2014 49¢ L.A. Lakers Uniform
Wilt Chamberlain’s career with the L.A. Lakers got off to a rocky start. After his 1968 request to be traded from the 76ers, his attitude soured and his effort in practice declined. For the first time, his on-court performance suffered as well.
The Lakers managed to make the National Basketball Association (NBA) finals in 1969, 1970, and 1971, only to be routed by the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and then the Milwaukee Bucks with 22-year-old star center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Though still a dominant force on the court, the 35-year-old Chamberlain was no longer a lead scorer. In the 1971-72 season, newly hired head coach Bill Sharman took a different approach, shifting Chamberlain’s focus to his defensive game. It worked. The reinvented Chamberlain – now team captain – took the Lakers straight to the 1972 playoffs against Milwaukee, this time defeating Abdul-Jabbar and the Bucks for a shot at the title.
Playing with a broken hand in game five of the finals against the Knicks, Chamberlain led the Lakers to their first-ever NBA championship and was named Finals MVP. But it would be his last title win. Wilt Chamberlain retired a year later as one of the best players in NBA history – a distinction that still holds true 40 years later.
Two Wilt Chamberlain stamps were issued, this one showing him in his L.A. Lakers uniform and one wearing his Philadelphia Warriors uniform. The extra tall stamps pay tribute to Chamberlain’s height – 7’ 1”.
49¢ L.A. Lakers Uniform, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: December 5, 2014
City: Philadelphia, PA – The First Day of Issue ceremony took place during a Philadelphia 76ers game.
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Printing Method: Lithographed in sheets of 144, with eight panes of 18 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11 X 10 ¾