Wilt Chamberlain dominated over a young Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the 1972 WCF with a performance for the ages.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar had always idolized Wilt Chamberlain as a kid. He wanted to play like Wilt, be just like him.
To Kareem’s surprise, Wilt became friends with him when he was 17. He showed Kareem things he had never seen in his life or rather he shouldn’t have seen when he was 17.
But Wilt consistently criticized Kareem since his debut in the league. Kareem led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first-ever championship in 1971 in just his 2nd season in the league, in the process, defeating a 34-year-old Chamberlain in the Lakers uniform who was trying to win his second championship.
Wilt Chamberlain played most of his basketball in the era dominated by another big Bill Russell and his Boston Celtics
Bill wasn’t winning scoring or rebounding titles, but he won 10 NBA championships from 1957-1969.
Wilt though was dominating the game in all the other ways, in that same decade, he won 7 scoring titles, 11 rebounding titles, and even was the assist leader a year just to show that he could assist as well.
He averaged over 30 points, 22 rebounds and infinite blocks which weren’t considered a stat back then, for the recorded data of roughly 112 games, Wilt averaged an insane 8.8 blocks per game.
Imagine dominating the game in such a way but then winning an underwhelming 2 championships.
After getting eliminated at the hands of Kareem in 1971, a rejuvenated “Wilt the Stilt” decided it was his year in 1972
Wilt was facing the new “Giant superstar of the league” in Kareem for the second straight season, this time though, he came out on top.
After trailing by 10 points in the 4th quarter Chamberlain made blocks after blocks and ran with the ball on the fast breaks to take back the lead. He blocked 3 of Kareem’s Skyhooks in 1 possession. Nobody could block it even once. Not even Hakeem – the dream – Olajuwon, a decade later.
Kareem was forced to take a lot of jumpshots by Wilt, something that had been brought about by the Lakers superstar’s interior defence. Kareem’s FG% was brought down to 43.2% in Game 6 of the series, a staggering 14.2 percentage points lower than his MVP winning regular season.
Wilt accounted for 3 (unofficial) blocks on Kareem, along with 2 steals to completely annihilate Kareem when it mattered the most.
Wilt thus, famously led the Lakers to a championship over a young Kareem, who was just about to make the league his own.