LOS ANGELES LAKERS FRANCHISE HISTORY
Previous Franchise Names: Minneapolis Lakers
Principal Owner: Buss Family Trust
CEO: Francis Mariani
General Manager: Mitch Kupchak
Head Coach: Byron Scott
Best Season: 1971-72 (69-13, .841)
Playoff Appearances: 60
NBA Championships: 16 (1948-49, 1951-54, 1971-72, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1984-85, 1986-88, 1999-2002, 2008-10)
The Los Angeles Lakers, originally the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League and later the Minneapolis Lakers in the NBL, Basketball Association of America and, finally, the NBA, boast championships in every decade but one since joining the BAA in 1948.
The Minneapolis Lakers captured titles in 1949 and 1950 and again from 1952-54—the first team to win three consecutive championships—before the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1960.
Since going to Southern California, the franchise’s only dry decade in terms of titles was the 1960s—a decade during which the Lakers lost in the NBA Finals a whopping six times.
Los Angeles won championships in 1972, 1980, 1982 and 1985 along with consecutive titles in 1987-88, 2000-02 and 2009-10, with the franchise’s total of 16 crowns second only to the Boston Celtics in league history.
But with 31 total appearances in the NBA Finals, no other franchise comes close.
The franchise is most synonymous with dominant big men, having had the likes of George Mikan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal don its colors at different times, but the Lakers have also been home to NBA icons such as Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant.
The 1971-72 Lakers set a pair of major NBA records, winning 33 consecutive games at one stretch and also finishing with 69 regular-season wins (the latter mark was later bested by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls).
The team’s most recent history—including a club-record 61 losses in 2014-15—is the longest extended streak of futility in franchise annals. Missing the postseason in 2015-16 will be the first time the Lakers haven’t been a playoff participant for three consecutive years and the franchise has 60 playoff appearances in 68 seasons.
Phil Jackson, who led the Lakers to five titles from 2000-10, is the winningest coach in franchise history, going 610-292 in the regular season over two separate stints in the job (1999-2000 through 2003-04 and from 2005-06 through 2010-11).
John Kundla matched Jackson’s five titles when he coached the team in Minneapolis. Pat Riley coached the Lakers to four championships, while Bill Sharman and Paul Westhead recorded the others.
Los Angeles Lakers Career Leaders (as of 3/9/2016)
- Games, Kobe Bryant, 1331
- Points, Kobe Bryant, 33335
- Rebounds, Elgin Baylor, 11463
- Assists, Magic Johnson, 10141
- Steals, Kobe Bryant, 1928
- Blocks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 2694
Los Angeles Lakers Retired Numbers
- 8, Kobe Bryant
- 13, Wilt Chamberlain
- 17, Jim Pollard
- 19, Vern Mikkelsen
- 22, Elgin Baylor
- 24, Kobe Bryant
- 25, Gail Goodrich
- 32, Magic Johnson
- 33, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
- 34, Clyde Lovellette
- 34, Shaquille O’Neal
- 42, James Worthy
- 44, Jerry West
- 52, Jamaal Wilkes
- 99, George Mikan
- JK, John Kundla
- Mic, Chick Hearn
Los Angeles Lakers Official Links
Official Team Site: nba.com/lakers
Official Twitter Handle: @lakers
Official Facebook Page: Los Angeles Lakers
Official Instagram Page: Los Angeles Lakers
Official Arena Page: Staples Center
Los Angeles Lakers Beat Writers
Mike Breshnahan, Los Angeles Times
Kevin Ding, Bleacher Report
Baxter Holmes, ESPN.com
Mark Medina, Los Angeles News Group
Bill Oram, Orange County Register
Related Los Angeles Lakers Blogs and Links
Los Angeles Lakers Logo History, courtesy of Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net
Salary Page: Los Angeles Lakers Salaries at Spotrac
FanSided Los Angeles Lakers: Lake Show Life
SB Nation Los Angeles Lakers: Silver Screen and Roll
ESPN TrueHoop Los Angeles Lakers: Forum Blue and Gold
HoopsHabit Los Angeles Lakers Archive: Los Angeles Lakers
Bleacher Report Los Angeles Lakers Team Stream: Los Angeles Lakers
RealGM Los Angeles Lakers Page: Los Angeles Lakers
Stats and retired number information courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com