Winning Ways: A Look Back on the 1972 Season

Just as the 2010 Lakers did in their most recent title, the 1972 team gritted out the next two games of the Finals. They came home and won in convincing fashion to take a 3-2 lead. Traveling to Milwaukee for game 6 culminated with the Lakers biggest win of the playoffs and would send them to the finals against Walt Frazier and the New York Knicks.

The Bucks would prove to be the Lakers biggest challenge, as Los Angeles easily dispatched New York after a
Game 1 hiccup. The Lakers gained revenge from their seven-game defeat in the historic 1970 Finals and brought Los Angeles its first taste of Finals victory, while Wilt Chamberlain won Finals MVP after accruing an unreal 21 RPG mark.

When all was said and done, the 1972 Lakers team was truly one of the greatest teams the NBA has ever seen. All time greats West and Chamberlain were on the downward sides of their careers and West was finally able to secure a Championship despite already putting up statistics that would cement him as a league legend.

This specific team harbored five future Hall of Famers at one point: Baylor, West, Goodrich, Chamberlain and future coaching great Pat Riley. The first four on this list have their bright gold uniforms retired in the rafters of the now bustling Staples Center; forever leaving their embrace on the franchise and becoming undisputedly responsible for bringing the winning tradition to which we are all accustomed to in the city of Los Angeles.

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