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Wilt-Kareem revisited: A blocked shot for the ages


I'm going to beat LRob to the reminiscing thread today. Or maybe actually start another.

I received an e-mail from a gentleman back east. He said he enjoyed the Wilt-Kareem post from the other day and relayed to me a game in which he witnessed what he thought was the greatest blocked shot of all time. I replied to his e-mail and asked him why he didn't post it in the comments area and wondered if he'd give me permission to do so. He was actually hoping that maybe I'd use it in a post.

So, to get the evening started and take your minds off gambling websites and the odds-on favorite Miami Heat, here's one man's account of the greatest blocked shot he's ever seen:

The reason I'm writing is, your article reminded me of a spectacular block that Wilt Chamberlain made on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  I think it may have been a playoff game, possibly in 1972 (I was only 12 at the time, so the memory is a little fuzzy).

In any case, Abdul-Jabbar received the ball on some type of [transition situation], where it was only Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar in the Bucks' frontcourt.  Kareem was to the right of the lane, just below the free-throw line extended. Wilt was about half way between Kareem and the basket.  Abdul-Jabbar decided to shoot his "Sky Hook" from that position and put up a beautiful, high-arching shot toward the basket.

Chamberlain had no chance to close the distance and try to "bump" Kareem ... and therefore the shot ... off target. So, he squatted down as low as he could get and exploded straight up in the air, big right hand extended as far as he could reach ... and he blocked the "Sky Hook" at it's highest point!  It was one of the two most amazing shot blocks I've ever seen! (The other was David Thompson's block of Bill Walton's hook shot in the NCAA semifinal basketball game in ... was it 1975?).

As the ball went sailing out of bounds, I remember Kareem just standing there, staring at Chamberlain in disbelief! I watched a lot of Bucks basketball back then and I don't remember ever seeing anyone else even come close to blocking the "Sky Hook." Maybe your research department can find the specific details.  Anyway, I just thought you might enjoy that story.

Terry Ruggles

Sorry, Terry. No such department exists at The Times. But fortunately for you, Lakers fans are about to search their memory banks to recall if they remember that play.

What about it gang? Anybody remember that game and shot?

-- Dan Loumena

Photo: Wilt Chamberlain started his professional basketball career with the Harlem Globetrotters in 1958. Credit: Associated Press

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That is a VERY cool story. Wilt was, after all, a record-holding high jumper in his youth. He could get UP there.

Wilt could do other blocking miracles as well.

From the NBA Encyclopedia, playoff version:

Chamberlain was one of the few players of his day who had the sheer strength to block a dunk. In a game against New York in 1968, Walt Bellamy, the Knicks' 6-11, 245-pound center, attempted to dunk on Chamberlain. "Bellamy reared back," one spectator who was there later recalled to the Philadelphia Daily News, "and was slamming the ball down when Wilt put his hand above the top of the rim and knocked the ball off the court. He almost knocked Bellamy off the court, too."

Wilt was a bad mother-- (Shut your mouth!)

Another great piece Dan. Here's some classic blocked shots from Wilt, with more than one on Kareem:


Floyd Mayweather is nothing but a slime bucket...

Because he is so afraid of losing to Manny Pacquiao...He has now resorted to racial slurs, to get the heat off him for ducking PacMan...

Even though Manny has bent over backwards to accommodate his testing...Floyd keeps looking for excuses and keeps changing the testing guidelines, to the point where he knows Manny won't agree, so he has his excuse not to fight...

Can you imagine, if we meet the Heat in the Finals, Kobe, PJ and the Lakers would accuse LeBron of PEDs, and would change the league guidelines on testing.

"LeBron we won't play you till you are tested for PEDs." "But I have been tested," replies LeBron and the Heat. "Don't matter, I believe you are a cheat, and for us to play, you have to draw blood before and after each game of the series." We have to go pass the NBA guidelines, and I want to make new rules, because we're the Lakers...

Now how freaking ridiculous is that!!! But that is what is going on in this whole joke of a promotion of a fight...What about Tom Brady saying the same to Peyton Manning and the Colts...

But now Floyd has gone racial...His rant was insulting, childish and downright ridiculous...

"He is yellow"
"You want me to fight this midget"
"I'll make him some rice and a sushi roll"

First, Filipinos don't make sushi, that is Japanese. Second, if Manny said some remarks like this, the African American community would have been in an uproar, and Oprah would have made a big deal on her show the next day...

Now with everyone finally seeing the light...Floyd is getting pressure for ducking the fight. His response, well good judgement as usual...he goes on a 10 min tirade full or racial slurs and insults...

Manny being a gentleman and class act, was diplomatic, not throwing fuel on the fire, and simply said, "I haven't seen the video, and if so, that's unfortunate."

Sad day when some young stupid punk, can delegate a whole sports governing body, and make a joke of it. Now more credibility goes up in smoke, sadly Boxing can't afford that, as they are hanging on dearly for what fan base they have left...

So great job, can take your neck bones and collard greens and watermelon and shove it up your are nothing but a low life and a COWARD...

Great link. But i can't help noticing how high Wilt got compared to where the rim was. He was getting pretty high, but I think the game has elevated some since then. Compare Shannon Brown getting almost head level with the rim to block a shot in the playoffs last year to Wilt springing to almost head level to block teardrop shots. The players of yesteryear didn't seem to expect anyone to block anything, really.

I know, I know. Sacrilege. But my theory is that while Wilt was as good as the best nowadays, the rank and file in the NBA back then was pretty earthbound.

LEW- Boxing ain't what it used to be. These two guys should have fought two years ago, back when anyone cared. A sad state of affairs.

Hey wes,

Thanks go to LRob and the gang for tripping down memory lane earlier this week and to Terry Ruggles for wanting to join in.


Mayweather isn't fighting anymore this year because he made so much money on his last two fights that he's going to lay low for another tax year. Honest, the more he makes, the more the government takes, as we all know. That's no excuse for ducking Pacquiao earlier this year. And that rant is so bad, Mayweather's handlers aren't even releasing a statement about it. I like the way Pacquiao said simply, 'The video speaks for itself.'


Floyd Mayweather...a full 5'7", is calling Manny Pacquaio a midget...

i saw wilt block kareem's shot 1 time. kareem was in the middle of the paint, about 10-12 away. i was too young to know of him at ucla, so when i began following the lakers in '70, i always disliked him because he was unstoppable. then when he punched happy hairston in the gut one game, all l.a. fans hated him.

meantime, my memory recalls that wilt was playing kareem tight on the hook shot and after kareem jumped off his left leg, and extended his hand high above his head, somehow wilt was able to reject it. i remember having hope that maybe kareem could be stopped after that, but that was the only time i ever saw his hooked blocked in his career.

i recall listening to a game against the cavs when wilt blocked 4 consecutive shots on 1 offensive sequence. i attended the 162-99 blowout against the warriors in the '72 season when in short minutes wilt had 30, 20, & 12 blocks.

i've seen old video of his young days where he stood approximately back from a player seemingly about 6'6" to 6' 8" and blocked the guys outside shot with ease. i saw elmore smith who once had 17 blocks, i saw hakeem as a youngster jump to ungodly heights to block shots, but no one was better than wilt and that includes dhoward today. wilt was cheated because blocks weren't an official stat until the end of his career. russell did it with length. wilt used that AND ability to reach things no other man could.

even kareem as a youngster could get his head to the rim when he jumped. i never saw him do the devastating, demoralizing blocks wilt did. shaq is dreaming that he's as good as wilt. no comparison.

Manny is 5' 6.5". Mayweather is a half inch taller...

phred - I think the mean athletic ability in the NBA has gone up, but the best were still the best - I mean, the "puny" Jerry West got up a measured 16" above the rim, Shannon or no Shannon (granted, Jerry had monkey arms). I think big men haven't changed so much, and in fact I think they've gotten less athletic (at least in the recent generation). I'm sure in another 5 to 10 years that might change.


