History laker greats

Los Angeles Lakers

  • The Beginning

    The Beginning
    . The Minneapolis Lakers' first season was 1947-48, when the team entered the National Basketball League. A strange series of events early that year landed the Lakers the biggest prize in the game at that time-center George Mikan.
  • First NBA Champions

    The first NBA Finals pitted the Lakers against the Syracuse Nationals. Which the Lakers won in 6 games. Mikan, who had led the league in scoring during the regular season with 27.4 points per game (only one other player topped 20.0 ppg), poured in 31.3 points per contest in the playoffs.
  • Second Championship

    Second Championship
    Minneapolis took Game 1 at St. Paul but needed overtime to do so. The Knicks prevailed in Game 2. Back in New York, Games 3 and 4 were played at the 69th Regiment Armory instead of at Madison Square Garden because the circus was in town. The teams split those games, and Games 5 and 6 as well. Game 7 was all Minneapolis. The Lakers pounded out an 82-65 win at home to claim their second NBA crown in three years
  • Slowing Down "Big George"

    The NBA widened the foul lane before the 1951-52 season in an attempt to slow Mikan, but the rule change had a minimal effect on "Big George." He still averaged 23.8 points, but he lost the scoring title to Paul Arizin, a sharp-shooting forward with the Philadelphia Warriors.
  • first dynasty

    The Lakers would play the New York Kinckerbockers again in the NBA finals, and the Lakers would win in 5 games. To become the NBA's first repeat.
  • 3 peat!

    The Nationals surprised Minneapolis with a two-point win on the Lakers' home court in Game 2, tying the series at one game apiece. The Lakers then took two out of three games in Syracuse, and the teams returned to Minneapolis with the Lakers leading, three games to two. Syracuse survived Game 6 with another two-point victory, but the Lakers made it three titles in a row with an 87-80 triumph in the deciding game.
  • Helping George!

    Helping George!
    Lakers signed a promising rookie named Clyde Lovellette, who was more than capable of spelling Mikan at the center position.
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    No, Championship Streak!

    The Lakers didn't have a winning season without Mikan under the Center postion until The Arival!
  • Sad Day for Lakers

    Mikan retired before the 1954-55 season began and assumed the job of team general manager.
  • Baylor Ushers Era

    Baylor Ushers Era
    In his rookie campaign Baylor finished fourth in the league in scoring (24.9 ppg) and third in rebounding (15.0 rpg). He also led the club in assists with 4.1 per game. Powered by the league's newest superstar (and that season's Rookie of the Year), Minneapolis won 14 more games than the year before and finished with a 33-39 record, good for second place in the Western Division behind the St. Louis Hawks.
  • The Move

    The Move
    Minnpolis Lakers were moved to the Los Angeles Lakers!
  • Lakers Lose to Celtics

    The NBA Finals pitted the Lakers against the Boston Celtics, and the series opened in Boston, where the teams split two games. The Lakers won Game 3 in Los Angeles, thanks to a last-second steal and a layup by Jerry West. The Celtics evened the series with a win in Game 4. Game 5, which was played in Boston, saw Baylor pour in 61 points to set a playoff record that stood for a quarter of a century. The teams headed to Los Angeles with the Lakers up three games to two and poised to clinch the cha
  • Jack Kent Cooke

     Jack Kent Cooke
    Cooke paid $5 million for the team, which not only represented a huge profit but also established that the value of an NBA franchise was on par with the value of a Major League Baseball team.
  • SuperCenter

    The 1968-69 Lakers weren't the dominating force that everyone expected them to be after the arrival of Chamberlain, but they did take the Western Division title with a 55-27 record. Chamberlain led the league in rebounding with 21.1 boards per game while West and Baylor each averaged better than 20 points
  • The Streak!

    The Lakers opeed up with a 33 game winning streak. And it was Broken by The Milwauke Bucks on Jan 9.
  • A Great Record

    The Lakers went an amazing 69-13. Which was a record until the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls which went 72-10.
  • Fianlly!

    The Lakers breezed right through the playoffs, sweeping the Chicago Bulls in the conference semifinals, ousting the Bucks in six games in the conference finals, and then zipping by the Knicks in the Finals, four games to one. After years of frustration the Lakers had finally earned an NBA Championship, the team's first in Los Angeles and the first for the franchise since 1954. Chamberlain was named Most Valuable Player of the Finals.
  • Wilt and West Bye Bye

    Chamberlain, now 37 years old, retired. He left the NBA with a career average of 30.1 points per game. Of the 57 top scoring performances in NBA history, he had accounted for 47. In 14 years he had accumulated more than 31,000 points and had pulled down more than 23,000 rebounds. He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978.
  • Ouch!

