Los Angeles Lakers Team History
In 1957, the team was nearly sold to Kansas City interests who planned to relocate it there, before a local group helmed by businessman Bob Short purchased the team and kept it in Minneapolis. The new ownership was unable to cure the team’s financial ills, however.
After considering moves to Chicago and San Francisco, Bob Short decided to move the franchise to Los Angeles prior to the 1961 season, making the Lakers the NBA’s first West Coast team. The Lakers did not change their name after this second move, despite the general scarcity of natural lakes in southern California.
The Lakers moved to Cooke’s brand-new arena, The “Fabulous” Forum, in 1967
The circular, US$16 million structure was designed by renowned Los Angeles architect Charles Luckman and was intended to evoke the Roman Forum. The arena seats 17,505, for basketball, 16,005, for ice hockey and up to 18,000 for concerts; it has no luxury suites, but held an unprecedented 2,400 club seats for events. In excess of 70 percent of the seats were located between the goals and no seat is more than 170 feet from the playing surface.
By winning 33 straight games, Los Angeles set a record for longest winning streak of any team in American professional sports. The Lakers won 69 games that season, which stood as the NBA record for 24 years until the Chicago Bulls won 72 games in 1995 – 1996.
NBA Finals – 1972
The 1972 NBA World Championship Series was played at the conclusion of the 1971 – 1972 NBA season. The Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Eastern Conference Champion New York Knicks in five games. The Los Angeles Lakers got their first NBA championship since the Lakers moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis.
In the 1979 NBA draft, Los Angeles selected 6-foot, 9-inch point guard Magic Johnson from Michigan State with the first overall pick. It took Johnson’s teammates time to acclimate themselves to his passing ability, as his “no-look” passes often caught them unaware. Once they adjusted, his passing became a key part of Los Angeles’ offense. The Lakers won 60 games in Johnson’s rookie year, and defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in six games in the 1980 NBA Finals. Johnson won the series Finals MVP award, after starting at center for the injured Abdul-Jabbar in game six, and tallying 42 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists. The team fell off in the 1980 – 1981 season, though, as the Lakers lost Johnson for most of the season to a knee injury. The team turned in a 54–28 record and finished second behind the Phoenix Suns in the Pacific Division. The Rockets, led by Moses Malone, defeated Los Angeles in the first round of the playoffs.
NBA Finals – 1980
The 1980 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1979 – 1980 NBA season. In Game 6, Magic Johnson played what may have been the greatest game of his career. Playing on the road in Philadelphia, Magic (a 6’9″ point guard) started the game at center and eventually played all 5 positions in a dominating performance. Scoring a game-high 42 points and grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds—and handing out 7 assists—Magic Johnson led the Lakers to the NBA crown.
NBA Finals – 1982
The 1982 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1981 – 1982 NBA season, the top level of competition in men’s professional basketball in North America. The series saw the Los Angeles Lakers face the Philadelphia 76ers. It was a rematch of the 1980 NBA Finals, which the Lakers won 4-2.
NBA Finals – 1985
The 1985 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1984 – 1985 NBA season. The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Celtics four games to two to defeat the Celtics for the first time in Laker history in the NBA Finals.
NBA Finals – 1987
The 1987 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1986 – 1987 NBA season. The match took place between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. The Lakers won 4–2, beating the Celtics in the Finals. The key moment of the series was Magic Johnson’s junior sky hook in Game 4. This was the tenth time that the Celtics and Lakers met in the NBA Finals and would also mark the Celtics’ last appearance overall until the two teams met again in 2008.
NBA Finals – 1988
The 1988 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association’s 1987 – 1988 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals. James Worthy was named NBA Finals MVP. The Lakers became the first team since the Boston Celtics in 1969 to repeat as champions, a feat that coach Pat Riley guaranteed the previous offseason.
NBA Finals – 2000
The 2000 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association’s 1999 – 2000 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Indiana Pacers 4 games to 2. Shaquille O’Neal was named NBA Finals MVP.
NBA Finals – 2001
The 2001 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association’s 2000 – 2001 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers 4 games to 1. Shaquille O’Neal was named NBA Finals MVP for the second straight year.
NBA Finals – 2002
The 2002 NBA Finals was the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship series for the 2001 – 2002 season. The best-of-seven playoff was contested between the Los Angeles Lakers, champions of the Western Conference and two-time defending NBA champions, and the New Jersey Nets, champions of the Eastern Conference. The Lakers swept the Nets, four games to none, to win the franchise’s 14th NBA championship. The 56th edition of the championship series was played between June 5 and June 12 and was broadcast on NBC.
NBA Finals – 2009
The 2009 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association’s 2008 – 2009 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals. Kobe Bryant was named NBA Finals MVP.
NBA Finals – 2010
The 2010 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association’s 2009 – 2010 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals. Kobe Bryant was named NBA Finals MVP for the second straight year.
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member club of the league’s Western Conference Pacific Division. The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, and have won 16 NBA championships, their last being in 2010. As of 2015, the Lakers are the second most valuable franchise in the NBA according to Forbes, having an estimated value of $2.7 billion.
Minneapolis – Los Angeles
1949 – Present / National Basketball Association
1948 – 1949 / Basketball Association of America
1947 – 1948 / National Basketball League
1960 – Present / Los Angeles Lakers
1947 – 1948, 1948 – 1960 / Minneapolis Lakers
Lakers – Given that Minnesota is “The Land of 10,000 Lakes,” they settled on Lakers. When the Lakers moved to Los Angeles before the 1960 season, their nickname was retained, in part because of the tradition the team had established in Minnesota.
NBA Championships 11
2010, 2009, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1988, 1987, 1985, 1982, 1980, 1972, 1954, 1953, 1952, 1950, 1949
2000 – Present / Staples Arena
1967 – 1999 / The “Fabulous” Forum
1960 – 1967 / Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
1947 – 1960 / Minneapolis Auditorium
2013 – Present / Buss Family Trust
1979 – 2013 / Jerry Buss
1965 – 1979 / Jack Kent Cooke
1957 – 1965 / Bob Short
1948 – 1957 / Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen
Who is the greatest Los Angeles Lakers?
8 Kobe Bryant
13 Wilt Chamberlain
22 Elgin Baylor
24 Kobe Bryant
25 Gail Goodrich
32 Magic Johnson
33 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
34 Shaquille O’Neal
42 James Worthy
44 Jerry West
52 Jamal Wilkes
MIC Chick Hearn
*Blue is this team’s history