As the 25th anniversary of the founding of the modern NBA, the league unveiled a new logo, inspired by the logo of Major League Baseball, to commemorate the occasion. It features the white silhouette of a basketball player dribbling, framed by red and blue. Jerry West of the Los Angeles Lakers was used as the model for the logo. Coincidentally, Jerry West would win the only NBA Championship of his career during the season.
The Lakers' 69 wins set a new record for most regular season wins in NBA history. This mark would stand for 24 seasons, until it was bettered by the 1995-96Chicago Bulls.
The Lakers' Elgin Baylor announced his retirement nine games into the season. That night, the Lakers began a winning streak that would last for two months, totaling 33 games. That streak still stands as the longest winning streak in the history of major American professional team sports.
The Los Angeles Lakers came into the season returning a strong squad from their playoff run a year before. Nine games into the season, Elgin Baylor announced his sudden retirement after 13 seasons. Despite Baylor's retirement, the Lakers went on a 33-game winning streak. The Lakers completed two undefeated months, going 14–0 in November and 16–0 in December. After winning their first three games in January, the Lakers lost 120–104 to the Milwaukee Bucks. On March 20, 1972, the Lakers beat Golden State by a record 63 points (162–99), a mark that would stand until 1991, when Cleveland beat Miami by 68 points (148–80). The Lakers finished the season with a record 69 wins, which would stand until the 1995–96 season when the Chicago Bulls won 72 regular season games.
The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks won 63 games on the play of renamed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, formerly Lew Alcindor. The Celtics, led by point guard Jo Jo White and 32-year-old swingman John Havlicek won the Atlantic division with 56 wins. Boston had recovered from the retirement of Bill Russell, K. C. Jones and Sam Jones by winning 12 more games than the previous season.
In the first round, the Lakers swept the Bulls and Milwaukee defeated Golden State. New York eliminated the Bullets and Boston won against the Atlanta Hawks. In the Western Conference Finals, the Lakers lost game 1 versus the Bucks at The Forum 93–72, but a Lakers squad led by assist champion Jerry West, leading scorer Gail Goodrich, and veteran Wilt Chamberlain beat Milwaukee in six games. In the Eastern Conference Finals, New York defeated the top-seed Celtics in five games.
In the NBA Finals, New York won game 1 very easily, but Los Angeles won game 2 106–92 to even the series. In game 3, the Lakers jumped out to a 22-point lead and regained home-court advantage with a 107–96 win. In game 4, the Knicks forced overtime. At the end of regulation, Wilt Chamberlain was called for his fifth foul. In his first 12 seasons, he had never fouled out of a game. Chamberlain did not foul out and led the Lakers to a 116-111 victory, but he broke his wrist in the overtime period. The Lakers held a 3–1 series lead going into game 5 in Los Angeles. In game 5, Chamberlain played despite his injury. The score was tied at 53 in the first half, but the Lakers outscored the Knicks 61–47 in the second half to win the game and the NBA Championship, 114–100.