NBA fans have been in awe of the Miami Heat’s incredible 20-game winning streak over the last month, but they aren’t the only ones who have been impressed by the team’s recent run.
Members of the 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers have also taken notice of the Heat and as the team with the longest winning streak in NBA history (33 games), they consider this Heat squad to be a threat to their NBA record.
“It is certainly a possibility that the Heat could break our 33-game winning streak,” said Bill Sharman, the coach of the 1971-72 Lakers, in an interview with Fox Sports Florida, via ESPN.com. “The record has held for 41 years, and all of us that participated in it are very proud to have been part of that season. However, [Heat president] Pat Riley has put together an amazing team, and I have to admit this one makes me a little nervous.”
The 1971-72 Lakers haven’t had to sweat too much in recent years, as the team that has come closest since this year’s Heat team was the 2007-2008 Houston Rockets, who rattled off 22 wins before seeing their streak snapped 11 games shy of the record. However, the 1971-72 Lakers’ leading scorer, Hall of Fame point guard Gail Goodrich, also believes the Heat are different breed.
“I’d say this is the most serious challenge we’ve had to our streak,” Goodrich said. “I think they’ll make a very, very, very serious run at our record, They might even break it. They’re head and shoulders over the rest of the NBA. Who’s going to beat them? There’s not as much parity in the league now.”
So how much does the record still mean to its current holders? Apparently, enough that they don’t want to see it topped.
“Sure, I’d like to keep the record,” Goodrich said. “But I’m not going to root against the Heat.”
“If they break the record, I would be happy for Pat Riley,” Sharman said. “But, naturally, part of me wants to hold on to that record a little bit longer.”
Miami will put its 20-gamer on the line tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks – the same team that snapped the Lakers’ 33-game winning streak back in 1972. Will it be deja vu? We’ll have to wait and see.