Yep, you beat me to it tonight. But hang on cause I got some good stuff coming. Anyway I don't remember that particular play. I was a year younger than the gentleman from back east (Terry Ruggles) at the time, so my memory is even One of the things I learned in doing this whole research piece is that Wilt blocked a LOT of Kareem shots.

I wish someone would go back and record Chamberlain and Russell blocks. And even Kareem's from his first few seasons.

I thought I read that someone took on that project once. I want to say it was one of Philly's old announcers (maybe Dave Zinkoff) or someone like that.

Since all the treads on Wilt and Kareem, and LRob's wealth of info...

I regret so much, I wasn't able to watch any of Wilt's body of work, except for a few clips and ESPN Classic games...

I knew Wilt had his own personal record book, with some records set in stone, and will never be broken (100 pts in a game for instance)...

After this week, I can see how many "Old Schoolers" say he was the GOAT...

The more I see and learn, the more I think it's a credible statement...

my mistake in the previous post. meant to say wilt stood approximately 8-10 feet from the jump shooter and easily blocked his shot.

Note: wilt high jumped 6' 10", so he had some serious athleticism. in his older age, when video of him was more common, he probably didn't jump like he did when he scored 100, or got 55 & 45 rebounds. still, he was a great shot blocker when he left the game, and a great rebounder too. what he didn't have in specific skills, he more than made up for in athleticism.

kiki vandeweghe, was one player who watched him play into his 40's and 50's at ucla and still tells stories of how he monster dunked on guys as payback.

Dan- taxes. I never thought of that. Points to journalistic cynicism. Sigh.

I am cynical enough to not believe that anybody would subject themselves to boxing without at least a solid recompense for the significantly shortened lifespan and dramatically increased odds of some kind of mental dehabilitation.

So I won't rant about how boxing is the most corrupt sport known to man, and a blight on sportmanship everywhere. But I will stand by my original position that Don King should burn in Cleveland for all eternity.

Yeah, it gets crazy with some of the stats that turn up from back then.

Four guys in the era since '73 have done the quadruple double, but it's pretty obvious that Wilt and Russell had a few (or more than a few) before that, and only one guy has done the the double triple-double: Wilt. 02\02\68 22 pts 25 rebounds 21 assists. Can you imagine the hoopla if that were done today?

These are some awesome posts. I remember listening to the Lakers with West and Wilt when I was a little kid. It's alot of fun reading this stuff on Wilt and Kareem the last few days.

You know the thought just hit me. Laker Tom's favorite player was Wilt. Bummer that he isn't here for this. You out there getting all this LT? You should come back now.

lewstrs, wilt wasn't a great interview and he wasn't overly friendly with any fan who wasn't an attractive female. if i had to pick GOAT, it's somewhere between kareem & wilt. it isn't jordan. they were all phenomenal and at their greatest, they dominated. wilt dominated in a way that no other could or will. kobe's begun to rival jordan's success. kareem was very successful but people remember his 30 year old + days with magic and think that's what he was about. kareem's 20 years & 38k points get the nod for excellence & longevity over wilt, but wilt played about 12 years (dont think it was 13), scored 30k, and is STILL the rebound leader by plenty. he's probably the greatest.

as for him being capable and other guys being short, you could make a case for that early in the 60's, but i started watching in the 70's and there were plenty of 6'11 & 7' centers. none came close to excelling the way he did, except kareem. Wilt...GOAT, in my humble opinion.

63- I agree. When you measure human performance in just about anything, the median and the mean increase, but the highest range remains the same. But I think the greater talent pool available still gives the edge to modern players. I think that the stars of today are taller and can jump higher, but the stars of yesteryear are still competitive. But that, and the changes in the NBA rules would change Wilt’s stats to something closer to today’s averages, so we can’t get carried away.

Part 4 of the 5 of the Kareem-Wilt series. The 1972 playoffs.

How big was this matchup? Consider LA had the best record in league history at that time 69-13. The Bucks were no slouch either at 63-19. In fact, this is the only time in NBA history that two teams from the same conference has won as many as 63 games each.

So in essence this series was for the World Championship.

1972 Playoffs Gm 1
April 9, 1972
Kareem's on Beam as Bucks Cream Lakers in First Duel
Kareem Abdul Jabbar scored 33 points, leading the
defending champion Milwaukee Bucks to a 93-72 victory
over the Los Angeles Lakers in the opening game of
their best-of-seven NBA Western Conference final playoff

The Lakers trailed, 37-34, at the half but scored just eight
points in the third quarter. Their 72 total was the lowest
ever for the Los Angeles team.

Milwaukee surged to a 68-42 lead at the end of the third
quarter and built the margin to 31 points at 75-44 early in
the fourth period.

Bob Dandridge scored 18 for Milwaukee and Lucius Allen
15, but the story was the low tally of the Laker aces.

Jerry West had only 10 points for the game and Gail
Goodrich eight. Forward Happy Hairston was the leading
Laker scorer with 16.

Milwaukee's super-center, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, was intimidating
on defense while scoring 33 points and limiting Wilt Chamberlain
to 10 points.

"We maintained our defense the entire game," said Costello
after Milwaukee stopped Los Angeles 93-72 in the opener
of their best of seven Western Conference finals.

"Milwaukee's defense is always good," said West, the great
Laker guard who had one of his worst games with 10 points. "It
was just a combination of their great defense and our being off. I just
don't ever remember being off as much as I was today."

Sharman said that a five-day layoff after sweeping a playoff
series from the Chicago Bulls hurt the Lakers, "I don't want
to alibi," said Sharman, "but the layoff did hurt us."

"All I can do against Jabbar is try to alter his
rhythm. You know, force him to take the hard shot.
"He usually takes a lot more shots against us. It's
as though he's really trying to prove something. I
guess he's trying to prove that he can score on Chamberlain.”

phred - we need to remember that the median immaturity quotient and celebrity bs quotient have gone up with the modern players as well. I think the players back then generally had nothing else BUT basketball on a lot of levels and didn't make nearly as much (after you got out of the top 1%), so they tended to leave it more on the floor than the modern "wussy" I'm-too-tired-my-elbow-hurts-I'm-not-playing-more-than-32-minutes-a-game player. (I'm kidding on the whining, but back then a lot of guys would play all 48 minutes a lot of times.)

I think modern defensive schemes and changes in the rules might hamper Wilt, but I think he'd still tear up the boards, he was GREAT at finding the open man when double and triple teamed, and his "feel" for team defense while still getting the block is unmatched. So, scoring might drop to almost human levels, but rebounds and blocks would still be higher than anyone else in the game at the moment. Or so I think.

Plus, he never fouled out of a game.

1972 playoffs
Gm 2 April 12, 1972
Bucks fuming after one point loss
McMillian leads Los Angeles over Milwaukee to tie series

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (UPI) Jim McMillian scored a career-high
42 points but it was a basket by Happy Hairston which proved
decisive Wednesday night as the Los Angeles Lakers edged
the Milwaukee Bucks 135-134 and evened their National Basketball
Association Western playoff finals at a game apiece.

Hairston put the Lakers into a 135-132 advantage with six
seconds left in the game as he took a pass from Jerry West
and even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's field goal left the defending
champions a point short.

The final minute was a wild one. McMillian's two free throws
put the Lakers ahead 131-130 with the clock showing 1:01.
With 56 seconds left Jon McGlocklin missed and Wilt
Chamberlain rebounded for the Lakers, setting up a 20-foot
jumper by West and a three point lead. Jabbar cut it to one and then
Hairston sank his layup that won, to the delight of a sellout
crowd of 17,505 at the Forum.

"That was probably the most significant victory of the year
for us," declared Los Angeles Laker Coach Bill Sharman
following his club's 133-134 triumph which squared the playoff
series with Milwaukee at one apiece.

"In terms of statistics and importance," the 6-foot-5 McMillian admitted,
"I've never played a better game." Los Angeles' slick sophomore was
16 for 25 from the floor to offset a 40-point performance by Milwaukee's
Kareem Jabbar. West had 28 for the Lakers.

