Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell retired prior to the 1969-70 NBA season, meaning the championship was wide open for the taking. With Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Elgin Baylor all in their 30’s, the Los Angeles Lakers knew their time was running out to win a title with this group.
In the regular season, the Lakers went just 46-36. This isn’t great by modern standards, but it was good enough for the No. 2 seed in the West behind the Atlanta Hawks. With the Celtics out of contention, the New York Knicks rose as a new superpower, winning 60 games during the regular season.
L.A. got out of the first round and swept the Hawks in the divisional finals to reach the championship for another chance at winning it all, this time against the Knicks.
It took seven more games, but ultimately the Knicks would prove to be the stronger team, winning the final game convincingly. West, Baylor, and Chamberlain were unsuccessful yet again as the Knicks won their first title in franchise history.
NBA regular season statistics
NBA regular season schedule and results
NBA playoffs statistics
NBA playoffs schedule and results