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Los Angeles Lakers Team FAQ

LA Lakers FAQ

LA Lakers FAQ

It’s Showtime! Showtime? Have you ever wondered why that iconic term has stapled itself to the Los Angeles Lakers? Ever wonder where the Lakers were before they relocated to Los Angeles? Or who their most iconic players have been and how they match up against some of the current LA Lakers rosters? 

There have been 16 memorable Los Angeles Lakers NBA championships, and each of them had iconic moments and players. The seasons that are intertwined with the fateful 16 have also had their share of special moments, with different teams, coaches and players setting untouchable LA Lakers stats along the way. 

This is the ultimate Lakers FAQ page, featuring the greatest collection of trivia questions and answers about the Los Angeles Lakers. If there is anything to know about the Lakers, it can be found here on Lakerholicz. From the latest Los Angeles Lakers news to the oldest interesting trivia, this is the ultimate FAQ page for the Lakers superfans. 

Lakers history

Younger readers could be forgiven for thinking that the LA Lakers were founded in Los Angeles, but for those with an interest in history, the story is anything but boring. This section will cover the most frequently asked questions about the Los Angeles Lakers’ history.

When were the Lakers basketball team founded?

The answer to this question needs a bit of context. It all began in 1946 when the Detroit Gems were founded by King Boring and Maury Winston. The team played the 1946-1947 season in the NBL (National Basketball League) without much success. Winston was a jeweler by trade, which influenced the name of the team. 

The Detroit Gems were purchased in 1947 by Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen, and moved to Minneapolis. Here they changed their name and founded the Minneapolis Lakers. The team took their name from Minnesota’s nickname as the “land of 10,000 lakes.” In 1957, Berger and Chalfen sold the team to Bob Short. Short moved the Lakers to Los Angeles in 1960, leading the team to becoming “the Los Angeles Lakers”. Their name has stayed the same ever since

Who founded the Lakers?

Who founded the Lakers?

The Lakers franchise was founded in 1947 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen bought the Detroit Gems for $15,000. Sid Hartman played an influential role in the deal, and began as the acting general manager for the Minneapolis Lakers in 1947. Hartman would set the foundation for the Lakers’ success by hiring John Kundla as the first Lakers head coach.

When were the Lakers based in Minneapolis?

The Lakers were based in Minneapolis for a total of thirteen years, from 1947-1960. In 1960 they moved to Los Angeles and changed their name to the Los Angeles Lakers.

How many championships did the Minneapolis Lakers win?

The Lakers had a successful time playing basketball in Minneapolis. After moving there in 1947, they won five championships. This included winning four of the first five NBA (National Basketball Association) World Championship Series, between 1950 and 1954. 

The Minneapolis Lakers also won the 1949 BAA (Basketball Association of America) Finals. The BAA was a precursor to the NBA. In total, this made it five titles in six years. The team was led by the great George Mikan, perhaps the first iconic Lakers center.

How many times have the Lakers changed the color of their uniform?

When the Lakers moved to Minneapolis in 1947, the team wore white with powder blue and gold trim jerseys. On the road they would wear a powder blue with gold trim jersey.

In 1960, the Lakers moved to Los Angeles but kept the same color scheme, opting only to adjust the copy and logo on the jersey. In 1965, Bob Short sold the Lakers to Jack Kent Cooke for $5,000,000. Cooke changed the blue and white color scheme to purple and gold in 1967. These are the colors most associated with the Lakers and have remained to this day.

The Lakers added an alternate jersey to the repertoire in 2002. This jersey is only worn for games played on Sundays and is known as their “Sunday Whites”. 

In 2013, the Lakers unveiled an additional alternative uniform. It was called “Hollywood Nights” and was inspired by both the celebrity support as well as the thousands of people who work behind the scenes in the Hollywood film industry. The color was black with purple and gold trims. This finalised the most recent official colors of black, purple, white and gold.

In total, the Lakers have changed, or rather updated, their official colors twice. This does not include changes in a color’s shade or the logo on the LA Lakers shirt. These two changes took place in 1967 to replace the blue with purple, and in 2013 to introduce black to the official colors. 

What are the official colors of the Los Angeles Lakers

What are the official colors of the Los Angeles Lakers

Since 2013, the official Los Angeles Lakers colors have been purple, gold, white and black.

Why did the Lakers move from Minneapolis to Los Angeles?

When the Lakers first moved to Minneapolis in 1947, they had a successful five years of basketball. They won five titles, including the first four of sixteen Los Angeles Lakers NBA championships.

The teams success in these years was in part owed to the performances of George Mikan, arguably the first in a long list of iconic LA Lakers players. His performances drew crowds to the Minneapolis Auditorium. However, after Mikan retired in 1956, the attendance at the Minneapolis Auditorium started to lower significantly. This, coupled with the Lakers lack of success without Mikan, pushed Bob Short to move the team to Los Angeles in 1960.

The move made the LA Lakers the NBA’s first West Coast team since the 1949-1950 season. The move paid off in more ways than one. It brought an increase in attendance, revenue and ultimately success.

How many home venues have the Lakers had?

Since the inception of the Minneapolis Lakers, the Lakers have had five home venues in total.

When based in Minneapolis, the Lakers played their home games in two venues. For the vast majority of their time in Minneapolis, the Lakers played home games at the Minneapolis Auditorium. This was between 1947-1959. During this time they also played occasional home games at the Minneapolis Armory. The home games permanently moved to the Minneapolis Armory for the 1959-1960 season. In the following off-season, they would relocate to Los Angeles.

The Lakers have played in three home venues in Los Angeles. The first LA Lakers stadium was the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. They played their home games here between 1960-1967. After those seven years, they moved to The Forum. The Lakers spent 32 glorious seasons at The Forum, between 1967-1999. 

Since 1999, the Lakers have called the Staples Center their home. The impact was immediate, with the Lakers winning three consecutive NBA finals. The Staples Center installed 4HD scoreboard system in 2010, making all the Lakers scores clear enough for everyone to see in the arena. 

Which other NBA basketball team do the LA Lakers share the Staples Center with?

Which other NBA basketball team do the LA Lakers share the Staples Center with?

The Staples Center has been home to the LA Lakers since 1999. It has also been the home of fellow NBA basketball team, the Los Angeles Clippers. The basketball matches between the Lakers and the Clippers are known as the Hallway series. The name comes from the changing rooms being on either end of a hallway. 

For the majority of their histories, the Lakers have had the better of the exchanges. The Clippers have clawed their way back and have had the better of some of the more recent games.

Which players have statues outside of the Staples Center?

The Staples Center has a Star Plaza, which has statues of sporting legends from various sports. There are five Lakers legends on the Star Plaza and one Lakers broadcaster, Chick Hearn.