The Bucks were upset with referees Manny Sokol and Don
Murphy, who called 27 fouls against them to 18 for the Lakers.

"Do you think we were that much more aggressive?" Oscar
Robertson asked a reporter. "It's fortunate the game is on
film. People can check on all the mistakes the officials

West finished with 28 points. He was 10 for 30 from the field,
missing nine straight shots in the second half.
Gail Goodrich, the other half of the Lakers' backcourt
combination, scored 25 points and Hairston collected 17.
For Milwaukee, Lucius Allen added 23 points and Curtis
Perry chipped in with 18.

Happy Hairston scored the field goal with six seconds left
after a pass from Jerry West. "Hairston traveled along the
baseline," argued Buck Coach Larry Costello. "He ran at
least 2 1/2 steps and never put the ball down."
Costello also asserted that official Manny Sokol was out of
position when West lost control of the ball, which hit the official
before West retrieved it.

Wilt Chamberlain grabbed 17 rebounds for the winners while
Curtis Perry had 12 and Jabbar seven for the Bucks.

Complaining about the refs?!? Say it ain't so!

1972 Playoffs
Gm 3 April 14, 1972

Wilt snuffs Kareem, LA back in business

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The Los Angeles Lakers, their prestige
tarnished and confidence shaken just six days before,
suddenly have the Milwaukee Bucks' NBA crown in serious
jeopardy. The Lakers, just a basket or two from becoming
knockout victims for most of the fourth quarter, rallied behind
Gail Goodrich's six points in the last one minute and 35 seconds
for a 108-105 victory Friday night.

Humiliated 93-72 in the series opener last Sunday after their
record 69 regular season victories, the Lakers now have a
2-1 lead in the best of seven Western Conference playoff finals.
Goodrich scored 30 points. Jim McMillian 27 and Jerry
West 22 for the Lakers but Wilt Chamberlain may have made
the biggest contribution of all. The 7-foot-l veteran was
outscored 33-7 and outrebounded 21-14 by 7-foot-2 Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar. But Chamberlain blocked nine shot's, six of them
by Abdul-Jabbar, and distracted the Milwaukee superstar
to the point where he made only 15 of 37 shots,

"I guess I'd have to say it was my best game against him
in some time, but this is a team game and I had help,"
Chamberlain said. "You can't worry about trying to beat
Milwaukee by stopping him cold, because it's "an impossible

Costello said he had "heard so much about Wilt and Kareem
I'm tired of talking about it." "Wilt played a great game,
but I think Jabbar is better," he said. "Choose any one player
in the league and I'd take Kareem. I think any coach would, too."

The teams swapped leads 28 times, with the Bucks up by as
many as four in the fourth quarter. Their last lead was
101-100 with 2:29 left on a basket by Lucius Allen.
But then Goodrich rebounded a missed shot by Oscar Robertson
and sank two free throws to put Los Angeles ahead 102-101
with 1:35 left. The Lakers then pulled what Bucks' Coach Larry
Costello said amounted to a four-point play. A shot by Allen was
deflected to Happy Hairston,whose long lead pass found
Goodrich open for an easy layup which made it 104-101.
Allen and Goodrich exchanged baskets and Chamberlain
clinched the victory with two free throws with five seconds left.

"It was a very important win." Laker Coach Bill Sharman
said. "Goodrich got the key 'points and Wilt's rebounding
and blocked shots saved us down the stretch."

Costello said the Bucks would have been better off staying
away from Chamberlain. "Wilt will block shots dose
around the basket, and you just can't challenge him when you
let him get in there because he has too much experience," Costello
said. "We've, got to try those 15 footers sometimes. "But we had
a four point lead and just couldn't extend it," he said. "We just
couldn't open it up and we had the situations to do it. But I think
we'll come back. It's far from over."

The Bucks' 58-46 rebounding advantage enabled them to get
off 105 shots, and they made 45 as compared to 41 of 88 for Los
Angeles. However, they sank only 15 of 28 free throws to 26
of 36 for the Lakers.

1972 playoffs
Gm 4 April 16, 1972

Jabbar Stars, Gets Help As Bucks Dump Lakers

Coach Larry Costello of the Milwaukee Bucks knows what
he can expect from Kareem Abdul Jabbar. But he isn't always
sure about Curtis Perry and Bob Dandridge. Jabbar, celebrating
his 25th birthday, did his usual top job-31 points, 16 rebounds,
seven blocked shots—as the Bucks routed the Los Angeles
Lakers 114-88 Sunday to even their Western Conference National
Basketball Association playoff at two games each.

Perry, the inconsistent rookie who had only two points and
seven rebounds in Friday night's loss, And Dandridge
complemented Jabbar perfectly Sunday at Milwaukee to buoy
Costello's hopes in game 5 at Los Angeles Tuesday night.

Perry hit for 11 points and grabbed 19 rebounds Sunday
While Dandridge collected 24 points and 15 rebounds.

"Perry was fantastic," Costello said. "He made some key
steals and was going to the boards better. When we get rebounding
and shot blocking from Kareem and Perry, we have them thinking."

For Abdul-Jabbar, it was a particularly happy-day. It was'
his 25th birthday and the crowd at the end happily sang that
song for him. Never demonstrative, Kareem said in the dressing
room with a little more enthusiasm than he usually permits himself:
"Now, I think we can do it."

And quietly in the corner of the dressing room, with only
one reporter present, Coach Larry Costello said:
"We're going to end it in six. We are only going to Los Angeles
one more time.'

The only Laker who came close to earning his salary was
Jim McMillian, who hit 9 of 15 shots for 18 points. But
McMillian matched his mates with ineffective defense.

Jerry West continued his series-long slump, missing 14 of 23
shots. He led the Lakers with 24 points, but he was not proud
of his efforts. "I'd give a guy credit if it were good defense,"
moaned Jerry, "but it isn't. I had every chance today, but I failed.
In the first half I could have kept us in the game but didn't."
West missed 11of 16 in the first half including
three late in the second

Captain Oscar Robertson contributed little except 10
assists to the Milwaukee cause. Like West, no one
can figure out why the superstar guards are in a
slump. It could be age.

West, the NBA's all-time playoff scoring leader
(30.9), is shooting only 35 percent and averaging 21
points in this series. Robertson stands at 36 percent
and is averaging a paltry 10.8.

Gail Goodrich, the other half of the Lakers' 1-2 punch,
was totally ineffective as well, missing 12 of 17 shots
to finish with a paltry 12 points. "They just beat us every
way possible," said Gail. "I can't explain it, and I don't
really want to talk about it any more."

Chamberlain scored only five points, reducing his
series average to 8.2, the lowest among the 10 starters.

The game was far more physical than the Lakers
would prefer to be involved in. It was more like
an alley fight, and the Lakers are basically a team of

Laker coach Bill Sharman, his voice barely audible,
said the entire story of the game was the lack of
effort on the backboards.

"We didn't box out and we weren't aggressive," he
uttered. "I hope the fans in Los Angeles react with
the same enthusiasm that fans here do. It could play
a big part in the series."
That one comment about the Lakers being a finesse team kind of shocked me.
Hard imagining a team with Wilt and Hap being called finesse, but then Jim Mc and Goody were def more finesse.

interesting that west had a very bad game that series against the bucks in '72. i remember the lakers winning 4-2 but am fuzzy about some of the details.

in the finals against the kincks that same year, west shot poorly throughout. i remember chick hearn saying west was way off in one game when he was 10-28. then, when the lakers won, he commented that west started to shoot better by making.....10-28 shots.

footer, i agree that wilt could block and rebound better than any human alive, and nobody could rival his overall contribution. he'd still score a lot, not 100, maybe not even avg 50, but he'd probably still lead the league in scoring, imo.

speaking of how much the old school guys played....i remember kareem's backup in milwaukee was a 6' 9" bald, sorry, scrub named toby kimble. i loved to see him enter the game, but he only played 3 minutes per game while kareem played 45 minutes which is unheard of by today's standards. i remember kareem being left in the game against the lakers after picking up his 3rd foul in the 1st qtr. things you wouldn't see today. he was a dominant guy whether you liked him or not.

