LOS ANGELES (AP) Jim McMillian, who helped the Los Angeles Lakers to a 33-game winning streak and the 1972 NBA championship, died Monday. He was 68.
He died from complications of heart failure at a hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, according to his sister-in-law Denise Sheridan.
The Lakers made McMillian the 13th overall pick in the first round of the 1970 draft out of Columbia University. He averaged 15.3 points during three seasons in Los Angeles.
He was a key member of the Lakers' first championship team in the city. He averaged 19.1 points on that 1972 title team. McMillian was in his second season that year and replaced retired Elgin Baylor at forward, a move that coincided with the start of the team's 33-game winning streak. McMillian's teammates on that team included Wilt Chamberlain, Keith Erickson, Gail Goodrich, Pat Riley and Jerry West.
After one more year in Los Angeles, the Lakers traded the 6-foot-5 forward to the Buffalo Braves for Elmore Smith.