The Laker franchise began its existence as the Detroit Gems basketball team of the National Basketball League (NBL). The Gems were owned by Dearborn, Michigan, entrepreneur C. King Boring. The team played only one season in the NBL under the Gems name, posting a 4-40 record on the court and equally dismal results financially.
In 1947, Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen bought the Gems from Boring for $15,000. Boring would go on to own the Vagabond Kings, a professional team that found much more success barnstorming in the late 40's and early 50's than the Gems had found playing in the NBL. Nonetheless, with the ultimate success that befell the Gems franchise in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, Boring's granddaughter claims that Boring later lamented that he did not maintain a minority ownership interest in the team for himself.
The Lakers saw a lot of success when they moved to Minneapolis. They won 3 straight titles in 3 different leagues starting with the 1948 NBL title. The following year they moved to the two year old Basketball Association of America where they once again won the title in 1949. That August the BAA and NBL merged to form the NBA and the Lakers would once again win the title in 1950.
The Lakers would become the NBA's first three time Champion when they won titles in 1952, 1953, and 1954.
The Lakers had acquired big man George Mikan the year they moved from Detroit from the Chicago American Gears who were leaving the NBL to play in other leagues. Mikan would be the Lakers first and biggest star during the later 1940s and 1950s. Mikan would play with the Lakers from 1947 until he retired in 1956.
After Mikan retired the Lakers struggled some on the court, but a lot at the ticket gate. This lead to the team relocating to Los Angeles in 1960.
Quick facts: Relocated: 1947 Arena: Minneapolis Auditorium Division Championships: 6 1948, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1957 Total Titles: 6 NBA Titles: 4 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954 BAA Titles: 1 1949 NBL Titles: 1 1948 Playoffs: 12