    Abdul-Jabbar had an MVP season for Los Angeles in 1975-76. He led the league in rebounding, blocked shots, and minutes played and finished second in scoring and field-goal percentage. But the big trade paid higher short-term dividends for Milwaukee than it did for Los Angeles-the Bucks went from last to first in the Midwest Division.
  • Trading for Kareem!

    Trading for Kareem!
    Lakers trade Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Junior Bridgeman, and Dave Meyers. All for Kareem!
  • Never Good!

    Then, on December 9, the Lakers' Kermit Washington got into a tussle with Kevin Kunnert of the Houston Rockets. Houston's Rudy Tomjanovich ran downcourt to break up the fight. Washington saw Tomjanovich running at him from behind and responded with a devastating punch that nearly ended Tomjanovich's career. Washington was fined and suspended for 60 days. Tomjanovich missed the entire season and underwent a series of operations to reconstruct his jaw, eye, and cheek.
  • Buss ERA

    Buss ERA
    During the offseason owner Jack Kent Cooke sold his sports empire, which included the Lakers and the Great Western Forum, to Santa Monica real estate developer Jerry Buss for $67.5 million. Buss brought in Jack McKinney as the new head coach.
  • Showtime was Arrived!

    Showtime was Arrived!
    Los Angeles picked Earvin "Magic" Johnson, an electrifying 6-9 point guard who had led Michigan State to the 1979 NCAA Championship. "Showtime" had arrived, and a dynasty was established almost overnight.
  • Back on track!

    Los Angeles walked all over Phoenix and Seattle in the first two rounds of the playoffs, taking each series in five games. The NBA Finals pitted the club against the Julius Erving-led Philadelphia 76ers, and the two teams split four close games to start the series. Abdul-Jabbar sprained his ankle in Game 5 but still scored 40 points to give the Lakers a 108-103 win. Still just a 20-year-old rookie, Johnson moved from guard to center and tallied 42 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists, single-hande
  • Hello Mr. Riley!

    Owner Jerry Buss fired Coach Paul Westhead after the Lakers went 7-4 to start the 1981-82 season. Buss promoted Assistant Coach Pat Riley, a former Lakers backup point guard, to head coach on November 19, and the team won 17 of its next 20 games.
  • Whoops Another one?

    Los Angeles then stretched its postseason winning streak to nine games by taking the first contest of the NBA Finals from the 76ers. Philadelphia came back to win Game 2, but the Lakers prevailed in the series, four games to two, to win their second title in three years. The team's playoff record that year was 12-2.
  • A Worthy Draft Pick

    A Worthy Draft Pick
    James Worthy! After winning the Championship the previous year they traded for the first round draft pick and got sir James Worhty from NORTH CAROLINA!
  • Scoring Champ!

    Although he led the league with 13.1 assists per game, Johnson's injury prevented him from setting a probable NBA record for total assists in a season. The Lakers garnered their share of NBA records that year anyway. On April 5 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the NBA's all-time leading scorer when he scored point No. 31,420 against Utah to pass Wilt Chamberlain.
  • Beating Boston!

    The 1985 series marked the ninth time that Los Angeles and Boston had met in the NBA Finals but the first time that the Lakers had come away with the crown.
  • Again!?

    Los Angeles routed Boston in the first two games of the Finals, and the teams then split the next four contests, giving the Lakers their second championship in three seasons.
  • So much for Bad Boys!

    The NBA Finals represented a clash of styles, with the run-and-gun Lakers battling the physical Pistons. The series went a grueling seven games, with players on both sides turning in heroic performances. The most heroic of all was turned in by James Worthy, who had a triple-double in Game 7 to lead the Lakers to a 108-105 victory. Worthy was named Finals MVP
  • So long Kareem!

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reitres at the age of 41 years old. He is the all-time leading scorer!
  • Why Pat!

    After winning the NBA Coach of the Year Award for 1989-90, Pat Riley stepped down during the offseason. His nine-year reign in Los Angeles had yielded incredible numbers: a .733 regular-season winning percentage, a 102-47 playoff record, nine Pacific Division titles, and four NBA Championships. Mike Dunleavy was appointed to fill Riley's shoes, and the team signed free agent Sam Perkins from Dallas.
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  • AIDS?