The Lakers players are:

  • Elgin Baylor
  • Jerry West
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Magic Johnson
  • Shaquille O’Neal

Ever a keen eye on the LA Lakers schedule, Frances ‘Chick’ Hearn had a streak of broadcasting 3,338 consecutive Lakers games. He would entertain the audience with his quips, analyses and responses to the latest LA Lakers news and rumors. Hearn broadcasted for the Lakers from 1961-2002. 

When were the most successful periods in the Lakers history?

The Lakers are one of the most decorated teams in the NBA. Their achievements over the years have come from finding the perfect balance between individual brilliance and team chemistry. There have been some truly memorable teams over the years. This section will highlight some of the most successful teams in Lakers history and their achievements.

The Minneapolis Lakers enjoyed notable successes in the years 1949-1954, with George Mikan leading the team to five NBA titles in six seasons.

From 1962-1973, the Los Angeles Lakers played in nine NBA finals in twelve seasons, winning the first LA Lakers championship. And what a title winning season that turned out to be, with the team going on to set a 33 game winning streak – a record that is yet to be beaten. This era predominantly featured Elgin Baylor, Jerry West. Wilt Chamberlain and Gail Goodrich joined the Lakers roster towards the end of the era and were influential in the 1972 NBA championship win.

The next era was perhaps the most famous one: the Showtime era. This ran from 1980-1991. The Lakers played in nine NBA finals in twelve seasons, winning five NBA championships. This team included the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Jamaal Wilkes and James Worthy. Supported by the ever-present Jack Nicholson, this period added the Hollywood tag to the Lakers personality.

The most recent era ran from 2000-2010. During this period, the Lakers appeared in seven NBA finals seasons, winning five NBA championships. This period is also referred to as the Bryant dynasty, as the player was ever present throughout the decade. Shaquille O’Neal played an integral part in the success of the team during the first half of the decade, before departing to Miami Heat in 2004.

In what years did the Lakers win the NBA?

The Lakers have won the NBA championship on 16 occasions. The championships came in the following years:

  • 1949
  • 1950
  • 1952
  • 1953
  • 1954
  • 1972
  • 1980
  • 1982
  • 1985
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2009
  • 2010

The 1949 championship came from the Basketball Association of America (BAA). Later that year the BAA merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to create the National Basketball Association (NBA). As a result, the 1949 championship is counted alongside the NBA championships that followed.

When last were the LA Lakers in the NBA playoffs?

The Lakers are currently in their longest ever NBA playoff drought. The last time the Lakers made the playoffs was in 2013, six seasons ago.

Who is the biggest celebrity Lakers fan?

Who is the biggest celebrity Lakers fan?

The most iconic celebrity Lakers fan is Jack Nicholson. Nicholson has had a season ticket since 1970 and hardly ever misses an LA Lakers game. It is rumored that he plans his movie shooting dates around the Lakers basketball schedule.

Lakers basketball players

The Lakers roster has included some truly iconic basketball players over the years. Some players have legendary status for moments of brilliance, while others held an unbelievable level of quality that they could consistently showcase season after season. 

This section will answer some of the pressing questions we have about the great Lakers players. It will include players from both the Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers roster, from George Mikan to Kobe Bryant.

Who are the most prominent players in Lakers history?

There have been some colossal figures that have donned the Lakers uniform since 1947. They have come at pivotal times in the Lakers franchise history. As the team moved first to Minneapolis, then to Los Angeles, and ultimately to Showtime, some players have truly stood out as iconic Lakers basketball players.

The most prominent Lakers players in history are:

  • George Mikan
  • Elgin Baylor
  • Jerry West
  • Wilt Chamberlain
  • Gail Goodrich
  • Jamaal Wilkes
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Magic Johnson
  • James Worthy
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Kobe Bryant

There are some great basketball players in the current Los Angeles Lakers roster, like LeBron James. While James and other greats have worn the Lakers jersey, they will need to win the NBA finals to go down as a Lakers legend. 

What jersey numbers have been retired by the LA Lakers?

While there have been countless great Lakers players who have played unbelievable basketball, some have left an impression such that their Lakers jersey number is retired. One of them even retired two numbers.

The retired jersey numbers are:

  • 8 – Kobe Bryant
  • 13 – Wilt Chamberlain
  • 22 – Elgin Baylor
  • 24 – Kobe Bryant
  • 25 – Gail Goodrich
  • 32 – Magic Johnson
  • 33 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • 34 – Shaquille O’Neal
  • 42 – James Worthy
  • 44 – Jerry West
  • 52 – Jamaal Wilkes

Additionally, a jersey was retired for the late great Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn. Millions heard him broadcast the Lakers score, week in and week out. A jersey was retired for him with a microphone instead of a number.

Which LA Laker player retired two jersey numbers?

Kobe Bryant left a significant legacy with the LA Lakers. He won five NBA championships, was an 18-time All-Star and remains the Lakers’ all-time top scorer. The reason that he has two numbers retired is because he won three titles while wearing the number 8, and then won two additional titles while wearing the number 24.

Bryant wore the number 8 jersey from 1996-2006, thereafter he wore the number 24 jersey from 2006 – 2016.

Who was George Mikan?

Who was George Mikan?

The Lakers drafted George Mikan in the 1947 Professional Basketball League of America dispersal draft. Mikan became influential in reshaping basketball as a game for ‘big men’. He stood at 6 ft 10 in, and he dominated the court with his shot blocking, rebounding, ambidextrous hook shot.

His size and style of play even influenced the basketball rules of the NBA. They widened the foul lane from 6 ft to 12 ft. The foul lane was widened to reduce the dominance of tall centers like Mikan. Interestingly, the foul lane was widened further to 16 ft in 1964 due to dominant centers like the Lakers’ Wilt Chamberlain.

In terms of training, Mikan and Ray Meyer created the basketball drill called the Mikan Drill. This drill helps centers and forwards to increase, using both hands, their rhythm, timing of rebounds, layups and stamina for the game. The Mikan Drill has been advocated by many iconic NBA basketball players, namely Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Mikan’s influence for the future playing style of the NBA has been vocalized by many players over the years. Most notably, Shaquille O’Neal was a great admirer of Mikan, and even offered to pay for his funeral.

On the court, Mikan had a truly successful career at the Minneapolis Lakers. He won five championship titles. This included the 1948-1949 Basketball Association of America (BAA) title and winning four NBA playoffs. He was included in the first four NBA All-Star games, winning an NBA All-Star Game MVP trophy.

Mikan has gone down as the first great Lakers center, and arguably one of the most influential centers in basketball history.