I remember that playoffs and finals were Jerry West's worst ever. He couldn't buy a basket. I remember the ball going round and round the hoop like water in a toilet bowl, and then popping out. But this was the year he finally won. Go figure....

Man LRob, thanks so much.

Jeff (The Real One) | Wednesday, 01 September 2010 at 2:23 pm
They will not only use this anger and rage to hoist banner 18 but bank on 19 if there’s no lockout.

The Celtic’s will be primed to make their own bid for the best team and make sure LA remembers that in the matchup of titles for each team recently, they have 3 LA has 2. And if it came against LA…even better! Head to head it would be 3-1…

That’s a legacy the big three can retire to. Along with Shaq having 6 rings to Kobe’s 5 and JO adding 2 to his case at home.

As for Rondo…3 by 26 years old puts him ahead of CP3 and DWill no problem. Plus he’ll win more before he’s done.

When his career’s over…he’ll be looking down at Kobe in the Ring category!


Cmeltic fans are delusional. Here is an example from Celtic Town, their Blog...

One of my favorite parts of the playoffs is the actual between game comments by the coaches, players and media. As the excitement is this series builds, I thought some of these comments and articles would help us get a feel for the series

April 17 comments....the day before game 6
Lakers-Bucks Game A Must
Los Angeles (AP)
The Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers have each won the
games they really had to win. But tonight's match at the forum
is a MUST game for both. The teams are tied 2-2 in the
best-of-7 series for the National Basketball Association's Western
Conference championship.

The nationally televised game starts at 10 p.m., EST. The Forum
is a 17,500-seat sellout and, with Los Angeles blacked out
for home television, five sites will carry closed-circuit telecast

At the Laker practice, Los Angeles forward Happy Hairston,
admitted: "I know my responsibility is to box Curtis Perry off
the boards and I have to concentrate on that in the game tomorrow

“Rebounding is the key to the series, said Lakers coach Sharman.
“We have to be more aggressive.”

Bucks coach Larry Costello oozed confidence after his team
26-point victory in game 4. Milwaukee’s two wins in the series
were by a total of 47 points. The Lakers won by one and three

I’ve analyzed the statistics and we've beaten them in every
department but free throws," said Costello. "We're going to
win it in six.”

In the four games the Bucks Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has averaged
34.2 points. Wilt Chamberlain of the Lakers, who has only 33
points in series, has a slight rebounding edge of 66-64 over Jabbar.

Jabbar did not sound as confident as his coach. “It’s been a
strange series. Each team has had its ups and downs. The home
court advantage might turn out to be a factor yet, but I hope not.”

I wish that some classic games and series were readily available on dvd or the internet. I would like to see some of these legends who played before my time, not in a highlight reel but in the original game broadcast. I can't even find the Original Dream Team games anywhere, and that was in the 90's.

Doug - Toby Kimble! Maaaaaaaan, the things we remember.

Kareem was such a force, but Wilt battled (even though he was nearing the end of his career).

Jerry sucked it up (or sucked it up for Jerry), but he was still Jerry and gave assists and major defense and timely baskets throughout. It was good we had Stumpy shooting the lights out when we needed him to.

from the other chat;

"I would love for Bynum to destroy Shaq"

-KB Blitz.,

Just giving the highlights.

Brings back memories of the great duels between Wilt and Bill Russell. Thanks for sharing them.

April 17, 1972

Sharman listens to descriptions -- laughs

Sharman, the Los Angeles Lakers' coach, listens to some
of the descriptions others have of him and laughs.
Most people say he's a tough coach. Some of those who
have played for him call him a fanatic about basketball.

And Rick Barry, who also played under him, begins by
describing Sharman as "a fine person and a straight person,"
but then adds "he is the narrowest individual I've ever known."

When Rick Barry says that about Bill Sharman he's talking
strictly in a basketball sense.

Right now, the Lakers' coach, the intense, dark-haired former
Boston Celtics' star who still is regarded by many as the foremost
free throw shooter in perhaps the entire history of basketball, isn't
concerning himself much with the way people are describing him
as he is with the way his ball club is trying to go about knocking off
the Milwaukee Bucks as NBA champs.

Sharman pushes himself no less than he does his players. Actually he
has received some advice from his doctor about how to conduct
himself in these playoffs but he finds it hard, if not downright impossible,
to heed it.

The Lakers' coach, who doesn't have an overly strong set of vocal cords
to begin with, strained them by abusing them the last few weeks of the
regular season. As a result, Sharman's vocal muscles became tense and
tight and all the subsequent yelling he did on the bench didn't do them any
good at all.

"The doctor told him not to yell." says his wife. Dorothy. "But he forgets."
It isn't that Sharman forgets so much as it is that he can't always control
himself once the ball game begins.

Jerry West says he has never played for any coach who is so involved
in the game or who motivates his players more than Sharman does. The
Lakers' coach simply doesn't believe in leaving anything to chance.
Sharman is forever writing himself notes. Some of them are long; others
short. Here's a sample of one he wrote himself the other day:
1. Call Mike about car insurance.
2. Go to bank.
This was one of his hurried short ones.

One thing he doesn't have to write himself a note about are
these playoffs. Down through the years, the Lakers have always
managed to find a way to lose the big one—that last big ball game.
This time Sharman has dedicated himself to seeing it doesn't happen

His dedication really is nothing new. Twenty-two years ago, when
baseball perhaps meant even more to him than basketball, he was
signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers' organization and sent first to Pueblo
from where he moved up to Fort Worth.

Andy High, the old Dodgers' scout, looked him over with Fort Worth
in April of 1951 and his report on the 22-year-old outfielder still is in
the Dodgers' office in Los Angeles. It reads:
'Has natural ability. intelligence and intense desire to be a good player.
Hitting will be spotty for awhile, but he will come fast with experience."

Later that year, Sharman moved up to the Dodgers and was sitting in
one of the corners on the bench in the Polo Grounds the day Bobby
Thomson hit his "miracle" home run.

Sharman was sent back down to the minors again for more
seasoning and High took another look at him the following year.
"Getting better as he goes along." reported the Dodgers' scout the
second time around. "Could make it all the way."

Andy High didn't know it at the time but he may have been calling the turn 20 years in advance.

Phred - this one is for you since you referenced this great writer in one of posts about a week ago.

April 18, 1972 (Between gm 4 and 5)

Goliath 1 (Wilt) has no chance

Los Angeles Times Service
LOS ANGELES - I was too young for Dempsey-Tunney. I
never saw Seabiscuit and War Admiral. Swaps and Nashua.
I only read about the Monitor and Merrimac,
Cain and Abel, Lincoln-Douglas. I missed Tildn-Borotra,
St. George and the Dragon, David and Goliath,
Ahab and Murray Moby Dick.

Take any two matchups in history — divine, human,
real, fake, mythological or documentary. Take Hitler vs.
Stalin, Napoleon vs. Wellington, John Wayne vs. Sitting
Bull, Errol Flynn vs. Hirohito.

You couldn't cast a better adversarial drama than Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar vs. Wilton Norman Chamberlain. Not
Warren William against the fury, Cagney against the warden,
a match race, a prize fight, a Wimbledon final, a Melville novel.
This is Goliath vs. Goliath. This is theater, baby! Bette Davis going
blind. Humphrey Bogart saying "Play it again, Sam." Warner Bros,
would give a fortune for this one. Busby Berkeley would stage it in
sequins. John Ford would film it against the setting sun.

It has one trouble. Its outcome is as foregone as World War II.
Wilt Chamberlain gets the General Custer role in this western.
The fadeout will see him carried out on his shield, as usual.
I wouldn't give Chamberlain's role in history to a dog act.
I once thought Jess Willard had the spot on the bill that
should have gone to Karnow's Monks or the Meglin Kiddies
or The Shadow in Ted Lewis' routine. Poor old Jess was
champion between Jack Johnson and Jack Dempsey.
He was the great white help! History's straight man. He
got the pie right in the face.

