Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers

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Los Angeles Lakers Team History

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most decorated teams in the NBA, having won 16 NBA championships. The Lakers were founded in 1947 after team ownership purchased the disbanded Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League and established the Minneapolis Lakers of the National Basketball League. The team would later join the Basketball Association of America after winning the NBL Championship in 1948. The franchise would struggle financially in Minneapolis, eventually leading the team to move to Los Angeles in 1960.

Los Angeles Lakers Championships

The Lakers have won the second most championships in NBA history with 16 titles, just behind the Boston Celtics’ 17 championships. The Lakers won their first championship in 1949, winning four more titles in the next five seasons, all coming in Minneapolis. After putting together several dominant teams in the 1960s with stars Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, the Lakers finally brought a championship to Los Angeles in 1972 after acquiring Wilt Chamberlain in 1968. The Showtime Lakers of the 1980s led by Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy won five titles in nine years. 

The Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal Lakers of the 2000s earned its second three-peat with championships from 2000 through 2002. After O’Neal’s departure, Bryant led the Lakers to two more championships in 2009 and 2010.

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Los Angeles Lakers Famous Players and Hall of Famers

Wilt Chamberlain was one of the most dominant forces of the NBA in the early decades, leading the Lakers to a championship in 1972 and winning the Finals MVP award. During his career, Chamberlain was named the NBA Most Valuable Player four times and an NBA All-Star 13 times. One of the most prolific scorers in NBA history and the only player to thus far score 100 points in a game, Chamberlain was also a dominant man on the boards, holding the all-time NBA record for rebounds with 23,974 boards.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player Award six times in his career and won six NBA championships, with five of them coming in the Los Angeles purple and gold. Abdul-Jabbar was also a 19-time All-Star selection and holds several NBA records, including points scored, games played, made field goals, blocked shots and defensive rebounds.

Magic Johnson joined Abdul-Jabbar in the five Laker championships in the 1980s, playing as a 6-foot-9-point guard that could do just about anything. His HIV diagnosis led to a shortened playing career, but Johnson is still remembered as one of the greatest players of all time and one of the most beloved Lakers.

Many fans may remember Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant’s messy divorce, but their separation cannot overshadow how unstoppable the two were when playing together. O’Neal and Bryant formed a formidable one-two punch, leading to the team’s three-peat in the early 2000s. 

Bryant would continue carrying the mantle as the Lakers’ superstar after O’Neal’s departure. He would finish his 20-year career spent entirely with the Los Angeles Lakers as the third-highest regular-season scorer and fourth-highest postseason scorer in NBA history.

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