Los Angeles Lakers – Aside from, perhaps, the Boston Celtics, no NBA franchise is more prominent than the Los Angeles Lakers.
The team traces its origins back to the Basketball Association of America, which merged with the National Basketball League in 1949 to form the NBA. Then based in Minneapolis, the Lakers won the 1949 BAA Finals to secure their first championship and they did so with Hall of famer George Mikan leading the way.
Mikan, the first of the Lakers storied big men, went on to win four more titles, guiding the Lakers to NBA championships in 1950, 1952, 1953 and 1954.
The franchise moved to Los Angeles following the 1960 season and its success continued; however, it would not claim another championship until 1972 when Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Gail Goodrich led the Lakers past the New York Knicks in five games.
The Lakers also dominated the 1980’s, winning championships in ’80, ’82, ’85, ’87 and ’88 with the likes of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy having their way with opposing teams.
Los Angeles, in spite of making 10 postseason appearances, experienced a championship drought in the 1990’s, but Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal would end that dry spell.
The duo, along with head coach Phil Jackson, helped the Lakers to titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002, marking the second time the franchise had produced three consecutive championships. Bryant and Jackson stayed on for two more championship runs as the Lakers claimed the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2009 and 2010 as well.
Los Angeles will enter the 2015-2016 NBA season with 16 championships, 31 conference titles and 23 division titles.
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Los Angeles Lakers
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