End-of-Year Award Will Be Renamed in Honor of Wilt Chamberlain, Former Lakers Great

December 14, 2022

The Big Dipper is finally participating in the league’s recent year-end award naming fest posthumously!

Numerous end-of-season trophies will now bear the names of some of the league’s all-time greats; the NBA announced in a press release earlier today.

The award for “Rookie of the Year” will be renamed the Wilt Chamberlain Rookie of the Year award in honor of the Hall of Fame center, who participated in the final five of his 14 NBA seasons with your Los Angeles Lakers. This is good news for Lakers fans because Chamberlain and Jerry West were essential to four L teams that advanced to the NBA Finals L. A. franchises. The victory came in 1972 to cap off a record-setting 69-win campaign with 33 straight victories—a regular season record for consecutive victories that have never been surpassed.

Of course, Chamberlain was not a Laker when he received 1960 the Rookie of the Year award. The Philadelphia Warriors selected the 7-foot-1 superstar, one of the game’s all-time greats, along with Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics. As a rookie with the 49-26 Warriors, Chamberlain was selected to the All-NBA First Team and made his first All-Star appearance.

He played 46.4 (!) minutes per night for Philadelphia, averaging a mind-blowing 37.6 points and 27 rebounds. Despite one fewer round of the playoffs, this team would make it to the Eastern Division Finals, losing in six games to Russell’s Celtics.

One quibble: with all these awards now renamed, what happens to all-time players who are still in the league, like 18-time champion LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and his fellow four-time champion, Golden State Warriors revolutionary Stephen Curry? Surely everyone would agree that these two are among the top 10, if not more, NBA players of all time.

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