How many championship titles has George Mikan won?

George Mikan won five championship titles in seven seasons with the Minneapolis Lakers, as well as winning the World Basketball Tournament with the Chicago American Gears.

How many seasons was George Mikan with the Lakers?

George Mikan was with the Minneapolis Lakers for seven championships. How he ended up at the Lakers is slightly fortuitous. 

Mikan was previously with the Chicago American Gears. He led them to a World Basketball Tournament title in the National Basketball League in 1947. The following season, the Chicago American Gears owner, Maurice White, pulled the Gears out of the National Basketball League and created his own league, the Professional Basketball League of America. 

The new league failed after the first few weeks, and the Chicago American Gears were dissolved along with it. As a result, there were now several players looking for a team, Mikan being one of them. They players were drafted to different teams during the Professional Basketball League of America dispersal draft.

Also in 1947, Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen had acquired the Detroit Gems and moved them to Minneapolis to join the National Basketball League. As the Gems had finished at the bottom of the National Basket League in their solitary season, they had the first pick of the Professional Basketball League of America dispersal draft. The Lakers chose Mikan, and the rest is history.

Who was Elgin Baylor?

Who was Elgin Baylor?

Elgin Baylor was the greatest NBA legend to never win a championship. He spent 13 seasons with the Lakers, from 1958 to 1972. He effectively carried the torch from the Minneapolis Lakers to the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Baylor took the Lakers to eight NBA finals, unfortunately on the losing side on each occasion. Nine games into the 1971-1972 season, Baylor announced his retirement. Unfortunately for Baylor, the LA Lakers went on to win the championship that season. The Lakers still presented him with a championship ring, even though he was no longer an active player.

Baylor holds the record for most points in an NBA finals game. He scored 61 points against the Boston Celtics in 1962. At one point, he also held the record for most points in a game and most points in a playoff game. In the 1962-1963 season, he finished in the top five for scoring, assists, rebounds and free-throw percentage. Baylor was the first NBA player to achieve this.

He formed a formidable partnership with Jerry West, who has described the small forward as one of the best shooters the game has ever known. His number 22 Lakers jersey was retired on 9 November 1983.

Did Elgin Baylor ever receive a championship ring?

Baylor never won a championship during his playing career, and as a result never officially received a championship ring. He retired nine games into the 1971-1972 season, which was the season that the LA Lakers won the NBA finals. In honor of his contribution to the Lakers for the preceding decade, including eight NBA finals, he was given an honorary championship ring by the LA Lakers.

Who is Jerry West?

Who is Jerry West?

Jerry West is perhaps the most iconic NBA player ever. How else could you describe the person whose silhouette is emblazoned on the NBA logo? On and off the court, he has forged a name for himself in the NBA and Lakers folklore. 

As a player he was drafted in 1960, for the season that the Minneapolis Lakers relocated and become the Los Angeles Lakers. As perhaps one of the best point guards of all time, West was a regular in the Lakers team with Elgin Baylor. The two were perhaps unlucky to be overshadowed by the Celtics dynasty, but nevertheless they both racked up record-breaking stats from their performances.

West also played alongside Wilt Chamberlain from 1968-1973, and the two were instrumental in the LA Lakers creating the NBA winning streak record of 33 consecutive wins. With Gail Goodrich also in the team, West finished the season with most assists.

Throughout West’s time with the Lakers, they reached the NBA finals nine times in fourteen seasons. He played for the Lakers from 1960-1974. West retired in 1974, one year after Chamberlain, and two years after Baylor. His Lakers jersey number 44 was retired on 19 November 1983.

Off the court, West held positions as head coach, scout and general manager. He is credited with a tremendous influence in building the Showtime dynasty of the 1980s. He is also credited with setting up the three consecutive championship titles in the late 1990’s by adding Shaquille O’Neal and drafting Kobe Bryant to the Lakers.

Is Jerry West the silhouette in the NBA logo?

While the NBA has never conceded that it is Jerry West’s silhouette in their logo, it is widely believed to be true. Alan Siegel, the designer of the logo has admitted as much. He saw a photo of Jerry West that he felt captured the game of basketball. 

A possible reason that the NBA don’t acknowledge it officially is that they do not want the logo to become individualized or affiliated to any team. As long as it remains anonymous, it signifies nothing more than a basketball player.

How many times has Jerry West won the NBA championship?

As a player, Jerry West won the NBA championship only once, with the LA Lakers in 1972. He played in nine NBA finals with the LA Lakers during his playing career.

As an executive, Jerry West has won the NBA championship eight times. He was an executive for six LA Lakers NBA championships, and two with the Golden State Warriors.

Who was Wilt Chamberlain?

Who was Wilt Chamberlain?

Arguably one of the greatest offensive basketball players to have ever graced the court, Wilt Chamberlain was a point scoring machine. He holds a host of NBA records. He is the only player to ever score 100 points in a game, has the most points in a half (59), most field goals made in a game (36), most rebounds in a game (55), most points in a season (4029), most 50 point games (45), most rebounds in a season (2149) – the list goes on. He currently holds 74 NBA stats records, standing head and shoulders above other basketball legends.

While it is true that most of these records were achieved before coming to the LA Lakers, Chamberlain played an instrumental role in bringing the Lakers their first NBA title since moving to Los Angeles.

Chamberlain joined the Lakers in 1968 and entered a roster that included the great Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. While Chamberlain didn’t always see eye to eye with Baylor, he began to form great chemistry with West. In 1970, Gail Goodrich’s arrival was the final tweak in the roster. In the 1971-1972 season, Chamberlain inspired a 33 match winning streak. This record has still never been broken.

The winning streak inspired LA Lakers to get their first NBA title since moving from Minneapolis. It broke their NBA final losing run of seven final losses in nine seasons. Chamberlain played for the Lakers from 1968-1973. For the streak and the title, Chamberlain’s Lakers jersey number 13 was retired on 9 November 1983.

Did Wilt Chamberlain play the 1972 NBA finals with a broken hand?

During Game 4 of the 1972 NBA finals against the New York Knicks, Chamberlain fell on his right hand. It was thought to have been sprained, but was in fact broken. Not only did he finish the game, he also went on to play in Game 5 and win the NBA championship for the LA Lakers. He was also named the MVP of the finals.

Who is Gail Goodrich?

Who is Gail Goodrich?

Gail Goodrich was an integral part of the 1972 LA Lakers roster that won the NBA championship. He finished the season as the Lakers’ top scorer, in a team that contained Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West.

Goodrich played as a shooting guard. His height at 6 ft 1 in meant that he was often overlooked for taller players. He was drafted to the LA Lakers in 1965 but was largely a bench player until departing in 1968 to the Phoenix Suns. In 1970 he was traded back to the Lakers, and he quickly gelled in the team with Chamberlain, West and Elgin Baylor. 

