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Jim McMillian (1948 - 2016)

AP Photo / file / Gus Ruelas

Jim McMillian (1948 - 2016)

Jim McMillian, an NBA forward who helped lead the Lakers to the 1972 NBA championship, died May 16, according to The Associated Press. He was 68.

He died of complications of heart failure at a hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, according to his sister-in-law Denise Sheridan.

McMillian played college basketball at Columbia University. He led Columbia to a record of 63-14 during his college career and was a three-time All-American.

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The 6-foot-5 forward was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers 13th overall in the first round of the NBA draft. He averaged over 15 points a game in his three years with the Lakers. He was a key member of the 1972 Lakers championship team. He averaged over 19 points a game that season and helped the Lakers hit a 33-game winning streak. His teammates that year included Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West.

After the 1973 season, he was traded to the Buffalo Braves for Elmore Smith. He also played for the New York Knicks and the Portland Trailblazers.

After his NBA career, he moved to Italy and played two years for a team in Bologna.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Alexis, son Aron, daughters Erica and Emon, and seven grandchildren.

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