The 1972 NBA World Championship Series was played at the conclusion of the 1971–72 NBA season. The Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Eastern Conference Champion New York Knicks in five games. The Los Angeles Lakers got their first NBA championship since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis. This season’s edition of the Los Angeles Lakers had won a NBA-record 69 regular season games, including 33 wins in a row. They were led by Wilt Chamberlain, the NBA’s top rebounder and shot blocker that season. Guards Gail Goodrich and Jerry West were each among the NBA’s top ten scorers that season, spearheading the NBA’s top offense at 121 points per game. West also led the NBA in assists. The Lakers as a team led all NBA teams in rebounds and assists that season. Los Angeles had swept a solid 57-win Chicago Bulls team in the playoff’s opening round, then defeated the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks who won 63 games in six games to win the Western Conference. That historic series had matched Chamberlain against Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and West against Oscar Robertson. Having defeated tough Milwaukee, 48-win New York figured to be an easy formality for the Lakers. New York was a top defensive team that allowed just 98.2 points per game and made 47% of their shots as a team. Then had defeated 38-win Baltimore Bullets and then upset the 56-win Boston Celtics to win the Eastern Conference final. Television: ABC – Keith Jackson and Bill Russell announcing.
NBA Championship – 1972-’73 Topps #68