But how would you like to be Wilt Chamberlain? He came
into the league when Bill Russell was in it. He'll go out of the
league with Kareem Jabbar in it. With enemies like that, who
needs friends?

As someone once wrote, 37 players have scored more than 60
points in a night in pro basketball. And 32 of them were named
Wilt Chamberlain. (Three were Elgin Baylor and the others were
Joe Fulks, Jerry West and George Mikan.)

Wilt Chamberlain once scored 4,029 points in an 80-
game season. That comes out to 50 points plus a game.

He should have been the most devastating performer
the game has ever seen. He wasn't. And isn't. He's the
filling in the sandwich. He's "Who was that guy again
between the eras of Russell and Jabbar? Began with a 'C."

He got traded once for Paul Neumann, Connie Dierking
and Lee Shaffer. Honest. He got traded another time for
Jerry Chambers, Archie Clark and Darrall Imhoff. Imagine
Henry Aaron going for Hal Lanier, Tito Fuentes and
Ken Henderson and you've got it. Imagine Babe Ruth
going for two utility outfielders and relief pitcher.

Bill Russell deftly separated Wilt Chamberlain from the
championship every year but one. Kareem Jabbar has taken
up the slack. Willis Reed found it easy in his one year at it.
In fairness to Wilt, he was coming off a crippling tendon injury.
In fairness to Reed, he could hardly walk the last three games.

Wilt must wonder what he did wrong. There seems to be
something about him even the Almighty wants to cup his
hands and say "Wilt, you're not hustling!"

They said he scored too much; so he went from 4,000
points down to 1,600 points. He changed his whole
emphasis on the game. In his private life, Wilt is not a
guy who opts for Islam or the occult or any other separatist
technique. He gets on TV to say he's proud to be an American,
and acts like a full paid - dues - paying member of that persecuted
club. Jabbar gets, on to glower "that's not my country!"

Wilt buys a big house with a big mortgage like any other
capitalist. He does not discriminate against people with
respect to color, race or creed. He is a doctrinaire
capitalist. He's even a Republican. He came out for Nixon
and, if you don't think that's an astonishing display of independence
and even courage, you haven't been paying too much attention.

Does all this help Wilt? Even with the John Birchers,
the Union League, the House of Morgan, the DuPonts or
even the Sen. Bilbos? To a man, they'd be standing up
and yelling "Get 'em, Jabbar!"

No, Will would be a sentimental underdog against Goliath.
Jabbar is bigger than he is. Also better. But Jabbar is an idol
in Milwaukee. Wilt has never been an idol anywhere.
He is always "Wilt, you dog, where were you on that play?"

If you look the facts squarely in the face, or even in the
back, Wilt is older, slower, smaller, clumsier, and poorer
paid (when you consider Jabbar started on the million-
dollar level) than Wilt.

He is entitled for once in his career to be poor-old-Wilt.

No way. If he wins it, they'll say "about time that big donkey
did something." If he loses, they'll say "well, what'd you expect?
He always does, doesn't he?"

Compared to Wilt, Benedict Arnold was Little Orphan Annie.
John Wilkes Booth was misunderstood. "Nobody roots for Goliath,"
Wilt once mourned in a magazine article. True. Not even when
Goliath II comes along.

To paraphrase the old joke, the first Goliath hasn't got a chance.
The amount of doom and gloom (toward LA) only jumps out of the pages after the Lakers lost game 4. I can't imagine the amount of agony that diehard Laker fans from the 60's had experienced up to that point.

Wilt was the best player ever. It's a shame we didn't get to see MJ against Wilt....He would have altered MJ's stuff so much, especially if Michael had to play with the rules then. No comparison....if you don't believe me, there are 20,000 woman that would tell ya

I think i saw Manute Bol blocking the Sky hook in a compilation on youtube.
I'm working a lot lately, just to forget that i have no Lakers. I'm quitting the job when the season starts LOL.

It was always the knock against Wilt (and the stats back it up) - his playoff and finals numbers were always lower than his season numbers. But boy, there were times he could put up the playoff and finals numbers though. As we may well see if LRob continues his magical trek through the annuls of yesteryear Laker greatness and brings us the 72 finals.

1. Magic
2. Wilt
3. Kareem
4. Kobe, West

Watched few historical games and Wilt was wild.

I watched Wilt (taped delayed playoffs and all) as a Laker in my pre-teen years.

He could still elevate, was a hell of a shot-blocker, defender and passer.

However, my most memorable moment was not blocks, dunks or passes. All of which he was superb at.

No, my most memorable moment was of Wilt finger rolling over the shoulder of Willis Reed (or possibly Nate Thurmond, it's been so long) from the foul line. THAT'S RIGHT! I SAID THE "FOUL LINE"!!!

Everyone talks about George Gervin's finger roll, but Wilt's was even more beautiful to behold.

Hell, The "Big Dipper" Friggin' Invented It!!! And yet, they always talk about the Ice Man when it comes to finger rolls.

George Gervin finger rolled at the bucket, not 10 to 15 feet from the bucket with a defender bodying him up.

Here's a clip from approximately 2/3 of the foul line distance to the bucket:


Triangulator: me, too! Wilt = finger roll. It's as simple as that.

Just giving the highlights.

Posted by: phred | September 03, 2010 at 08:44 PM

Considering the whole remark was "I would love for Bynum to destroy Shaq that being said I dunno if he will considering the Celtics has the size to counter the Laker's size advantage).

*Bonks Phred* It is indeed about the love hehe!

1972 playoffs
Gm 5 April 18, 1972

Chamberlain Outduels Jabbar On Boards in 115-90 Triumph

LOS ANGELES '(AP) - Now, Bill Sharman is talking about a
six-game series as his Los Angeles Lakers have the defending
champion Milwaukee Bucks on the ropes.

The Lakers ran away from the Bucks 115-90 Tuesday night
rebounding—literally—from lie 114-88 beating suffered Sunday
in Milwaukee. The best-of-seven Conference series moves back
to Milwaukee Saturday

I've said all along that rebounding will decide the series," said Sharman
in a hoarse voice after Wilt Chamberlain & Co. grabbed 23 more
missed shots than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the Bucks, 70-47. "And
if we can outrebound them Saturday, we can end the series in six games."

Coach Larry Costello of Milwaukee, who said he expected the Bucks
to win in six after Sunday's romp, must now think in terms of seven.

The Lakers said that Costello's comments fired them up. "We read in the
papers where Costello said they would win it in six," said Jim McMillian,
who let the final score speak for the Lakers' reaction.

"The big statistic in this game was our getting out-rebounded by 23.
Sunday we had one of the greatest rebounding efforts in our history,"
Costello said.

The Bucks had 36 more rebounds than the Lakers in that game.

"We just didn't play well at all tonight and now (here is a little more
pressure on us. But we won't quit. We have to win the game Saturday and
then anything can happen in a one game series."

Game No. 7, if the Bucks win Saturday, will be played next Wednesday
night in the Forum, where there would be another sellout crowd of 17,505.
The partisan fans chanted 'defense, defense" and 'rebound, rebound"—
apparently taking Sharman's cue. The coach had called for more vociferous
support on the plane back from Milwaukee on Sunday.

This is the noisiest they’ve been all season and after the bad game we played
against Milwaukee, we needed a lift," Sharman said.

"It is easier to get up for this game than on Sunday," said Chamberlain,
who made all eight of his free throws, a remarkable achievement for the
7-foot-2 veteran considered one of the league's worst free throwers.
He finished with 26 rebounds and 12 points.

In all, the Lakers converted 35 of 44 free throws, including
19 of 22 in the third period when they broke things open. It
was 55-51 Lakers early in the third period but Gail Goodrich
led the spurt to a 23-point lead with a 13-point quarter.

Jim McMillian paced the Lakers with 25 points, with Goodrich
and Jerry West adding 22 each. Jabbar had 28—his lowest
point total against Los Angeles this season—and 16 rebounds.

