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| Los Angeles Lakers |
| Founded || 1946 |
| Team History || Detroit Gems |
( 1946 - 1947 )
Minneapolis Lakers ( 1947 - 1960 )
Los Angeles Lakers
( 1960 -present)
| Arena || Staples Center |
| Team Colors || Purple and Gold |
| NBA Championships || 14 ( 1949 , 1950 , 1952 , 1953 , 1954 , 1972 , 1980 , 1982 , 1985 , 1987 , 1988 , 2000 , 2001 , 2002 ) |
| Owner || Jerry Buss |
| Head Coach || Phil Jackson |
The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association team based in Los Angeles, California . They are notable for having (at the end of the 2004���05 season) the highest number of wins (2,621), the highest winning percentage (61.9%), the most number of finals appearances (28), and the second most championships (14), behind the Boston Celtics who have 16. They also have the record for most number of consecutive wins in a season (33).
- Main article: History of the Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers began in 1947 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen bought the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League for $ 15,000 and relocated it to Minneapolis . As the Gems had by far the worst record in the NBL, the Lakers had the first pick in the 1947 dispersal draft, which they used to select George Mikan , later to become the greatest center of his time. With Mikan, new coach John Kundla and an infusion of former University of Minnesota players, the Lakers won the NBL championship in that 1947-48 season and joined four other NBL teams in jumping to the Basketball Association of America , where they promptly won the 1948-49 BBA championship. The NBL and BBA merged to become the NBA in 1949.
The Minneapolis Lakers were one of the dominant teams of the fledgling NBA. With Hall of Famers George Mikan , Vern Mikkelsen , and Clyde Lovellette , they were the NBA's first "dynasty", winning four championships in five years (1950, 1952, 1953, 1954).
After their move to Los Angeles in 1960, the team featured Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor , Jerry West , Gail Goodrich , and Wilt Chamberlain , but despite the wealth of talent, they were repeatedly foiled by the Boston Celtics , losing to the championship to them six times in eight years. It wasn't until 1972 when they strung together a record 33-game win streak under Coach of the Year Bill Sharman that they were able to secure their first championship in Los Angeles.
However, even with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , they weren't able to win another championship until the arrival of Earvin "Magic" Johnson in 1979, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers thanks to an MVP performance by the rookie Magic, who, starting for the injured Kareem, had 42 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists to clinch the series. The Lakers then went on to dominate the 1980s, appearing in the finals seven more times in the decade and being crowned champions four times, including consecutive championships in 1987 and 1988, the first team to do so since Boston in 1969.
Although they made another finals appearance in 1991, they spent most of the 1990s fielding teams that were not considered legitimate championship contenders. During the 1999-2000 season, however, they were able to make it back to the Finals when Shaquille O'Neal , Kobe Bryant , and Phil Jackson proved to be the winning combination, taking three consecutive championships. After missing out in 2003, a retooled Lakers team featuring newcomers Karl Malone and Gary Payton roared into the 2004 finals, only to lose to Detroit in five games.
The following summer, the team was ripped apart. Personality conflicts between Shaq and Kobe came to a head. Shaq demanded to be traded and he was, sent to the Miami Heat. Malone retired, Payton was traded to the Boston Celtics, and Phil Jackson left, replaced by Rudy Tomjonavich .
Kobe led a young team but the results were anything but positive and the Lakers ended up missing the playoffs. As the 2005 season nears, fans have reason to be optimistic, thanks to the return of Jackson, and are looking for the Lakers to do better.
Players of note
Other notable players
Coaches and others
- As the Minneapolis Lakers, the team holds the record for the lowest-scoring NBA game ever played along with the Fort Wayne Pistons . On November 22 , 1950 , the Lakers were leading until the fourth quarter, when the Pistons pulled ahead to win 19 to 18. This took place in a time before efforts were made to speed up gameplay, such as the addition of the shot clock .
- Los Angeles is the only city to have two NBA teams (the other is the Los Angeles Clippers ).
- The 2004-05 season marks only the fourth time the Lakers have failed qualifying for the post-season since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1960.
- Their rivalry with the Boston Celtics is among the most storied in sports history.
- The Los Angeles Lakers have, for most of their history, attracted stars both on and off the court. With their long line of Hall of Famers (and certain future Hall of Famers in Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant) such as Magic Johnson, George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, and Jerry West, the Lakers have managed to carry a glorious history of exciting basketball that has attracted many celebrities to their games. The most notable of these celebrities are the likes of Jack Nicholson , Goldie Hawn , Andy Garcia , and Dyan Cannon , who are all long-time fans.