Detroit Gems 46-47

Minneapolis Lakers 1960s

Los Angeles Lakers 1961-1973

Lakers 1973-Now
Los Angeles Lakers HISTORY

Player info
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Minneapolis Lakers History
Season Records

33 game win streak
60 Point Games
All-star History
Great Player seasons

Quick facts:

Founded:                     1946 as Detroit Gems as a member of the National Basketball League
Arena:                       Staples Center
Division Championships:      (28) 1950, 1951, 1953, 1954 1962, 1963, 1965, 
                                  1966, 1969, 1971, 1972,
                                  1973, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983,
                                  1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989,
                                  1990, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2009, 
                                  2010, 2011, 2020
NBL Titles:                   1(1948)
NBA Titles:                  17(1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 
                             1982, 1985,1987, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2020)
Playoffs:                    57

Best Season:   1971-72   69-13 .841
Worst Season:  2015-16   17-65 .207 NBA
               1946-47    4-40 .091 NBL

Lakers Owners
2013-     Buss Family Trust
1979-2013 Dr. Jerry Buss 
1965-1979 Jack Kent Cooke 
1958-1965 Bob Short 
1947-1958 Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen 
1946-1947 C. King Boring

Worst of the worst:
The Lakers started life as the Detroit Gems in the NBL. The where just one of many failed experiments in Detroit for the NBL over its 13 year history.

The Lakers often omit this part of their history, and for good reason. The Detroit Gems are probably the worst team in the history of basketball. Sure, some teams have played worse but they never lasted a full 44 game league schedule; the Gems somehow did.

If the NBA were to take into account the NBL history, the Gems win percentage of .091 would be the worst in history.

The Gems would only last one year in Detroit before moving to Minneapolis for the 1947-48 NBL Season.

Losing also may have saved the franchise. When the PBLA collapsed right before the NBL season, the NBL teams took turns drafting the best PBLA players, and the Lakers, who had the worst record in the NBL the season before as the Gems, got first pick. They selected George Mikan.

Mikan would lead the Lakers to the best record in the NBL that season and would guide them to the franchises first championship in one of the most stunning turn around in sports history. The next season the Lakers would jump to the newly created BAA and win the title there as well. The Lakers would win their third title when the NBL and BAA merged to form the NBA.

California Dreamin':
The Lakers shocked many when in 1960 they packed up and moved to Los Angeles. The fan base in Minneapolis had always supported the team and the team was the most successful in the NBA.

The move was seen as an attempt to make more money as the NBA had no foot print in the west and was looking to expand west of the Mississippi River. The Lakers, however, were not the first NBA team in the west. In the 1949-50 season, a full decade before the Lakers move, the NBA had a team in Denver, Colorado.

With a few seasons after the Lakers move to Los Angeles the NBA had teams in San Diego, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle.

The Showtime Lakers might be the most important team in NBA history. NBA basketball was just taking off in America in the 1980s, and while the league was over 30 years old when the Showtime Lakers were being put together, it had always been behind the MLB, NFL and NHL.

The success was due to many factors. One being the gregarious nature of Magic Johnson; who had the personality and looks of a movie star to go with unbelievable basketball talent. The other season was because the rivalry with Boston made it a national east coast vs west coast rivalry which fans everywhere could get behind.

The HIV/AIDS scare that hit America would hit the NBA like a sledgehammer. Magic Johnson had been the face of basketball and the NBA and when he announced in 1991 that he had contacted the disease it affected everyone.

The disease which most Americans feared and knew very little about was now at the forefront of the sports world.

3x5 titles:
When the Lakers are really good they tend to dominate entire decades, and in some odd pattern have three times won 5 NBA titles in a decade. The first was in the 1950s where they won 5 titles behind George Mikan. Than they did it again 30 years later in the 1980s behind Magic Johnson, and most recently in the 2000s behind Kobe Bryant. The Lakers have won 15 of their 17 NBA titles in these three epochs of dominance.

The Worst Draft in NBA history: 1952

When discussing the worst NBA draft classes in NBA history, two classes often get brought up: The 1986 NBA draft and the 2000 NBA draft. Both drafts, while disastrous, did produce multiple NBA all-stars. However, only one draft class has failed to produce multiple NBA all-stars and that is the draft of 1952: The worst draft in NBA history.

