Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Season Review: 1960-61

Oscar Robertson Trophy

The 1960-61 season was a transformative period for the NBA. With the relocation of the Lakers from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, the league expanded its reach along both coasts for the first time. This season also saw the debut of two legendary guards, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, who would go on to thrill NBA fans for the next 14 seasons.

Coming off their gold medal wins at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Robertson and West entered the league with high expectations. Robertson made an immediate impact for the Cincinnati Royals, leading the league with 30.5 points per game and 9.7 assists per game. His scoring prowess combined with Wilt Chamberlain’s 38.4 points per game and Elgin Baylor’s 34.8 points per game marked the first time in NBA history that three players averaged at least 30 points per game in a season. West, on the other hand, joined the Lakers as they began a multi-year run of success and contributed with an average of 17.6 points per game.

Despite their individual achievements, Chamberlain’s Philadelphia team fell short in the playoffs. The Boston Celtics and St. Louis Hawks once again emerged as the dominant teams, with the Celtics securing their third consecutive title after defeating the Hawks in the NBA Finals.

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Playoffs

Eastern Division Semifinals

  • Syracuse defeated Philadelphia (3-0)

Western Division Semifinals

  • Los Angeles defeated Detroit (3-2)

Eastern Division Finals

  • Boston defeated Syracuse (4-1)

Western Division Finals

  • St. Louis defeated Los Angeles (4-3)

NBA Finals

  • Boston defeated St. Louis (4-1)

Season Leaders

  • Points — Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors (38.4)
  • Assists — Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals (9.1)
  • Rebounds — Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors (27.2)
  • Field Goal Percentage — Wilt Chamberlain, Philadelphia Warriors (50.9)
  • Free Throw Percentage — Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics (92.1)

Award Winners

  • Most Valuable Player — Bill Russell, Boston Celtics
  • Rookie of the Year — Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals
  • All-Star Game MVP — Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati Royals

FAQs

Q: Who were the standout players of the 1960-61 NBA season?
A: The 1960-61 season saw the emergence of two iconic guards, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West. Robertson made an immediate impact with the Cincinnati Royals, leading the league in scoring with 30.5 points per game and assisting with 9.7 assists per game. West, playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, became a key contributor to the team’s success, averaging 17.6 points per game.

Q: Which teams made it to the NBA Finals in the 1960-61 season?
A: The Boston Celtics and the St. Louis Hawks competed in the NBA Finals during the 1960-61 season. The Celtics, led by Bill Russell, secured their third consecutive title by defeating the Hawks in a 4-1 series.

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Summary

The 1960-61 NBA season marked a significant period of change for the league. With the Lakers’ relocation to Los Angeles and the debut of stars like Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, the NBA was entering a new era. Robertson’s immediate impact with the Cincinnati Royals and Chamberlain’s dominant scoring showcased the level of talent in the league.

In the playoffs, the Boston Celtics continued their dominance by securing their third consecutive NBA title. The season also saw the emergence of future Hall of Famers and award winners like Bill Russell, highlighting the remarkable talent and competitiveness of the league.

To learn more about the exciting moments and standout performances of the 1960-61 season, visit Osceolagarage and explore our extensive coverage of NBA history.