This Day In Lakers History: Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West Bring First NBA Championship To Los Angeles
Wilt Chamberlain, Lakers
Dick Raphael-USA TODAY Sports

For years and years in the 1960s, the Los Angeles Lakers would come up just short in winning an NBA championship as the Boston Celtics would always somehow come out on top. When the Lakers added Wilt Chamberlain to a team led by Jerry West prior of the 1969 season, things were expected to change.

However, the Lakers would lose a crushing Game 7 at home to the Celtics in that year’s Finals. When it was the New York Knicks across from them in the Finals the following year, the infamous ‘Willis Reed Game’ occurred in Game 7, once again leaving them just short of that elusive title.

The 1972 season changed everything.

The Lakers would reel off 33 straight wins during the regular season, a record that still stands today, and win 69 games total, a record that stood until 1996 and has still only been surpassed by two teams in NBA history.

In the playoffs, the Lakers ran through the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks before coming face-to-face once again with the Knicks. This time, the Lakers made sure to finish the job.

On May 7, 1972, Chamberlain and West led the Lakers to a 114-100 win over the Knicks to bring the city of Los Angeles its first ever NBA championship.

Finals MVP Chamberlain led the way in the clinching game with 24 points and 29 rebounds. Over the course of the five-game series Chamberlain averaged 19.4 points and 23.2 rebounds.

West added 23 points and nine assists, while Gail Goodrich, the team’s leading scorer in both the regular season and the Finals, finished with 25 points to dispatch of the Knicks.

This was the culmination of a long journey for the Lakers as time after time they came up just short. In the end, the frustrating losses ultimately made it that much sweeter when they got over that hump to win their first championship in Los Angeles. And they did so in dominant fashion.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Lakers Vs. Suns Game 3 Preview & TV Info: First Playoff Game At Staples Center Since 2013

The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to capitalize on their homecourt advantage when they host the Phoenix Suns in Game 3…

Lakers News: Rajon Rondo Set NBA Record For Assists By Reserve In Single Playoff

One of the biggest revelations during the Los Angeles Lakers’ championship run was veteran point guard Rajon…

Spencer Dinwiddie Believes Nets Would’ve Swept Lakers In NBA Finals If Healthy

Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie has been mentioned with the Los Angeles Lakers recently as the Woodland Hills…

NBA Rumors: Adam Silver Considering Numerous Options & Contingencies To Resume 2019-20 Season

The Los Angeles Lakers were coming off the high of defeating the Milwaukee Bucks and L.A. Clippers in…