1952 was just the beginning of NBA history and drafts until the 1990s were truly crap-shoots as few if any of the teams had video or scouting on the majority of the players they drafted. The 1952 draft class was just the sixth draft in NBA history, but teams had begun getting use to the process and some of the preceding and succeeding drafts provided the league with some of the all-time greats.

Excluding the two most recent draft classes of 2019 and 2020, every other draft in NBA history has produced at least 3 all-stars except for 1951 and 1952. Even the dreaded 2000 draft was able to give the league three all-stars in Michael Redd, Kenyon Martin and Jamal Magloire. While the 1951 draft only produced two all-stars in Mel Hutchins and Don Sunderledge, it was able to produce several solid role players who played multiple seasons in the NBA such as Whitey Skogg, Lew Hitch, Al McGuire and George Dempsey. The 1952 draft was not even able to do that.

Complete Article
The Architect of Show-Time

The Showtime Lakers of the 1980s are undoubtedly one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history. Behind Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, and Pat Riley they made nine NBA finals and won 5 of them. Their epic battles with the Larry Bird lead Celtics established what a rivalry should be, and they helped usher in the NBA to its glory days.

But what if I told you that the brand of basketball synonymous with that era and the Lakers themselves was not put in place by Pat Riley? What if I told you that this whole era got started by a man that NBA history has largely forgotten, and who coached the Lakers for just 14 games? You'd say I was crazy, right? Well, it's the truth.

The 1970s Lakers were a rollercoaster. They had the star power that is always associated with the Lakers, they had names like Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain, but they never dominated the decade. They were just one of the many teams that won NBA championships during that era. The late 70s in particular were a difficult era for the team. From 1975 to 1977 they did not make the playoffs in the beleaguered west, and they had no star.

Complete Article

A retrospect of the life and career of Kobe Bryant

Sports is something that we turn to in order to get away from the hardships and tragedies of life. But sometimes tragedy finds its way to our beloved sports, and that is just what has happened on January 26, 2020.

Kobe Bryant is one of the most unmistakable players in NBA history, and an American icon. He was the face of the NBA for a generation. Bryant's untimely death has shocked the NBA, the nation and indeed the world. He was more than just an NBA player, he was a celebrity and an icon.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. he was 41 years old.

Complete Article

Military Veterans who have played in the NBA

The United States Military has been a big piece of American history and American lore. Before every basketball game fans stand an honor America and the men and women who have served with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. The song immortalizes the defense of Fort McHenry from the war of 1812. The Veterans Administration (VA) estimates that 22 million Americans have served in the military. Countless famous Americans have served in the armed forces and that includes several NBA players.

During the early days of one of the NBA's precursors, the NBL, it was not uncommon for a player to leave the league to join the military. The military offered better pay and better accommodations than the league did.

World War II was nearly the end of the NBL as the majority of players left to serve. The lack of players caused the first racial integration in any major sport in American history

Complete Article

Kobe Bryant's career retrospective

The illustrious career of one of the most polarizing players in NBA history has come to a dramatic and fitting end. Kobe Bryant played his final game of his first ballot Hall of Fame career last Wednesday night and finished with a fitting 60 points. Kobe's last game is a microcosm of his career. He scored a lot of points, but the points were of little value and he did so on many shots and a poor shooting percentage.

Without a doubt Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest NBA players of all-time and arguably a top 20 greatest of all-time. But this is where things get murky. He had a lot of success winning five NBA championships, but controversy and question marks have followed every one of those titles.

The first three titles where not really Kobe's doing

Complete Article

With this shot Lebron James became the NBA's all-time scoring leader.

2022 Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Lebron James

Lebron James and Anthony Davis celebrate winning the 2020 NBA title.
Lakers faced the Heat in the 2020 NBA bubble NBA finals.

The Lakers tried to form a big 4 in 2004 with Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Gary Payton and Karl Malone.
Eddie Jones and Kobe Bryant

Lakers Greatest Centers: George Mikan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O'Neal

Lakers media day photo

Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won 5 titles for the Lakers between 1980 and 1987.

Wilt Chamberlain

Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West

Jerry West rises over the Knicks Walt Frazier for a jumpshot.

Lakers arrive in Los Angeles

Elgin Baylor

Rodney "Hot Rod" Hundley

Pat Riley as a player

Dick Schnittker

Chicago Gears vs Detroit Gems with George Mikan as a member of the Gears. The Gems would eventually become the Lakers

1951-52 Minneapolis Lakers season pass

George Mikan

Curtis Henderson of the Detroit Gems.


NBA History