Goodrich found his scoring best from the following season, leading the Lakers to their record 33 game winning streak. The record is still to be bettered. He finished as the Lakers’ leading scorer in that season as well as the following three seasons. The four consecutive top-scorer seasons from 1972-1976 cemented his status as a Lakers legend.

For his part in the 1972 championship, 33 game winning streak and consecutive scoring records, Goodrich’s number 25 Lakers jersey was retired on 20 November 1996. He played for the Lakers from 1965-1968 and again from 1970-1976. In 1976 he was traded to the New Orleans Jazz where he ended his playing career in 1979.

What role did Gail Goodrich play in the draft of Magic Johnson?

Goodrich had grown disillusioned with the Lakers after the retirement of Baylor, Chamberlain and West. After a difficult contract dispute with owner Jack Kent Cooke, Goodrich opted to play out his option and sign for the New Orleans Jazz for free. 

Cooke allowed Goodrich to sign with Jazz in return for two first round draft picks and one second round pick. Three years later in the 1979 NBA Draft, the Lakers used this first round draft pick from the Goodrich deal to draft a young Magic Johnson to the Lakers. What a deal that turned out to be! 

Who is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

Who is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar can be considered one of the greatest athletes to play NBA basketball. His career spanned 20 years and he retired at the age of 42 in 1989. He holds the record for the most career points (38,387), surpassing the great Wilt Chamberlain. 

Abdul-Jabbar has won six NBA championships, one with the Milwaukee Bucks and five with the Los Angeles Lakers. He has also won two NBA championships as an assistant coach with the LA Lakers. 

During his career he converted to Islam and changed his name from Ferdinand Alcindor to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He requested to be traded from the Bucks to either Los Angeles or New York to further pursue his faith and cultural interests. As a result, he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1975. 

Abdul-Jabbar entered a Lakers roster that was undergoing a changing of the guard. With the retirement of Baylor, Chamberlain and West, the team was beginning to prepare for their next dynasty. Goodrich departed for New Orleans Jazz in 1976 which added further shift towards what was to come.

While Abdul-Jabbar was consistently registering great stats for the Lakers, the team was not gelling enough to break free from the mid-table. The addition of Jamaal Wilkes in 1977 would add another component, but it wasn’t until the draft of Magic Johnson that the team finally entered the Showtime dynasty.

Abdul-Jabbar’s focus on his health and athleticism allowed him to play a pivotal role in the Lakers successes in the 1980’s, playing late into his 30’s and early 40’s.

During his career with the LA Lakers, he played in eight NBA finals, winning five. Abdul-Jabbar played for the Lakers from 1975-1989. His number 33 Lakers jersey was retired on 20 March 1989.

Why did Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wear goggles?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar didn’t begin his career wearing goggles. He began wearing goggles in 1974. He decided to wear goggles to protect his eyes from scratches. In 1968, his eye was scratched in a college basketball game. He suffered a scratched cornea from the incident. His eye was scratched again in 1974, and he subsequently decided to start wearing goggles. He started to develop corneal erosion syndrome which leads to the drying out and swelling of the eyes.

What was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s signature shot?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s signature shot was called a Skyhook. It is a hook shot where Abdul-Jabbar arches his body to create the optimum height to release the ball for the shot. It was practically impossible to defend against. To make matters worse for defenders, Abdul-Jabbar could do the Skyhook with both left and right hands.
Abdul-Jabbar learned the move from practicing the Mikan Drill.

Who is Jamaal Wilkes?

Who is Jamaal Wilkes?

Perhaps one of the most unsung heroes of the Showtime Lakers dynasty, Jamaal Wilkes did all of the basics perfectly, and had a touch of class that was not lost on his teammates and opponents.

Wilkes won four NBA championships during his career, one with the Golden State Warriors and three with the LA Lakers. The small forward was instrumental in the Lakers 1980 NBA finals. His performance in the sixth game against the Philadelphia 76ers was overshadowed only by the mercurial Magic Johnson. Wilkes scored a career-best 37 points to help usher in the Showtime era. 

Wilkes joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 1977 but had a frustrating first season through injury. With the arrival of Magic Johnson in 1979, the team dynamics were all in place. Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson and Wilkes inspired a Lakers team to what would become a decade of dominance. 

During Wilkes time at the Lakers, they would make the NBA finals five times, winning it on three of those occasions. Wilkes left the LA Lakers in 1985 after injuries began to catch up with his performances. He had a solitary season at the Los Angeles Clippers before retiring.

Wilkes has been added to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Wilkes played for the Lakers from 1977-1985. His number 52 Lakers jersey was retired on 28 December 2012.

What was Jamaal Wilkes signature shot?

Jamaal Wilkes had a very distinctive action on his soft shot. In general, he was an extremely good technical player and had textbook positioning. This just made his soft shot all the more bizarre. 

His technique for a soft shot would see him seemingly scoop the ball behind his right ear before releasing it with a diagonal spin. Clearly a case of “to each their own”, as this technique worked wonders for him during his career.

What was Jamaal Wilkes nickname?

Jamaal Wilkes had the nickname of ‘Silk’. He got the nickname from teammates for his smooth technique and speedy breaks down the court. He had a slender frame which shifted his focus to utilizing his agility to get past opponents.

Was Jamaal Wilkes in a film?

Jamaal Wilkes starred in a 1975 film alongside Laurence Fishburne. The film is called Cornbread, Earl and Me. The film has garnered a cult following amongst basketball fans, but otherwise has mediocre reviews.

The film centers around a young high school basketball star who comes from an urban neighborhood. One night a friend dares him to run home, only for police officers to mistake him for a suspect fleeing the scene. A policeman shoots him in the back, and the friend wants justice against the police intimidation.

What is Jamaal Wilkes real name?

Jamaal Wilkes was born Jackson Keith Wilkes. As a young adult he converted to Islam and changed his name to Jamaal Abdul-Lateef. Even though he changed his name, as a player he went by the name of Jamaal Wilkes.

Who is Magic Johnson?

Who is Magic Johnson?

Where does one begin to unpack the impact that Magic Johnson had on the NBA and the Los Angeles Lakers? At a time when more popular culture was filtering into professional sports, and comedians and movie stars were spotted in the crowds, Johnson brought an air of the celebrity to the court.

Not only did he have great technical ability — no-look passes, pin-point alley-oops, and clinical finishing — he also had athleticism and charisma that made him enthral viewers both in the stadium and watching at home. 

