The Los Angeles Lakers (also known as the LA Lakers or The Lakers) are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles and competing in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Western Conference Pacific Division of the league. The Lakers are considered one of the most successful NBA teams in history, having won 17 NBA Championships, a record jointly held with the Boston Celtics for the most in NBA history.
The History of the Lakers can be traced back to 1947, with the purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League (NBL). The new team started playing in Minneapolis, Minnesota and referred to themselves as the Minneapolis Lakers. Although, at inception, the team was a member of the NBL and won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America, where they would win five of the next six championships through the early 50s, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan’s retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.
The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Laker nickname came from the state of Minnesota, being the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The team’s colors are purple, gold and white. The Lakers logo consists of the team name, “Los Angeles Lakers,” written in purple on a gold basketball. The team usually wears white jerseys for Sunday and holiday home games.
The Lakers hold the record for NBA’s longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season. Twenty-six Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles, while four have coached the team. Four Lakers—Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, O’Neal, and Bryant—have won the NBA MVP Award for a total of eight awards.
Given the team’s proximity to Hollywood, the Lakers fan base includes numerous celebrities, many of whom can be seen at the Staples Center during home games. Jack Nicholson, for example, has held season tickets since the 1970s, and directors reportedly need to work their shooting schedules around Lakers home games. From 2002 and 2007, the team averaged just over 18,900 fans, which placed them in the top ten in the NBA in attendance. In 2008, the team sold out every home game, and in 2010, the Lakers had the most popular team merchandise among all NBA teams, and Bryant the most popular jersey.
The history of basketball in the 20th and 21st century is incomplete without the mention of the Lakers. Not just because of their on-field exploits or the amount of titles and successes recorded, but because, out of the Lakers came some the game’s greatest of all-time; which are not limited to Abdul-Jabbar Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal among several others.