    After Johnson's stunning announcement in November, he went on a season-long crusade to help increase AIDS awareness and raise money for AIDS research. For his tireless efforts Johnson was presented with the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award, given annually to that member of the NBA family who makes outstanding contributions to the community.
  • Hope at last!

    Hope at last!
    The Los Angeles Lakers dipped into the free agent coffers prior to the 1996-97, wresting away prized center Shaquille O'Neal from the Orlando Magic. O'Neal, a 7-1 center with a rare combination of power and quickness, averaged 27.2 ppg and 12.5 rpg in four seasons with the Magic, leading Orlando to the NBA Finals in 1995.
  • Kobe and Shaq!

    Kobe and Shaq!
    The Lakers made a blockbuster trade, changed coaches, brought a seven-time rebounding champion on board for awhile and closed out their historic arena. In other words, they squeezed an entire year's worth of action into a lockout-shortened season.
  • New place to play

    The 1999-2000 season was the beginning of a new era in Los Angeles Lakers basketball. The team hired a new head coach in former Chicago Bulls lead man Phil Jackson, and for the first time in 31 years the Lakers would play their home games somewhere other than the Great Western Forum, as the club moved into the brand new 18,997-seat STAPLES Center in Downtown Los Angeles.
  • Yes!

    Lakers went on to defeat the Indiana Pacers in six games, earning their first NBA Championship since 1988.
  • Back to Back

    . Philadelphia surprised the Lakers with a 107-101 overtime victory at STAPLES Center, but Los Angeles went on to victories in each of the next four games to claim a second consecutive NBA title.
  • Three peat!

    Los Angeles faced the New Jersey Nets in the 2002 NBA Finals and won the series in four games. Averaging 36.3 points and 12.3 rebounds, O'Neal was named NBA Finals MVP for the third consecutive season, joining Michael Jordan as the only players to have accomplished that feat. O'Neal and Bryant were both named First Team All-NBA, becoming the first tandem to receive that honor since Chicago's Jordan and Scottie Pippen in 1996.
  • In and Out!!

    After celebrating back-to-back-to-back NBA championships, there appeared to be no end to the Lakers impressive run of titles. And if a Robert Horry three-pointer from the wing in the final seconds of Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals had gone in-and-out and back in again, perhaps the run might not have ended, at least this season. Opportunity, for the first time in three years, had passed the champions by.
  • Huge Line-up!

    Teaming future Hall-of-Famers Gary Payton and Karl Malone along with perennial All-Stars Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant gave the Lakers one of the most decorated starting line-ups in league history.
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    Phoenix Suns!

    losing three times to the suns in the playoffa!
  • Boston again!?

    But the dream finally ended in the NBA Finals against the hated Boston Celtics, who won Games 1 and 2 and rallied from a 24-point deficit in Game 4 to put L.A. in a 3-1 hole, ultimately winning Game 6 back in Beantown in blowout fashion to secure the title.
  • Champions again!

    Awaiting the Lakers in the NBA Finals were the Orlando Magic, whom L.A. disposed of in Games 1 and 2 before the Magic struck back in Game 3 with a 108-104 victory. Then came the tipping point of the series, when Orlando held a five-point lead in the final minute of Game 4, but fell victim to a huge crunch-time performance from Derek Fisher that featured two dagger three-pointers, the first tying the game to force OT and the second putting the game away. Then came L.A.'s championship-winning Game
  • 16 Championships!

    16 Championships!
    Finals MVP for the second straight season, Bryant had scored at least 30 points 12 times throughout the playoff run, while Phil Jackson had won his 11th championship as a coach and the Lakers were champions of basketball for the 16th time.
  • Back to Back Again!``

    The Lakers opened the Finals with an impressive 102-89 Game 1 win, but fell 103-94 in Game 2 when Boston's Ray Allen hit seven first half three-pointers. Home court advantage was quickly regained, however, with a critical 91-84 victory in Game 3 at Boston thanks largely to Fisher's 11-point fourth quarter. Boston battled back to narrowly win Games 4 and 5 in Boston, before the Lakers pounded the Celtics with a terrific 89-67 Game 6 effort, until finally overcoming a 13-point third quarter defici