Los Angeles Lakers Details
Some of the all-time best basketball players—Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant—have worn the Lakers’ iconic purple and gold. It follows then that the Lakers are among the most successful teams in the history of the NBA: their 16 championships are second to only the Celtics.
The Lakers take their name from their original home of played in Minneapolis, Minnesota (Minnesota is often called the Land of 10,000 Lakes). The team won five championships in Minnesota but moved to Los Angeles in 1960. Wilt Chamberlain led the Lakers to their first LA championship in 1972, and the duo of Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabar dominated the 1980s, when the Lakers won five titles.
At the start of the new millennium, the Lakers, now led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, won three straight championships between 2000-2002. It was the franchise’s second “threepeat,” with the first coming during their time in Minnesota. Without O’Neal, Bryant and coach Phil Jackson took the Lakers to two more titles in 2009 and 2010.
The Lakers of today are rebuilding, and that’s meant that they’ve struggled more in recent years than at any time in their history. They last made the playoffs in 2012-13 and have missed the postseason four years in a row. The Lakers had three first round picks in the 2017 draft. If you’ve watched or read any sports coverage recently, you’ve probably heard of Lonzo Ball, the Lakers’ top pick (2nd overall) in the 2017 draft. Ball is highly regarded for his passing ability and was the MVP of the Lakers’ Summer League championship team. Their other picks, Kyle Kuzma—MVP of the Summer League championship game—and Josh Hart will join second year player Brandon Ingram and form the young nucleus of a Lakers team that hopes to live up to its pedigree and bring more NBA championships to Los Angeles.