"The difference tonight was they were sagging in on me and I wasn't
getting the shots I wanted," said the 7-2 Jabbar. "The big story of the
game was the way they outrebounded us and we couldn't shoot."

"Chamberlain just can't play any better than he did tonight against Jabbar,"
Sharman said.

Said Goodrich: "Wilt was just overpowering. He did a heckuva job on Jabbar."
John Block, Milwaukee forward, called the Lakers "more physical. They
seemed to be hungrier. They really attacked us tonight."

Costello, who was irritated over the officiating earlier in the series wasn’t happy with the difference in fouls, 26 against the Bucks and 17 on the Lakers. 'I can't comment on that," he said. "It's one of these things."

Sharman had said that the Lakers' forwards, particularly Happy Hairston,
boxed out the Bucks from the backboards, and that's what they did.
Wilt came up BIG in the biggest game of the season

1972 playoffs
Gm 5 April 18, 1972

Forum fans lauded

Staff Writer
There were two championship performances at the Forum Tuesday night
-by the Lakers and by the fans.

Inspired by four standing ovations, the Lakers gave the Milwaukee Bucks
their worst licking in two years, 115-90, to seize a 3-2 lead in the NBA Western Conference playoffs.

The Forum rocked from the introductions until late in the final period, and nobody was more appreciative of the support than the Laker players and their

"I don't care how corny it sounds," said coach Bill Sharman, "but fans help
win championships. Tonight was the loudest, most enthusiastic crowd I've
heard at the Forum." Even Wilt Chamberlain, who doesn't make comparisons
or predictions, was touched by the response he received.

"The fans really did a job tonight," said Wilt. "I think they have come so
close to championships for so many years that they realized they don't want to
let this one get away."

Chamberlain played his finest game of the series, and as a team, the Lakers
probably did, too. Their defense kept the Bucks off stride and they were able
to launch a fast-break equaled only by the second game at the Forum
last week.

But rebounding was the big factor, according to the coaches. Both Sharman
and Larry Costello have decided that this series will be won or lost on
backboard control.

Chamberlain was the king, hauling down 26, and Leroy Ellis came on to
help Happy Hairston with 12 apiece. As a team, the Lakers won, 70-57,
thus improving by a shocking 45 over the deficit they had in Sunday's 26-point loss.

"We just didn't jump, don't ask me why," moaned Costello. "My big
men will have to do much better or we're in trouble."

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had his worst game, missing 20 of 33 shots, and
that's because Chamberlain played skin-tight defense and forced his taller
adversary to shoot off-balance. Chamberlain thrilled the fans with more than his defense, however. He tried eight free throws and made them all. That kind
of effort is one for Mr. Ripley.

Jim McMillian led the Lakers with 25 points while Jerry West and Gail Goodrich had 22 apiece. Ellis contributed 12 and Hairston 10.

Reserve Wally Jones was the only dependable Buck, netting 21 points.
Oscar Robertson continued to flounder, scoring only 9, and Lucius Allen
finally bad a bad game, also netting only 9.

Goodrich and West played inspired defense, picking up Milwaukee's
guards at mid-court and pressuring them every step of the way.
The result was that the visitors had trouble setting up their patterns.

"It was Gail's best defensive game of the year," said Sharman. "He's not
noted for his defense, you know."

Ellis, who had played only 10 minutes and gone scoreless in this series
couldn’t have performed any better. Besides his offense he was a major
factor in holding Bobby Dandridge to 15 points.

It was Ellis who came off the bench in the Chicago series to bottle up Bob

"Our bench has been outstanding," said Sharman. "Don't forget Pat Riley
tonight. He was great, too."
The Forum was rocking! The Laker fans are indeed underrated. We know how to bring it when necessary. And boy was it ever necessary in game 5 against the defending champs.

Blitz- I was trying to broker peace! PEACE BROKERING!





John Wayne vs Sitting Bull? Sitting Bull was a real Lakota warrior. Beat Custer at Little Bighorn. Never lost a battle after that, had to surrender to provide food for his people.

Jim Murray – Nobody roots for Goliath.

i remember and agree. of "all times" few remember. fewer talk about it. i do

LRob's Night Shift rules!

I'm on the edge of my seat: will the Lakers take it in 6? Will the Bucks come back and take it in 7? Oh, wait... I know the answer, and yet: it's still exciting.

OK, lets bring on the night shift. I'm here for a couple of minutes. Let's do this thing.

Sam Elliot said it We Were Soldiers...

Custer was a

LRob is the 'night shift'...but he has a wonderful supporting cast...

April 21, 1972 (After Gm 5)
Laker Fans Played Star Role


Every year for 12 years, the Lakers have marched up the
playoff road for the NBA championship Every year, they
have come up a rebound short, a basket light, one overtime
away, one foul shy, one series or one game down.

I always figured it was the fault of Bill Russell, or Willis
Reed, or Kareem Abdul Jabbar, or Bob Petit, or Bob Cousy or
somebody It wasn't. It was ours The fault, dear friends,
lies not in these stars but in ourselves.

Forget those crummy guys running around out there in
their BVDs It's the guy sitting up in the rafters in the Schlitz T-shirt,
the movie actor down on the floor in those funky clothes
and lavender glasses, the broads in the hot pants, the
bartenders in the bowling jackets, the elegant friends of
Mr Cooke, the owner, in their bench-made pinstripe suits, the
film directors, Hollywood agents, disc jockeys and used car

WE blew it, baby. All these years where were we when
they needed us? I'll tell you We were sitting there on our hands,
murmuring, "Lovely shot, Kareem'" or "Well played,
Willis" or applauding the ball handling of Cousy.

We gotta get in the game, sports fans' You have it on the
word of coach Bill Sharman himself, the mentor of the
Lakers Bill has lost his voice, his appetite, his sleep, almost
his sanity trying to bring the Lakers home this year. As
coach he should know what the Lakers lack, that indefinable
edge that separates champs from chumps, hurrahs from hahas

Listening to Bill talk after a game is like listening to the
third act of Camille He sounds like a guy with an arrow in his
throat saying "Take care of Sally for me to John Wayne
He's got a vocal range of 2 feet. He lost the rest of it in the
service of his city and his team. He was barely able to croak the
other night "I want to give our fans a lot of credit for it.
(the Lakers' 115-90 win over Milwaukee in the 5th playoff
game) This (the crowd) is what wins championships This is
what we needed the other night when we got bombed in
Milwaukee "
There were those in the crowd that thought what the Lakers
had needed THAT night were the 36 extra rebounds the
Milwaukee Bucks got, but Sharman insisted "Rebounding
is not just physical, it's emotional"

Well, this, of course, puts a whole new aspect on the game
Henceforth, when a scout comes in to general manager Fred
Schaus' office to report, "Hey, boss' I got a terrific new kid for
you out of the playgrounds of Philly' Seven-and-one-half feet'
Arms clear down to his ankles' Can hit from the corner of the
court or from the corner of the parking lot' Can out rebound a
hungry lion for a steak'" And Schaus will snarl, "Dunkopf Go
back and get me a 4-11 truck driver with the vocabulary of a
grounded ferryboat captain and corns and a nagging wife' Never
mind the length of his arms' Measure his lungs' Get me
some guy who hates his wife, fears his boss or vice versa —
and owes the Morris Plan three months' back wages' THERE'S
our pennant right there"

Never mind another Jerry West Get us another Jerry
Lewis. Give Don Rickles a no cut contract and a seat next to
the visitors' bench Get someone to spill beer down the visiting
coach's neck Scour the country for the guy who slugged Red
Auerbach here 10 years ago Fire the usher who kicked him

Bill Walton?' Bah' We don't need Bill Walton Get us one of
the Gallo brothers Heck, get us a gallows period. Never mind
the Villanova back court scout the Marseilles waterfront See if
they got anybody left out of the old Ebbets Field bleachers
crowd Get guys who bet the New York books on the games
Now THERE are fans' They'll drop cigarets down your shirts
on the way out of your locker room if you don't get those
rebounds Remember, it's their money you're trifling with And
they worked hard all night in Central Park to get it.