In perhaps the perfect introduction to the Showtime era, the first game of Johnson’s NBA season ended with Abdul-Jabbar scoring a Skyhook to beat the buzzer and win the game. Johnson’s euphoria was unmissable and he ran the court to jump on Abdul-Jabbar. A last-minute buzzer beating victory with the chemistry of Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar set the tone for what would be a Lakers-dominated decade.

As a fitting end to his rookie season, he filled in for Abdul-Jabbar as center in the sixth game of the 1980 NBA finals against the Philadelphia 76ers. Johnson, who traditionally played point guard, stole the show with an amazing 42 points, 15 boards, and 3 steals. It signalled the arrival of greatness.  

The following season, Johnson was frustrated by injury. He would overcome this in subsequent seasons and ultimately reach nine NBA finals in twelve years, winning five. Together with Abdul-Jabbar, Jamaal Wilkes and James Worthy, the Lakers of the 1980’s would assert themselves into the history books.

Johnson announced his retirement in 1991 after he discovered he had tested positive for HIV. The announcement shocked the world, and his bravery in coming forward with the disease was widely praised.

Johnson returned from retirement in 1996 for the final 32 games of the Lakers season. They were ultimately knocked out in the first round of the NBA playoffs, and Johnson retired for good.

With his passion, skill and media friendliness, Johnson helped to bring out the Hollywood in the Lakers. Johnson played with the Lakers from 1979-1991 and briefly in 1996. His number 32 Lakers jersey was retired on 16 February 1992.

How did Johnson get his ‘Magic’ nickname?

Earvin Johnson received the nickname ‘Magic’ after an Everett High School basketball game in 1977. Lansing sports writer Fred Stabley Jr. dubbed him ‘Magic’ after a performance of 36 points, 18 rebounds, and 16 assists.

What was Magic Johnson’s signature move?

Magic Johnson was the tallest point guard in history. Along with his height, he had exceptional technical ability. This was especially the case when it came to passing. Johnson’s signature move, or rather moves, were his no-look passes. Often behind the back, over the shoulder, or just plain out of nowhere, his passing would setup teammates by confusing the defending team. 

This flair was part and parcel of the Showtime Lakers, especially their fast-paced Showtime attacks.

When did Magic Johnson find out he had HIV?

Magic Johnson found out he had HIV after a physical, a week before the 1991-1992 season began. Having completed the Lakers summer league schedule, the physical was set up by owner Jerry Buss. Buss wanted to give Johnson a loan bonus on his salary, and received advice that Johnson should have life insurance as a protection against the loan. Johnson took the physical for his life insurance and discovered he had contracted HIV.

How did Magic Johnson contract HIV?

Magic Johnson has said that he had sex with multiple partners on the road during the 1980s. The Showtime Lakers were in the public spotlight, and adored my millions across the world. Johnson believes he contracted the virus at this time, but is not sure who it was that he contracted it from.

Why did The Forum crowd boo Magic Johnson?

In 1981, Magic Johnson publicly criticized head coach Paul Westhead and demanded to be traded. Lakers owner Jerry Buss fired Westhead instead. For the rest of the season, Lakers fans booed Johnson. His performances swayed the fans back on his side as he helped the Lakers to four NBA finals in the following four seasons.

Who is James Worthy?

Who is James Worthy?

James Worthy was drafted to the LA Lakers in 1982. Worthy was the second time that the LA Lakers had used a number one draft choice, the first since the Magic Johnson draft in 1979. He joined the Lakers and carried the baton from Jamaal Wilkes, especially once Wilkes left in 1985.

Like Jamaal Wilkes, Worthy’s excellence as a small forward was at times overlooked due to the calibre of his peers. In college he played alongside Michael Jordan, and with the Lakers he played alongside Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Regardless, he still regularly hit the top 10 lists for his stats.

Worthy was known for his big match temperament. This was especially evident in the NBA playoffs and finals. Worthy, Byron Scott and Johnson represented the apex of the Showtime attack, with fast breaks devastating the opposition.

Worthy’s clutch ability helped the Lakers to reach six NBA finals in eight years, winning three NBA championships. He played with the Lakers from 1982-1994. His number 42 Lakers jersey was retired on 10 December 1995.

What was James Worthy’s nickname?

James Worthy was known as ‘Big Game James’. He received this nickname after his performances in the 1985 NBA playoffs. His stats in the NBA playoffs gave him a worthy reputation of being a clutch player.

Did James Worthy wear goggles?

James Worthy began wearing goggles for basketball games after a match against the Utah Jazz in March 1985. He suffered a scratched cornea during the game. The first game that he wore goggles was against the San Antonio Spurs on 15 March 1985.

Who is Shaquille O’Neal?

Who is Shaquille O’Neal?

Signed in the pivotal off-season of 1996, the arrival of Shaquille O’Neal heralded in a return to form for the Los Angeles Lakers. Following the retirement of Magic Johnson in 1991 and James Worthy in 1994, the Lakers had lost the top spot to the dominant Chicago Bulls dynasty led by the unstoppable Michael Jordan. 

O’Neal and Kobe Bryant inspired the Lakers’ return to form and they gradually built up to their 2000 NBA championship win. They would go on to win three NBA championships in a row – 2000, 2001 and 2002. 

While O’Neal and Bryant’s relationship had at times boiled over off the court, on the court they produced great chemistry when it counted. O’Neal left the Lakers in 2004 and won a further NBA championship with the Miami Heat.

O’Neal had a larger than life physicality and personality. He stood at 7 ft 1 in and weighed around 325 lb, perhaps one of the largest centers in history. He had many endorsements and sponsorship deals and was said to be on a bumper salary after signing with the Lakers for free. 

For all of his personality, his stats and successes have placed him as one of the NBA basketball legends. O’Neal played for the Lakers from 1996-2004. His number 34 Lakers jersey was retired on 2 April 2013.

What was Shaquille O’Neal’s nickname?

Shaquille O’Neal was most commonly known as ‘Shaq’ although he held several other nicknames. He had a very humorous media personality and would often play the fool with reporters and teammates.

Are Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant friends?

During their time together at the Los Angeles Lakers, O’Neal and Bryant would clash off the court. O’Neal and Bryant both joined the Lakers roster in 1996. O’Neal was 24 years old and Bryant was still 17. With O’Neal playing center and Bryant as shooting guard, the two would at times be at heads to who the attacks would be focused around. 

In interviews they would at times spar with each other with O’Neal leading the taunts. This was evident in 2005 when O’Neal pretended not to know who Kobe Bryant was when asked in interviews.

Both players have since retired, and the feud is no longer apparent. O’Neal has reached out to Bryant and publicly acknowledged his admiration for the Lakers legend. In 2018 they appeared on NBA TV to speak about their mutual respect and regret over the feud.

