Los Angeles Lakers NBA Game

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To all Lakers fans or even basketball lovers, do you even know that the team that would become the Lakers was founded in 1946 as the Detroit Gems and played in the National Basketball League (NBL).

Then the team of course moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1947, and its name was changed to the Lakers to reflect the Minnesota state nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” That exact same year the Lakers acquired George Mikan, who became professional basketball’s first dominant “big man” and the first in a series of great Laker centres.

Of course the Lakers joined the BAA (the official precursor of the NBA) for the 1948–49 season and won the final BAA championship.

And as most people know, the NBA was actually formed in 1949, and Mikan and the Lakers—which also featured future Hall of Famers Jim Pollard, Slater Martin, Vern Mikkelsen, and (from 1953) Clyde Lovellette—won four of the first five league titles, establishing professional basketball’s first dynasty.

Also the attendance at Lakers games fell after Mikan’s retirement in 1956, and the team moved to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.

The Lakers advanced to the NBA finals six times in the 1960s but lost to the Celtics in each appearance despite the presence of all-time greats Elgin Baylor and Jerry West (who would later assemble a number of Lakers championship teams as the team’s general manager).

And of course definitely during the 1971–72 season, however, the Lakers, led by West, Gail Goodrich, and Wilt Chamberlain—set NBA records for longest winning streak (33 games) and best regular season record (69–13; broken in the 1995–96 season by the Chicago Bulls) on their way to the NBA championship, the team’s first title since relocating to Los Angeles.