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The Lakers went on to reach the finals against the New York Knicks where they would avenge their 1970 finals loss by defeating them 4 games to 1.
Chamberlain tallied 24 points and 29 rebounds in game five and won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award.
Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Boston Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry.
In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Wilt Chamberlain to play center, and after losing in the Finals in 19, they won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman.
Baylor, who was named NBA Rookie of the Year and co-MVP of the 1959 NBA All-Star Game, averaged 24.9 ppg and 15.0 rpg helping the Lakers improve to second in their division despite a 33–39 record.
After falling to 42–38 and losing in the first round of the 1964 NBA Playoffs to the Hawks, the team won 49 games in 1964–65.
The Lakers had one of the worst seasons in team history in 1957–58 when they won a league-low 19 games.
The Lakers earned the top pick in the 1958 NBA draft and used it to select Elgin Baylor.
Following the season, West retired due to contract disagreements with Cooke, and filed a suit for unpaid back wages.
After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired another center, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had won multiple MVP awards, but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s.
The 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their Magic Johnson-led fast break-offense, and won five championships in a 9-year span, including their first ever Finals championship against the Celtics in 1985.
Two months later, a healthy Abdul-Jabbar got into an altercation with Houston Rockets center Kevin Kunnert after a rebound.
The team's starting power forward, Kermit Washington, who was averaging 11.5 points and 11.2 rebounds, It took Johnson's teammates time to acclimate themselves to his passing ability, as his "no-look" passes often caught them unaware.
He was traded for Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Junior Bridgeman, and Dave Meyers.