Never mind that Kareem Jabbar's got several inches on
Wilt Chamberlain WE'VE got 7000 tonsils on them Their
court only seats 10,000 Never mind that frilly organist Get the
Marine Band The Anvil Chorus Have a contest to see who can
break windows shouting "Hey, ref you're a bum" Have a
tryout camp for invective.

I wandered down to the dressing room to gloat at Oscar
Robertson "The crowd really get you 0' I said with just a hint
of a sneer Oscar shrugged, "You just kind of screen out the
crowd noise Actually, I don't notice it much," he said
apologetically. I was insulted YOU mean you could play your
game before a hanging jury'" I challenged, Oscar smiled "Just
get me the ball," he said.

I was crushed but, the more I thought about it, IF emotion won
games how come Bette Davis wasn't the MVP. You'd have to
think one of those actresses who cry at the Academy Awards
would be the greatest back court threat in history, right?

No If I got to have a crowd with me, the only crowd I'd
really want with me would be those two guys in the striped
shirts with the whistles.
(Copyright 1972 Los Angeles Times)

April 21, 1972 (between games 5-6)

Oscar Vs. West

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Oscar Robertson has won superstar
status and salary by posting more than 26,000 points and 9,000
assists in 12 brilliant seasons, but he's earning his pay
differently these days.

On defense.

Stripped of most of his devastating moves by a deep muscle
pull in his abdomen and upper left leg, the Big 0 has contributed
just 52 points in the Milwaukee Bucks' five National
Basketball Association playoff games to date with the Los Angeles

Coach Larry Costello admits Robertson may have to score
considerably more if the Bucks, down three games to two in the
best of seven set, are to win two straight and advance to the
NBA finals.

The Lakers can wrap it by winning game six here at 3:31
p.m. CST Saturday. If not, the seventh game will be in Los
Angeles Wednesday night.

Robertson has little lateral movement on offense, but his
defense hasn't appreciably suffered because of his physical
mismatch against star Laker guard Jerry West. And defense
has been the key to bo

West, the Lakers, “Mr. Clutch," is averaging 21.2
points in the series, but has shot just 36.8 per cent while giving
away two inches in height and 45 pounds in muscle to Robertson.

I prefer- "Custer was the dumb ass who liked to get his ass kicked" but anyhoo.

April 21, 1972 (between games 5-6)

Lakers hope to clinch playoff against Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks, trailing the Los Angeles Lakers 3-2 in
their best of seven National Basketball Association
Western Conference title series, need a win today to keep
their hopes alive for a second consecutive NBA championship.

A Lakers victory would end the series, giving Los Angeles
another crack at the crown that has eluded them in the playoffs
for many a season. But a Bucks win would force the series into
a seventh game at Los Angeles Tuesday night.

"I'd rather be in our position than theirs. One more win will
do it, and we're in better condition than they are," said
Lakers' center Wilt Chamberlain. "We can be relaxed and that
should help us play better,"said teammate Jim McMillian.

"The Bucks have their backs to the wall and that should psyche
them up and give them extra drive."

The Bucks had their own point of view.
"It won't be tough to win one game—I'm pretty confident
about that," said Bucks forward Curtis Perry. "But two in
a row? We'll have to make up our minds to play every minute
and not relax."

"I think we're ready to go out and attack and keep attacking,"
said Milwaukee Coach Larry Costello. "We've got this
one game to concentrate on...this is right now."

The home court advantage didn't seem especially crucial
in the beginning of the series when each club won once on the
other's floor, but hometown reaction has suddenly become
a major issue in the outcome.

Milwaukee fans went wild in the Bucks' 114-88 win here last
Sunday and Los Angeles Coach Bill Sharman made an indirect
plea for some of the same from Laker fans. He got it Tuesday
night when the Lakers got thunderous fan support in their 115-90 win.

"I'm sure the crowd noise helped them," Bucks' reserve
forward John Block said. "The crowd not only fired up
the Lakers," said Bucks' guard"The crowd not only fired up
the Lakers," said Bucks' guard Lucius Allen. "It sent tremors
through me, too."

However, Costello—though he appreciates the screams of
backers just as much as Sharman—doesn't feel it's enough
to change the outcome of a game. "Games are won on the floor,
not in the stands," he said.

I think Garth Ennis might have been the first to use the phrase. Anyhoo.

1972 playoffs
Gm 6 April 22, 1972

Bucks Title hopes Wilt 104-100

Tom Hawley
State Journal Sports Writer
MILWAUKEE — Those who call 1972 the year of the Lakers
are right.

The Milwaukee Bucks were nearly as good a team as they
could be Saturday afternoon, but were losers, 104-100, to Los
Angeles. The Buck held Jerry West scoreless for nearly all of the
second half. They played their best defense of the series. They
outrebounded the Lakers, 63-59. They outscored the Lakers by 14
points over six games. And Saturday, they even had the great
crowd support the Lakers claimed was so important in the
fifth game, a Laker victory in Los Angeles.

But the Bucks, world champions in 1971, were eliminated
by the Lakers, four games to two, in this Western
Division championship series. The Bucks were unable to win
a game in this series by anything but a rout, so it was no
surprise that the turning point Saturday came immediately
after the Bucks had gone ahead by 10 points, 85-75. Had they
continued their surge, game No. 6 probably would have been another
rout. But the Lakers made it a close game — and they
have won all four of the Buck-Laker games this season that
were close.

"I was numb when the Bucks went ahead by 10," said Laker
center Wilt Chamberlain. The whole, Laker team was probably in the
same shape, and hard of hearing on top of it, after the Bucks
rallied and the Milwaukee Arena crowd roared.

But Wilt had at least been scoring steadily, and making a
disheartening number of his free throws. Jerry West, the
Laker guard, had been doing nothing, harassed by a suddenly
effective Wally Jones.

Jones, a perpetual motion machine who' sometimes gets
very little accomplished for all his effort, was a straight jacket
on West — almost as much literally as figuratively. But Wally
finally paid for his overabundance of hustle and fouled out
late in the game, picking up his last two fouls 42 seconds apart.

By the time Jones fouled out, the Lakers had decimated the
Bucks' 10-point lead. They pulled within a point, 96-95,
when West made two free throws. A minute later, West hit
a jump shot to tie the game, 97-97, and then with 45 seconds
remaining he made two more free throws to kill the Bucks
once and for all. It was then 104-98 and the Bucks managed
only a consolation jump shot by Abdul-Jabbar before their season

"I used the saturation method," said West, "put up enough shots
and some of them have to go in." he had missed 10 straight from
the floor while the Bucks built their lead. Chamberlain put the first
dent in the 87-75 lead by neatly sinking a free throw with 8:56
left in the game. West finished with 25 points

"I THINK the free throw line owes me a couple," said the 7-1
center about his free throw shooting . He made eight
straight in the 115-90 Laker victory Tuesday and four of seven

He missed his next free throw, but it had followed dunk shot
that had brought the Lakers within 85-78. After Lucius Allen
sank a free throw, Happy Hairston scored five straight Los
Angeles points to. make it 86-83. West then came alive and
scored 10 of the next 14 Laker points and suddenly, the game
was tied.

Abdul-Jabbar, who seemed intimidated by Chamberlain, then
missed one of the 21 shots he failed to connect on Saturday.
Gail Goodrich sent Los Angeles ahead, 99-97, Hairston hit a free
throw, Wilt hit two straight from the line, and the Bucks were down
by five. The Bucks, meanwhile, missed four straight shots before
Abdul-Jabbar got his consolation basket.

"When we got 10 points behind, we really played defense,"
said West. "I think Wilt played his best game of the playoffs."
He was right on both counts. Chamberlain finished with 22
points and 24 rebounds, less than Abdul-Jabbar in both areas.
But he missed only four shots from the field and did an
effective job of psychologically blocking the mouth of the basket.

