Are the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers The Greatest Team of All Time?

Published on August 2nd, 2023 6:32 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

The Lakers of 1971/72 season were a force.  In photo:  Jersey number 13. Wilt Chamberlain. The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors. The 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. The 1972-73 Boston Celtics.

These are likely the four greatest single-season teams of all time.

For some, the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers stand above them all.


During the 1971-72 regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers finished with a record of 69-13.

This season included a 33 game winning streak, which still stands to this day and will likely never be topped.

The 1971-72 Lakers, who ended up easily winning the NBA title, included some of the greatest players of all time, including the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, just to name a few.

The 1971-72 Lakers were the highest-scoring team in the league (no surprise), averaging a total of 121 points per game, while giving up 108.7 points per game. Wilt Chamberlain was a menace at both end of the floor, averaging over 19 rebounds per game.


The 33 game winning streak started on November 5th, 1971, with a 110-106 win over the Baltimore Bullets. This win ended a two-game losing streak for the Lakers, and was a welcome development for the team.

The Lakers kept winning and winning and winning, driven largely by an offense that was running at breakaway speed. The team was playing as a cohesive unit and beating their opponents senseless, sometimes winning by as many as 40 points.

The New Year came and the Lakers were STILL in the midst of a winning streak that kept stretching and stretching. In their last game of the 1971 calendar year, the Lakers beat Seattle 122-106, stretching their winning streak to 30 games. What a way to end the year.

The new year brought three more wins - on January 9th, 1972, the Lakers stretched their winning streak to a record 33 games, destroying Atlanta by a score of 134-90.

Would the Lakers ever lose again?


On January 9th, 1972, the Lakers travelled to Milwaukee to take on a very, very good Bucks team that finished the regular season 63-19.

The Lakers were in the middle of a 6-game road trip, and they were going to have to work very hard to extend their winning streak to 34 games.

The Lakers were completely flat that night, shooting just 35-89 from the field.

The Bucks, led by the 39 points of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, were electric, clearly wanting to send a strong message to the rest of the league.

The Lakers were crushed that night, losing 120-104, ending their winning streak at 33 games.


The Lakers would get the last laugh, however, as they would win the title that season.

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