History of the Lakers
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The History Of Lakers and the players
When It come to the Lakers, From the George Mikan-led Minneapolis Lakers teams of the '40s and '50s to the "Showtime" era Magic Johnson teams of the late 1980s to Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant's dynasty of the early 21st century, one thing has been consistent about the Lakers,winning( www.nba.com/lakers).The franchise has boasted a host of Hall of Famers and has compiled a string of championships which has scarcely been rivaled in the history of American sports (www.nba.com/lakers).
1947-48: The Game's First Star
During the 1940-1950 the Lakers franchise named was known as the Minneapolis Lakers’s and during the 1940’s they entered the National Basketball League. George Mikan, was a 6-10 giant of a man who had dominated college basketball in his four years at DePaul. He joined the Chicago American Gears at the end of the 1945-46 season, then led the Gears to the NBL Championship the following year. Prior to the 1947-48 campaign Maurice White, president of the American Gear Company and owner of the Chicago team, pulled the club out of the NBL. (www.nba.com/lakers).White's plan was to create a 24-team circuit called the Professional Basketball League of America, in which he would own all of the teams and all of the arenas. But the new league lasted barely a month, and the players on White's teams were distributed among the 11 NBL franchises (www.nba.com/lakers).
1949-59: Lakers Win First NBA Finals
The BAA and the NBL merged after that season, and the NBA was born for the 1949-70 campaign. In its first year the NBA consisted of 17 teams competing in three divisions. Minneapolis was assigned to the Central Division (the new circuit's strongest division), where the team once again went head-to-head with Rochester If anything, the Lakers were even better than they had been the season before. (www.nba.com/lakers).The team included a trio of promising first-year players in forward Vern Mikkelsen and guards Slater Martin and Bud Grant. (Grant went on to greater fame as coach of the football Minnesota Vikings.) Minneapolis seemed to have a lock on the top spot in the Central Division, but Rochester put together a 15-game winning streak as the campaign wound down, and the teams ended the regular season tied for first with identical 51-17 records (www.nba.com/lakers). The Lakers then edged the Royals by a single basket in a one-game playoff to claim the division title. After all the successes in the 1940’s and 50’s during the George Mikan. 80’s became a another New Era of greatness.
“Showtime Lakers” Arrives
Los Angeles picked Earvin "Magic" Johnson, an electrifying 6-9 point guard who had led Michigan State to the 1979 NCAA Championship. "Showtime" had arrived, and a dynasty was established almost overnight. The 1979-80 season was one of intense drama for the Lakers. (www.nba.com/lakers). With the team at 10-4, Head Coach Jack McKinney suffered a serious injury in a bicycle accident and was replaced by Paul Westhead. The Lakers rallied to finish the season at 60-22, tops in the Pacific Division. Inspired by NBA All-Rookie Team member Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar turned in the best all-around performance of his career and earned his sixth and final Most Valuable Player Award(www.nba.com/lakers)..
The Lakers were talented and deep-Jamaal Wilkes, Jim Chones, and Abdul-Jabbar made for an intimidating front line, and the backcourt of Johnson and Nixon could stand up to any guard tandem in the country. (www.nba.com/lakers).The Lakers' bench included Michael Cooper and Spencer Haywood. Los Angeles walked all over Phoenix and Seattle in the first two rounds of the playoffs, taking each series in five games. The NBA Finals pitted the club against the Julius Erving-led Philadelphia 76ers, and the two teams split four close games to start the series. (www.nba.com/lakers). Abdul-Jabbar sprained his ankle in Game 5 but still scored 40 points to give the Lakers a 108-103 win. Abdul-Jabbar was unable to play in Game 6, but Johnson stepped up to turn in one of the most remarkable performances in NBA Finals history. (www.nba.com/lakers). Still just a 20-year-old rookie, Johnson moved from guard to center and tallied 42 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists, single-handedly carrying the Lakers to a 123-107 victory and the NBA Championship. Johnson earned the first of three NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards(www.nba.com/lakers)..
 The 1980-81 season was a major disappointment. The Lakers lost Magic Johnson for much of the season to a knee injury. (www.nba.com/lakers).Behind another brilliant year from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (26.2 ppg, 10.3 rpg), the team turned in a 54-28 record and finished second behind the Phoenix Suns in the Pacific Division. But Los Angeles was stunned by the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs. Led by Moses Malone, the Rockets bumped the Lakers in a best-of-three series, notching both victories in Los Angeles. Owner Jerry Buss fired Coach Paul Westhead after the Lakers went 7-4 to start the 1981-82 season. Buss promoted Assistant Coach Pat Riley, a former Lakers backup point guard, to head coach on November 19, and the team won 17 of its next 20 games. (www.nba.com/lakers).The Lakers took the Pacific Division title and then embarked on one of the most impressive playoff journeys in NBA history. (www.nba.com/lakers). They swept both Phoenix and the San Antonio Spurs with an average margin of victory of 11 points. Los Angeles then stretched its postseason winning streak to nine games by taking the first contest of the NBA Finals from the 76ers. Philadelphia came back to win Game 2, but the Lakers prevailed in the series, four games to two, to win their second title in three years. The team's playoff record that year was 12-2(www.nba.com/lakers). After Magic left the Lakers the Lakers were bad. They Lakers would make the playoffs but could not advance passed the first round for several years. But in 1996 Lakers trade for high school sensation Kobe Bryant for center Vlade Divac ([wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant) .

© Gabriel Moore 1269 Concord Place Ave, Kalamazoo,MI
Last Update: August 17, 2011
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