Chamberlain lost his heralded battle with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
but Wilt won the war. Abdul-Jabbar had 37 points and
25 rebounds, but his team lost.

"It was a matter of getting some good-shots," said Milwaukee
Coach Larry Costello. "If we could have gotten them, we
would have been up by 12 or 14."

Costello did not fault the Buck defense. "It's been good," he
said. "Going into this series, they averaged only 105 points
against us, but 120 overall" But the Lakers' average in
the series still was enough to win four games.
Chamberlain was impassive in the Laker dressing room, but
admitted be had never been so emotionally charged for a game.
"We weren't out there to beat Kareem (Jabbar)," be said.
"He had a fantastic series, but we just did things as a team."

"I'm as happy now as I've ever been after a game," Chamberlain
said. "If I had my choice I'd rather not play against Kareem because
he forces me out of a team game and I have to concentrate too much
on him." he said. He's the greatest there is."

The win for the Lakers, which ended Milwaukee's one-year reign
as NBA champs, was aided by the absence of Oscar Robertson from
the Bucks lineup during most of the game. Robertson,
suffering from an abdominal muscle strain, started the game
but soon gave way to Wally Jones, who almost led the Bucks to victory.

Bucks Coach Larry Costello, who was bitterly disappointed
over the' loss, gave the Lakers credit for being a "tough team"
but was unwilling lo admit they are better than the Bucks.

"We just couldn't get our shots down where we needed them," he said,
said. But then came something that smelled a little like sour grapes.
"Wilt was fantastic." Costello said," but I can't understand
how a guy can play this long and never foul out of a game,
just can't understand it. Maybe when I retire I'll become a ref
for one week and foul Wilt out.

Oscar Robertson played only seven minutes, but coach Larry Costello
said he wasn't injured.

For 3 quarters, the move was brilliant. Allen, Wally Jones and Jon McGlocklin
were doing a creditable job. In the clutch, none could deliver, however.

When it really counted, Chamberlain was the man of the hour, then West.

LRob's Night Shift rules!

I'm on the edge of my seat: will the Lakers take it in 6? Will the Bucks come back and take it in 7? Oh, wait... I know the answer, and yet: it's still exciting.
Posted by: 63 Footer | September 03, 2010 at 09:57 PM
Haha...sorry for the delay. It was hard shifting through these old newspapers online and finding the stories that were legible.

LRob is the 'night shift'...but he has a wonderful supporting cast...
Posted by: LEWSTRS | September 03, 2010 at 10:16 PM
Yes sir....there's no I in team!

63 Footer -

Actually the biggest reason for the delay was I saw some really cool light hearted banter between Hap and Wilt before game 6 showing just how relaxed the Lakers were...but I couldn't retrieve it because the scrip didn't copy well.

phred - on a roll as usual.

I remember that playoffs and finals were Jerry West's worst ever. He couldn't buy a basket. I remember the ball going round and round the hoop like water in a toilet bowl, and then popping out. But this was the year he finally won. Go figure....

Man LRob, thanks so much.
Posted by: 63 Footer | September 03, 2010 at 08:32 PM
My pleasure. The Logo was entitled to a poor playoff run...after all of those great ones.

LRob - I was not at all faulting your timeliness; I was referencing how exciting it's been to read this playoff series tonight. Never trying to get you to go faster. This has been great, and I thank you heartily.

LRob - I was not at all faulting your timeliness; I was referencing how exciting it's been to read this playoff series tonight. Never trying to get you to go faster. This has been great, and I thank you heartily.

Oh Oh no no the the dreaded dreaded double double post post !!

The 1972 season was indeed a special one. And hopefully 2011 will be just as sweet.

Gotta get up and actual play a little bball in the morning...instead of just writing and reading about it.

So Goodnight all...Doo Wop style!

LRob - I was not at all faulting your timeliness; I was referencing how exciting it's been to read this playoff series tonight. Never trying to get you to go faster. This has been great, and I thank you heartily.

Posted by: 63 Footer | September 03, 2010 at 11:12 PM
No worries....I was faulting my own timeliness. I went about an hour longer than

Oh Kareem/Wilt final numbers for the series:

Kareem 34pts/17 rebs
Wilt 11pts/19 rebs & FINALS MVP

Somebody, I think it was 63 foorter, or even LEWSTRS, LRob maybe (I don't remember) posted a video about the Cap's Sky Hook and Kareem said no one ever blocked it as the "primary defender". He admitted that it got blocked several times from secondary defenders, or from defenders from a secondary position.

Kareem pointed out that if he got his body between his man and the ball, then his shot was never blocked. But, he did intimate that Wilt got up so high that he had to adjust the Sky Hook. That implies that Wilt may have actually blocked it straight up at least once.

Dan, your reader's recalled shot block may be that one block that made the Shy Hook perfect. Kareem may not consider that block a "primary defender" block because it came in transition.

You have to think that once Kareem figured out how to shoot over Wilt, that there was no hope for anyone else, ever, in the league.

Those old B&W clips show Wilt almost hitting his head on the rim. I'm glad there is this video evidence that proves some of the fantastic things people remember about Wilt. Youtube is finally allowing Wilt to get his due.


Phred-are by any chance a fan of "Preacher"?

Wilt blocked many of Kareems skyhooks from '71 to '73 while Wilt was with the Lakers & Kareem with the Bucks. The thing is that every time he blocked the hook was actually goaltending since the young Kareem (Lew Alcindor) was shooting down at the basket. Most people remember the old Kareem but the young Kareem would have the ball as high as the square before he let go of the hook.

yo man heres that thing u were asking about its my buddy found it the other day accidentally but good thing huh, well ill cya man

Wow...LRob breaks out the clasic Bill Murry. I was 4 when this came out, right in the mist of Puff and stuff prime.

You know what recent writer I was thinking about as I read that article? Bill Simmons. His piece on that Laker playoff game with the "pajama-rich" crowd had a similar vibe.

Great posts by LRob and Dan.


The block is in some of the blocked shot compilations on YouTube. Naturally I lost the link now though.

Another great piece Dan. Here's some classic blocked shots from Wilt, with more than one on Kareem:


starting 2:27 Wilt blocks 2 Kareem skyhooks in a row

Wilt was the first player I saw block Kareem's skyhook as a primary defender and even when Kareem had good position, and Wilt did it several times, the second one was Mark Eaton during the LA-Utah playoff series that went 7 games (88?) but I only saw him do it once.

Still amazing why young centers like Bynum and Howard don't practice the skyhook to death. I think part of the reason is we underestimate the level of coordination Kareem was capable of and even Drew/Howard don't have it unless they practice 10,000 shots in the summer and only Kobe does that.

While I never saw this happen, the story I remember about Wilt and his amazing jumping ability was that during pre-game warm-ups, a quarter would be placed on top of the backboard and Wilt would jump up and grab it! Wilt is the GOAT in my book and number two behind Jim Thorpe as GA(athlete)OAT.

My memory of the 72 season was going to the Forum for a game against Phoenix that was win #20 in the 'streak'! Still have the program from that game. What a season, what a team, what an organization!

Come on Shaq wasn't throwing up tear drops. Athletes of 50's and 60's are a joke compared to the athletes of today, let's get real now. That's like comparing Major League Soccer which is in its infancy to what that league if it grows as expected to what it will be in 40 or 50 years. The feats of any young league seems amazing, because, most of the time the sport is in its infancy, and they'll be a few out of this world athletes players, but a more mature league has many more outstanding players and hence much stiffer competition. There are plenty athletes now 6'11" that can jump out of the gym because there are many more players to choose, much ggreater youth participation numbers, an AAU system that seeks out talent, etc ... that's what makes Dennis Rodman such a freak this guy averaged nearly 20 rbs a game in the modern NBA, for a couple of seasons, we are talking late 80's through the 90's. He's still has the highest rb average per season , owning 7 of 10 out of the last 40 years. Could you imagine D. Howard playing in the late 50's and 60's, LOL!!!!! A sky hook what?



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