As a Laker, Wilt Chamberlain Played His “Greatest Game” Wilt was washed up right away after Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s suggestion.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain have a lot in common. If not the two greatest centers in NBA history, then both rank among the best. When they were on the Los Angeles Lakers, each legend wore the Purple and Gold.

But off the field, the two maintained a tense relationship characterized by small-minded taunts as well as divergent political and philosophical viewpoints. Even though Wilt and Kareem were in completely different stages of their careers, they still faced off on the court.

Known as Cap (previously Lew Alcindor), Abdul-Jabbar and the Milwaukee Bucks faced Chamberlain’s Lakers in the 1972 playoffs. Cap was fresh off an NBA championship and was becoming the next big thing in sports. On the other hand, Wilt gave off the air of an elderly celebrity who was still making an effort to qualify for the same conversation as Bill Russell.


Still, Chamberlain had a little gas left in the tank. In response to a deceptive remark made by Jabbar, he gave one of his best performances in the Purple and Gold.


During the first four games of the 1972 Western Conference Finals, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar completely outplayed Wilt Chamberlain and made sure Wilt knew it.


Early in the 1972 Western Conference Finals, the Lakers and Bucks were evenly matched. And the personal confrontation between Wilt and Kareem? Completely mismatched.


Through the first four games, Abdul-Jabbar averaged over 34 points and 16 rebounds. But Chamberlain only scored eight points a game, shot thirty-three percent from the field, and made fifteen of forty-six free throws.


Following Milwaukee’s lopsided victory in Game 4, Kareem belittled Chamberlain after comfortably defeating Wilt The Stilt. The Big Dipper “tries to come up on me now,” he remarked (via SB Nation), “of course, that isn’t very successful.”


Remember that Wilt remains one of the most formidable offensive players in NBA history, if not in his own era. Abdul-Jabbar seemed to be criticizing Chamberlain’s legacy by claiming that the Bucks star had replaced him as the league’s dominant player.


Cap thought Chamberlain was pretty about done. Even though he was no longer able to rule the game the way he had in his younger years, Wilt answered with style.


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