Who is Kobe Bryant?

Who is Kobe Bryant?

Kobe Bryant is arguably the greatest Laker in history. While he might not have had the popularity and charisma of Magic Johnson, the physical stature of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or the finishing of Wilt Chamberlain, Bryant ended his career leading several Lakers records. 

Bryant spent 20 seasons at the Los Angeles Lakers from 1996-2016. He tops the Lakers stats for most three-pointers, free throws, steals, minutes played and games. He won five NBA championships and played in seven NBA finals.

Bryant joined the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1996 NBA Draft as a 17 year old. Together with Shaquille O’Neal, the Lakers went on to complete the ‘three-peat’, winning three NBA championships in three consecutive seasons. 

O’Neal left the Lakers roster in 2004 as well as head coach Phil Jackson. The team slumped for the following few years. Bryant was unable to create a winning partnership with the Lakers roster and struggled with personal legal problems. There were strong rumors that he considered leaving the Lakers. Bryant ultimately decided to stay with the Lakers, and changed his jersey number from 8 to 24 in 2006.

Ultimately, with the addition of Pau Gasol in 2008, the Lakers found their rhythm again. The Lakers made the NBA finals in 2009, before winning it in 2009 and 2010. Bryant won the NBA Finals MVP award for both the 2009 and 2010 wins.

Injury blighted the twilight of Bryant’s career, but he still managed to consistently score impressive stats and setting records. After 48,637 minutes of playing – a Lakers record – Bryant announced his retirement in 2016. Both his number 8 and number 24 Lakers jerseys were retired on 18 December 2017.

Why did Kobe Bryant change his Lakers jersey number?

Kobe Bryant originally played with the number 24 in high school before switching to number 33. When he joined the Lakers as a 17 year old rookie, the number 24 was unavailable. The number 33 was also unavailable as it was retired in honor of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

He decided to change his number to start on a clean slate after Shaquille O’Neal’s trade away from the Lakers in 2004.

Was Kobe Bryant better as a number 8 or number 24

Kobe Bryant enjoyed similar success with both numbers. With the number 8, he won three NBA championships, scored 16,777 points and made eight All-Star matches. With the number 24, he won two NBA championships, scored 16,866 and made ten All-Star matches.

What was the story behind Kobe Bryant’s sexual assault case?

Bryant was involved in a sexual assault case stemming from an incident that occured in 2003. The case was settled before going to trial. While Bryant admits to having sex with the accuser, he adamantly denies raping her.

The trial was abandoned because the accuser did not want to testify. She filed a civil lawsuit against Bryant which reached an undisclosed settlement.

The case had a significant impact on Bryant’s reputation and he lost many endorsements as a result. Bryant initially denied having sex with the accuser but later admitted to it, saying it was consensual.

Who was Chick Hearn?

Who was Chick Hearn?

Frances ‘Chick’ Hearn was a much-loved broadcaster and announcer for the LA Lakers. He broadcasted a Lakers game 3,338 times in a row, a truly unbeatable streak. No one knew the Los Angeles Lakers schedule quite like him.

His voice was the go-to for Lakers fans listening in to hear the NBA scores and latest Lakers news. There is a statue of him outside the Lakers stadium, the Staples Center. The Lakers have also retired a Lakers jersey in his honor, with a microphone on the jersey instead of a number.

Who are the players in the LA Lakers roster?

The Los Angeles Lakers have not won the NBA championship since 2010. It has also been the longest period that the Lakers have not played in an NBA final, surpassing the barren 1990s that were dominated by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.

With LeBron James in the Lakers roster, alongside the reunited Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, there is always a chance that a winning combination is going to start taking shape.

LeBron James’ first season at the Lakers was hampered by injuries, but he’ll be hoping for Abdul-Jabbar-like aging over the next few years as he chases down Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record. James is likely to overtake Kobe Bryant’s all-time scoring record in the 2019-2020 season.

The Lakers will be hoping LeBron James can channel his inner Wilt Chamberlain and steer the Lakers back towards an NBA final. He’ll certainly need to rely on his teammates in the Lakers roster. 

In alphabetical order and with their basketball positions in brackets, the 2019-2020 roster is as follows:

  • Kostas Antetokounmpo (Forward)
  • Avery Bradley (Guard)
  • Devontae Cacok (Forward / Center)
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Guard)
  • Jordan Caroline (Forward)
  • Alex Caruso (Guard)
  • Quinn Cook (Guard)
  • DeMarcus Cousins (Center)
  • Troy Daniels (Guard)
  • Anthony Davis (Forward / Center)
  • Jared Dudley (Forward)
  • Danny Green (Guard / Forward)
  • Aric Holman (Forward)
  • Talen Horton-Tucker (Guard)
  • LeBron James (Forward)
  • Kyle Kuzma (Forward)
  • JaVale McGee (Center)
  • Zach Norvell Jr. (Guard)
  • Rajon Rondo (Guard)


There is a great blend of youth and experience, with many of the younger players shining during the LA Lakers summer league schedule. If one of the younger players can emulate the breakthroughs of Bryant or Johnson, there could be some surprises in store for this season. 

Lakers coaches

The Lakers have had some of the great NBA head coaches on their books over the years. Since 1947, the Lakers have had 26 different head coaches. Some have gone on to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, while others flirted briefly with coaching before resigning.

Which coaches have been the head coach of the Lakers?

The Lakers have had 27 different head coaches since joining the NBA in 1947. This includes the head coaches of the Minneapolis Lakers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The following list of Lakers head coaches is in chronological order:

  1. John Kundla (1948 – 1958 and the two thirds of the 1958 – 1959 season)
  2. George Mikan (part of the 1958 – 1959 season)
  3. John Castellani (1959 – 1960)
  4. Jim Pollard (interim head coach 1959 – 1960 season)
  5. Fred Schaus (1960 – 1967)
  6. Butch van Breda Kolff (1967 – 1969)
  7. Joe Mullaney (1969 – 1971)
  8. Bill Sharman (1971 – 1976)
  9. Jerry West (1976 – 1979)
  10. Jack McKinney (part of the 1979 – 1980 season)
  11. Paul Westhead (1979 – 1981)
  12. Pat Riley (1981 – 1990)
  13. Mike Dunleavy (1990 – 1992)
  14. Randy Pfund (1992 – 1994)
  15. Bill Bertka (interim head coach in 1993 – 1994 and 1998 – 1999 seasons)
  16. Magic Johnson (part of the 1993 – 1994 season)
  17. Dell Harris (1994 – 1999)
  18. Kurt Rambis (interim head coach 1998 – 1999 season)
  19. Phil Jackson (1999 – 2004 and 2005 – 2011)
  20. Rudy Tomjanovich (2004 – 2005)
  21. Frank Hamblen (interim head coach 2004 – 2005 season)
  22. Mike Brown (2011 – 2012)
  23. Bernie Bickerstaff (interim head coach 2012 – 2013 season)
  24. Mike D’Antoni (2012 – 2014)
  25. Byron Scott (2014 – 2016)
  26. Luke Walton (2016 – 2019)
  27. Frank Vogel (2019 – present)

How many interim head coaches have the Lakers had?

