Minneapolis Lakers HISTORY

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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

Minneapolis Lakers Standings
1959-60 Min. 25 50 .333 3rd Western 5 4 .556 Lost West Div Finals 1958-59 Min. 33 39 .458 2nd Western 6 7 .462 Lost NBA Finals 1957-58 Min. 19 53 .264 4th Western - - - DNQ 1956-57 Min. 34 38 .472 1st Western 2 3 .400 Lost West Div Finals 1955-56 Min. 33 39 .458 2nd Western 1 2 .333 Lost West Div Semis 1954-55 Min. 40 32 .556 2nd Western 3 4 .429 Lost West Div Finals 1953-54 Min. 46 26 .639 1st Western 9 4 .692 Won NBA Finals 1952-53 Min. 48 22 .686 1st Western 9 3 .750 Won NBA Finals 1951-52 Min. 40 26 .606 2nd Western 9 4 .692 Won NBA Finals 1950-51 Min. 44 24 .647 1st Western 3 4 .429 Lost West Div Finals 1949-50 Min. 51 17 .750 1st Central 10 2 .833 Won NBA Finals 1948-49 Min. 44 16 .733 2nd Western 8 2 .800 Won BAA Finals 1947-48 Min. 43 17 .717 1st Western 8 2 .800 Won NBL Finals For more Lakers standing click here


George Mikan hoists head coach John Kundla up on his soulders after winning a title

 




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