ is not up to speed", but the Houston Rockets center has hit back in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.
"You can't win three Defensive Player of the Year trophies and be stupid. That can't be done," Howard said. "And I don't think any coach that has ever coached me has said I have a low IQ for basketball.
"Have I done some dumb stuff on the floor? Yes, every player has. Have I done some stupid things in life? Yes, it's life. We make mistakes and learn from them. It is what it is.
"I think I am very intelligent when it comes to the game of basketball. I have been playing since I was 3 years old. Each year, I get a little smarter."
Howard joined the Rockets in a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer.