Wilt v. Kareem

The other day I discussed how the Los Angeles Lakers, written off for dead by the basketball punditry before the 1986-87 season began, surprised everyone by starting the season 32-8, on their way to the first of consecutive championships. I noted that no Laker fan I knew could identify one reason for the surprise outcome. Well, except for the fan that said Magic Johnson partook in fewer one-on-fours (where Magic Johnson was the one trying to score against four defenders). That guy was a moron, and I compared him to Laker Nation as a whole.

Laker Nation wasn't thrilled with the comparison.

Lots of swearing, name-calling and the like ensued. Meanwhile, I just sat by patiently, waiting for someone, anyone, to answer my question. Alas, it never happened. I believe the last comment was a straight-forward F-YOU, LEX.

I'm coo with that. Sure, it might have been nice if someone had said, yeah, Lex, you were right. Magic really made a difference that year. Or, yeah, that Laker fan was a moron. After all, Magic won his first MVP in 1987, and the Lakers actually relied on him more for scoring and less for passing. Or, still better, Pat Riley turned that team into a team of defensive animals, and moving AC Green into the starting line-up set the tone.

Again, nothing like that. Nothing like that at all. Just a bunch of name calling.

In any event, now I'm reading about the 1971-72 Lakers. If Laker Nation is clueless about the 1987 season, I bet most of them doubt that professional basketball was even played back in the early 1970s. But it was, and the Lakers had a pretty good team that year.

Anyone know who coached that team?

Bonus points if you know who he hired as the assistant coach.

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