The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Their home court is at STAPLES Center in downtown LA. The Lakers are tied with their longtime rival, the Boston Celtics, at 17 championships — the most in the NBA. The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak (33), set during the 1971-72 season. This is the longest of any team in American professional sports. Seventeen Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles and four have coached the team.
Before the 17-time NBA Champions resided in Los Angeles, the team started with the National Basketball League in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1947. The origin of the team name today, Lakers, is a nod to the state's nickname "Land of 10,000 Lakes." While in the Midwest, the Lakers won five championships. This is also where their affinity to superstars began. It was their center George Mikan, regarded by the NBA as the league's first "superstar," that led the way to early success. But championships and renowned players would become cornerstones of the Lakers.
In 1960, the Lakers made the fateful move to Los Angeles, becoming the first West Coast team in the NBA. Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time MVP Wilt Chamberlain to play center, and after losing in the Finals in 1969 and 1970, they won their sixth NBA title — and first in Los Angeles in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired another center, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had won multiple MVP awards but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s. The 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their Magic Johnson-led fast break-offense and won five championships in nine years. Under the new ownership of visionary Dr. Jerry Buss, this team featured Hall of Famers in Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy, and a Hall of Fame coach, Pat Riley. After Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson's retirement, the team struggled in the early 1990s before acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. Led by O'Neal, Bryant, and another Hall of Fame coach, Phil Jackson, Los Angeles won three consecutive titles from 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second Three-peat. Shortly after, Kobe was joined by six-time All-Star, Pau Gasol. The duo led the Lakers to two more championships, defeating the Orlando Magic in 2009 and the Boston Celtics in 2010. In 2020, the team notched their 17th title versus the Miami Heat in one of the most trying seasons and difficult years for the league and country. The Lakers’ duo of this decade, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, commanded the team to victory despite such a tumultuous season. The championship declared Jeanie Buss the First Female Owner of a championship team in NBA history.
Now the Lakers stand today, 33 Finals appearances, 17 NBA Championships later, with a storied commitment to excellence and a culture that transcends sport.
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