In the history of North America’s sport, some of the great basketball franchises have taken part in the National Basketball Association (NBA) over the years. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the best franchises in the journey of the NBA. Lakers are considered as the best team for their effort and playing skills, which brings them success for the years.
However, for the last 50+ years, the Lakers have played with 50+ different teams; only the best team earns them a trophy. With that note, we have found out the best Lakers team of all time.
Which Lakers team has won the championship trophy?
Not one, two, or three Lakers franchises have won the NBA Finals, but they are seventeen in number. They started their journey in 1947. From that time, they are quite lucky for not only having such extraordinary players but also getting support from some excellent coaches also. The Lakers have won championships 17 times in 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, and 2020 also.
What is the best Lakers team of all time?
With 17 championship trophies, several teams had shown their magic of basketball. Deciding the best team was quite tough. But by comparing each of the years, 1971-72 teams can be considered as the best Lakers team of all time.
After achieving the championship of 1954, there was a long gap for the Lakers to win the NBA finals. In this time, Bill Sharman has joined the team as a coach. During the season of 1971-72, the Lakers used to have many star players like Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, and Jerry West. All of players were in their 30s and suffered a lot due to several injuries.
But the newly joined coach, new coach Bill Sharman showed some belief in the Lakers and started strict practice sessions. He had the introduced strict conditioning drills and implemented a running fast break-based offense. In the offseason, they played well against the Chicago Bulls and were able to beat their rivals in a hard-fought six-game series.
Bill Sharman’s strict guidance improved the game of the Lakers. They made a record 33-game win streak. Against the Bucks, The Lakers had made one of their best records with 69 wins. Most credits behind the victory were for Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain.
In the finals of NBA 1972, the Lakers had defeated the New York Knicks during the postseason.
Willis Reed was not able to play game one due to his knee injury. On the other hand, Bill Bradley hit 11 of 12 shots from the field in the 1st match. It looks like the Lakers were going to lose another final.
But, in the second match, Hairston had scored 12 points which helped the Lakers to even the series with a 106–92 win. The third match was also not in favor of the Lakers as DeBusschere missed all six of his field-goal attempts. But the Lakers were always the game-changer, and in the third match also they were able to get a 107–96 win on the home-court.
In the fourth game, Wilt Chamberlain amazed everyone, and the Lakers achieved a 116–111 win. In the fifth match, The Los Angeles Lakers regained their championship title after a long time with a score of 114–100. The guidance of Sharman and the dedication of the players worked out well.
The best Players of the 1971-72 season
No achievement is ever possible without a team effort. The championship title of the Lakers is also the same.
Bill Sharman was one of the best-dedicated coaches which the Lakers can ever have. He believed in them in their tough times and provided them with the best guidance. He was awarded as the NBA coach of the year.
Jerry West showed the team his dedication for a long twelve years and then got the championship title. He got the award of All-NBA First Team and All-NBA Defensive First Team. He was responsible for the victory of regular-season games, which also made a record with 69 wins.
Chamberlain also got the award of the All-NBA Defensive First Team and NBA Leader, Shooting Percentage (.649).
The Lakers had faced tough times and overcome that with a great team effort. Whether it is for the coach or the players, they worked as a united team which helps them to achieve a great score and win. This is what made the Lakers of 1971-72 great of all time.