The Lakers have had five different interim head coaches on six different occasions:

  1. Jim Pollard (interim head coach 1959 – 1960 season)
  2. Bill Bertka (interim head coach in 1993 – 1994 and 1998 – 1999 seasons)
  3. Kurt Rambis (interim coach 1998 – 1999 season)
  4. Frank Hamblen (interim coach 2004 – 2005 season)
  5. Bernie Bickerstaff (interim coach 2012 – 2013 season)

Which LA Lakers coach had to resign due to a bicycle accident?

Jack McKinney suffered a head injury from a bicycling accident in 1979. He was unable to complete the season and was replaced by Paul Westhead. The team went on to win the NBA finals in the same season.

Which Lakers head coaches have won NBA championships?

The Lakers have been lucky to have had some of the greatest basketball coaches on their bench. The following head coaches reached the pinnacle and brought the NBA championship ring to their Lakers basketball players:

The first to do so was John Kundla. From 1949-1954, Kundla won five NBA championships with the Minneapolis Lakers. He was fortunate to have George Mikan in his Lakers roster. Kundla would spend his entire NBA coaching career with the Lakers.

The second to do so was Bill Sharman. Sharman was the LA Lakers coach from 1971-1976. With the Lakers roster of 1972, he set an NBA record of 33 consecutive victories. This included a record LA Lakers score of 162 against Golden State. 1972 was his only NBA championship as a coach. He would later join the Lakers executive team and win five NBA championships.

The third head coach to win an NBA championship was Paul Westhead. Westhead became the LA Lakers coach in unfortunate circumstances. Jack McKinney suffered a severe head injury from a bicycle accident in 1979 and Westhead took over as an interim coach, and then as head coach until 1981. Westhead won the 1980 NBA finals, and has subsequently vocalized his respect to McKinney for laying the foundation for the championship-winning team.

The next LA Lakers coach to win an NBA championship was the great Pat Riley. Riley was part of the 1972 Lakers championship winning team. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach to Paul Westhead, before taking over as head coach in 1981. He would remain in charge until 1990. By that time, the Showtime dynasty had won four more NBA championships. They were in 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988. Riley won his fifth NBA championship as a head coach with Miami Heat in 2006, with the roster containing Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal.

The last LA Lakers coach to win the NBA championship, and the greatest head coach in NBA history, is Phil Jackson. Jackson won two NBA championship rings as a player with the New York Knicks. He later began his career as a head coach with the Albany Patroons in Continental Basketball Association (CBA). He won the CBA championship with the Patroons before moving to the Chicago Bulls, first as an assistant coach and then as head coach. Jackson won six NBA championship titles with a Chicago Bulls team with the unbeatable Michael Jordan. 

Thereafter, Jackson became the head coach of the LA Lakers. He coached the team from 1999-2004, when he left at the end of his contract. He was only away for one season, and returned from 2005-2011. Jackson won three NBA championships in his first spell, with a roster including Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. He then won two NBA championships in his second spell, in a team focused around Kobe Bryant.

Which Lakers head coaches are in the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach?

The Lakers have had three coaches inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach. They are John Kundla, Pat Riley and Phil Jackson. Of the three, John Kundla is the only one to have spent his entire NBA coaching career with the Lakers.

Who is the greatest Lakers head coach of all time?

In terms of NBA championship wins, John Kundla and Phil Jackson are tied with five titles each. Pat Riley comes in after that with four titles during his Showtime dynasty of the 1980’s.

Phil Jackson is currently the most successful head coach to have coached at the LA Lakers. He boasts a career record of 11 NBA championship titles as a head coach, with five from the LA Lakers and six from the Chicago Bulls.

Who is the current LA Lakers coach?

Who is the current LA Lakers coach?

As of 2019, the LA Lakers head coach is Frank Vogel. Vogel began his coaching career as an assistant coach at the Boston Celtics, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers and ultimately the Indiana Pacers.

Vogel became the Indiana Pacers head coach in 2011. As interim coach he took the Pacers to the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2006. He would take them to the playoffs for five out of his six seasons with the Pacers. In 2013 the Pacers won their first Central Division title since the 2003-2004 season. 

Vogel had an ill-fated spell with Orlando Magic, failing to make the playoffs in his two seasons with the franchise. 

In 2019 he was hired as the 27th head coach for the LA Lakers. His experience with taking the Pacers to the playoffs should stand him in good stead to guide the Lakers back to the NBA playoffs.

Lakers owners

The Lakers owners have come in for heavy criticism and rapturous praise since the inception of the Lakers franchise. Some have uprooted the Lakers to a different State, others have bought and sold fan favorites. While a franchise owner won’t always be popular, you can judge them on their success both on and off the court. 

Who has owned the Lakers over the years?

On the day that King Boring and Maury Winstons sold their Detroit Gems to Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen for $15,000, the Lakers were born. Berger and Winston relocated the team to Minneapolis, renaming them as the Minneapolis Lakers. Berger and Winston owned the Minneapolis Lakers from 1947-1957.

The Minneapolis Lakers were successful and won five NBA championships in six seasons. This was largely thanks to the prowess of George Mikan. When Mikan ultimately retired in 1956, the attendance at the Minneapolis Auditorium dropped heavily. This placed Chalfen and Berger under tremendous financial difficulties.

In 1957, Berger and Mikan sold the Minneapolis Lakers to Bob Short for $200,000. One of the conditions for the sale was that Short would not relocate the team to Kansas City, as another potential buyer had wanted to do. 

Bob Short owned the Lakers from 1957-1965. During his tenure, the Lakers did not win an NBA championship, although they did play in four NBA finals. Short oversaw the move to Los Angeles which was a pivotal moment in the Lakers history.

In 1958, the NBA put the Minneapolis Lakers under financial probation. If Short did not meet a set amount of ticket sales, the club would be bought by the NBA and relocated. As a result, Bob Short followed the Major League Baseball side, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and relocated to Los Angeles in 1960.

The other NBA owners initially voted against the relocation, but after threatening to withdraw the Lakers from the NBA, the other owners voted in favor of the move. The Minneapolis Lakers officially became the Los Angeles Lakers. With the talented Elgin Baylor and new fan base in Los Angeles, the Lakers’ finances drastically improved. 

