The Los Angeles Lakers are right up there with the Boston Celtics in the NBA's elite franchise zone. With 16 NBA championships they are one of the winningest teams in the league. They share the Staples Center with the Clippers. Expect nothing but excellence from this group.
The Los Angeles Lakers are considered by many to be the greatest NBA franchise of all time. With names like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal spattered across Lakers history, this should come as no surprise. The only team to have won more championships than the Lakers is the Boston Celtics, who pulled out in front in 2008 with 17 titles.
Founded in 1947, the Lakers began their legendary story in Minneapolis. Led by George Mikan, the NBA's first superstar, they won the 1949 and '50 BAA Finals, then the 1952, '53 and '54 NBA Finals. After 1954, George Mikan retired. In 1958, after a short slump, the Lakers selected Elgin Baylor in the NBA Draft. Baylor was named Rookie of the Year, and helped them advance to the 1959 finals, where they were swept by the Celtics.
In 1960, the Lakers moved to Los Angeles, and with the number 2 pick in the draft, selected Jerry West. With multiple playoff and Finals appearances, the Lakers were dominant throughout the '60s but could never overcome the Boston Celtics for a Championship. In 1972, they finally defeated the New York Knicks in the Finals. Wilt Chamberlain scored 24 and pulled down 29 rebounds in game five, and secured the NBA Finals MVP.
In 1979, Los Angeles Drafted Irving "Magic" Johnson with the first overall pick. He led the team to a 60-win Championship season and won the Finals MVP when he stood in for the injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. In 1982, the Magic and the Lakers defeated the 76ers in the Championship. And in 1985, the Lakers finally defeated their bitter rivals, The Celtics, in Boston Garden. This broke a Lakers 0-8 Finals series record against the Celtics.
15 years and 2 championships later, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to their 12th title in 2000, their 13th in 2001 and their 14th in 2002. These were among the most dominant years in Lakers History. Kobe Bryant remains loyal to the Lakers, and has since led them to 2 more championships. In 2013, he suffered a torn achilles right before the playoffs, that sent the Lakers into a downward spiral. Expect them to be back next year.
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