Jim McMillian, a starter on the Los Angeles Lakers 1971-72 team that set an NBA record with 33 consecutive victories, has died at the age of 68.
“Jim was an important part of Lakers history, as a key member of our first championship team in Los Angeles in 1972,” Lakers president and co-owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement. “His passing is a sad day for us. On behalf of the entire Lakers family, I’d like to send our condolences to all of Jim’s friends and family.”
McMillian played nine seasons in the NBA with four teams, averaging 13.8 points over a career that included stints with the Buffalo Braves (three seasons), New York Knicks and Portland Trail Blazers as well as the Lakers.
His most memorable season was with the 1971-72 Lakers. He was a starting forward on a team that also featured Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich and Happy Hairston in the starting lineup.
That team did not lose a game from Nov. 5, 1971, until Jan. 9, 1972. Those Lakers also won the NBA championship, beating the New York Knicks 4-1 in the championship series.
McMillian averaged 18.8 points and 6.5 rebounds that season.
--The Sports Xchange