Housed in the famous Staples Center in LA, the Lakers have had a storied and colorful history. The won their first NBA title in 1949 and the latest one in 2010. In between that the team has produced some legendary players and multiple hall of fame award winners. The biggest names include, George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. At the same time several coaches who served the team, have been inducted into the Hall of Fame as well.
The Los Angeles Lakers franchise was formed when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen purchased the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1947. Since the two owners were from Minnesota, they were inspired by Minnesotas nickname "Land of 10,000 Lakes" and christened the new team as the Lakers. The teams star player was center Georg Mikan, who would go on to become the most dominant player in the league. The NBA website considers the hall of famer as the games first true superstar. In 1948, the Lakers shifted to the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and Mikan set a league record in his first season with the highest average ppg (points per game). The team won the 1949 Championship beating the Washington Capitols. Mikan led the team to five Championship titles from 1949-1954, after which he retired. The team struggled financially during the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement and they moved to Los Angeles before the 196061 season.
The Middle Years and Showtime:
The Lakers did not win another title for many years as they saw a slump in form. That changed with the arrival of Wilt Chamberlain, who in 1972 led the team to another title. The winning team of that season is considered one of the best in history, as they set the record for most consecutive games won, with thirty three wins in as many matches. After Chamberlains retirement, two new superstars joined the team; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson. The team was nicknamed "Showtime" due to their fast Johnson led break-offense. Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson were the back bones of the Showtime Lakers and led the team to five titles in the 80s.
The next major winning period in the Lakers history came during the Shaquille O Neal and Kobe Bryant era. The late 90s and early 2000s saw the team winning three consecutive titles to achieve their third "three-peat", which means they had previously achieved this feat too. After O Neals departure, the Lakers were able to win two more crowns and in the process became one of the all-time great franchises in the sports history. The Lakers have won 23 Division titles with the current crop of players winning five consecutive division titles from 2008-2012. The success of the team has caused it to become and international phenomenon, with players like Kobe Bryant becoming international stars. Since its inception the team has only missed the playoffs only five times. Apart from winning sixteen titles, the team has appeared in fifteen losing finals as well making it one of the most successful franchises in any sport. So if you are a basketball fan, buy and come watch one of the best basketball teams in the world play live.