In 1965, Bob Short sold the Los Angeles Lakers to Jack Kent Cooke for $5,175,000. Due to Short’s concern about Cooke’s finances, he requested that the deal be paid in cash. Jack Kent Cooke was the LA Lakers owner from 1965-1979. 

During his tenure, Cooke personally financed the building of a new arena for the LA Lakers, called The Forum. It cost $16,500,000. On the court, the LA Lakers played in six NBA finals, with a famous NBA championship win in 1972. 

In 1979, Cooke sold the LA Lakers to Jerry Buss for $67,000,000. The deal included the purchase of The Forum. Jerry Buss would own the team from 1979 until 2013, when he passed away due to cancer. 

During Buss’ tenure, the Lakers saw unprecedented financial and sporting success. In terms of finances, Buss ushered in the trend of selling stadium rights to advertisers. He also included numerous sponsorship deals for each season. In 2009, the LA Lakers tickets were the most expensive in the NBA. 

On the court, Buss oversaw both Pat Riley’s Magic Johnson dynasty as well as Phil Jackson’s Kobe Bryant dynasty. Under Buss, the Lakers won 10 NBA championships and appeared in 16 NBA finals over 35 seasons. The Lakers also moved their home court from The Forum to their current home, The Staples Center.

When Buss passed away at the age of 80, he handed over ownership to his six children via a trust. In the Buss Family Trust, each family member has an equal vote. His daughter Jeanie Buss sits as the Lakers Governor in the NBA Board of Governors. 

The Buss Family Trust has owned the LA Lakers since 2013. While this has coincided with the longest NBA playoff absence in the franchise’s history, the financials have been consistently strong. The Los Angeles Lakers have been in the top 10 of the annual Forbes Most Valuable Sports Teams list since 2015. The fans, however, will be craving a return to success on the courts. 

How many times have the Lakers been sold?

In total the Lakers franchise has been acquired three times. First when Bob Short bought it in 1957, then when Jack Kent Cooke bought it in 1965, and finally when Jerry Buss bought it in 1979.

This does not include the initial purchase of the Detroit Gems by Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen, or the handover from Jerry Buss to the Buss Family Trust after his death in 2013.

Who was the most successful Lakers owner?

Some might measure an owner’s success on the financial growth of the franchise while others might measure an owner’s success on championships won on the court. One thing is for sure, ever since Bob Short moved the Lakers from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, the financial growth has been on the rise. In the last five years, the value of the Lakers brand speaks for itself. But for most sports fans, the measure of an owners success is the teams success. If that is the measure, then one Lakers owner stands above the rest. That owner is Jerry Buss. 

Buss oversaw 10 NBA championships during his tenure. He also brought great excitement and entertainment to The Forum and The Staples Center with players like Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

Who are the current Los Angeles Lakers owners?

When Jerry Buss passed away in 2013, the LA Lakers ownership was transferred to the Buss Family Trust. 

Initially, Buss gave each of his six children an equal vote on the trust and requested that Jeanie Buss be made the Lakers Governor on the NBA Board of Governors. This unfortunately was far simpler on paper than in real life.

While finances have continued to be strong, the team’s performances have continued to falter. The Lakers haven’t made the NBA playoffs for six seasons, their longest drought. In the boardroom, things have been equally complicated.

Jeanie Buss dismissed Jim Buss as the vice president of basketball operations in 2017. Johnny Buss later proposed appointing four directors to the board. Jeanie Buss was not one of the four candidates. Jeanie Buss then took the matter to court to prevent it from being passed. The dispute was resolved before the court date. The board decided to have five directors including Jeanie Buss, and for her to be controlling owner and a director for the rest of her life.

While the resolution of the dispute will hopefully pave the way for on-court success, there is also a financial incentive. On average 10-20 million viewers watch the ESPN NBA broadcast when a playoff game is on, and 20-30 million viewers watch the finals broadcasts. For the last six seasons, the Lakers have missed out on all of it.

Lakers general managers

The general manager of an NBA franchise is responsible for business operations of the team. This includes handling contract negotiations, draft and trading decisions as well as media relations responsibilities and coordinating the Lakers schedule. The Lakers have had some great general managers over the years that have led to several great eras.

How many general managers have the Lakers had?

In total, the Lakers have had 13 different general managers. From 1958-1960, they operated with three general managers. This coincided with Bob Short moving the Lakers from Minneapolis to Los Angeles in 1960. 

The list of Lakers general managers are as follows:

  • Max Winter (1948 – 1954)
  • George Mikan (1954 – 1957)
  • John Kundla (1957- 1958)
  • David Babcock, Odd Moe and John Scheefe (1958 – 1960)
  • Louis Mohs (1960 – 1967)
  • Fred Schaus (1967 – 1972)
  • Pete Newell (1972 – 1976)
  • Bill Sharman (1976 – 1982)
  • Jerry West (1982 – 1994)
  • Mitch Kupchak (1994 – 2017)
  • Rob Pelinka (2016 – present)

Who was the Lakers general manager during the Showtime dynasty?

The Showtime dynasty was one of the most iconic moments in NBA history. Lakers fans from across the world were tuning in to see the latest plays and showboating. The dynasty was set up thanks to adept recruiting, with notable impact from Jerry West. Between general managers West and Bill Sharman, the Lakers fans are indebted for the Showtime Lakers.

LA Lakers quick stats

Here are four quick fire Lakers records.

Who holds the Lakers record for most points scored in their career?

Kobe Bryant is the all-time leading Lakers point scorer with 33,643 points.

Who holds the Lakers record for most rebounds in their career?

Elgin Baylor has the most rebounds for the Lakers, with 11,463 rebounds during his career.

Who holds the Lakers record for most assists in their career?

Magic Johnson has the most assists for the Lakers, with 10,141 assists during his career.

Who holds the Lakers record for the most steals in their career?

Kobe Bryant surpassed Magic Johnson for a Lakers record of 1,944 steals during his career.

Who holds the record for most games played for the Lakers?

Kobe Bryant surpasses Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for a Lakers record 1,346 games played.

New stats and new memories

As with any sport, the record books are made to be broken. With new basketball scores comes new stats records. This season could see LeBron James become one of the top three highest point scorers of all time. He would overtake Kobe Bryant if he were to do so. This season promises much with the additions of Davis and Cousins.

Make sure to check the latest NBA schedule to know when you can see the Lakers in action once again or catch up on all the LA Lakers latest news and rumors. Lakerholicz is more than just an LA Lakers blog, it is the home for all the Lakers superfans.



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