54 Facts About Minneapolis Lakers


Los Angeles Lakers franchise has a long and storied history, predating the formation of the National Basketball Association.

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The next year saw the absorbing of the defunct NBL by the BAA, to form today's NBA, and the Minneapolis Lakers won the championship on the backs of Mikan, Vern Mikkelsen, and future National Football League coach Bud Grant.

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Lovellette led the team in scoring, but the Minneapolis Lakers fared so poorly in the 1955 season that Mikan was persuaded to come out of retirement for the 1956 season.

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Minneapolis Lakers's play was not up to his former standards and halfway through the season, he retired again, this time for good.

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The 1956 Minneapolis Lakers would go on to make the playoffs, only to lose to the St Louis Hawks.

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Minneapolis Lakers found their way back the playoffs in 1957, when they lost to the Hawks once more.

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The Minneapolis Lakers did not change their name after this second move, despite the general scarcity of natural lakes in southern California.

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The Minneapolis Lakers were able to pull together and make the NBA Finals, only to lose in heartbreaking fashion to a now-dominant Celtics team.

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Minneapolis Lakers had gone to Fayetteville, Arkansas to announce a college football game, and inclement weather had prevented his flight from being able to leave in time for him to make it to Las Vegas for the Lakers game.

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Minneapolis Lakers moved to Cooke's brand-new arena, The Forum, in 1967 with new coach Bill van Breda Kolff.

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The move seemed at first to have worked, as the 1969 Minneapolis Lakers proceeded to compile a better record than the Celtics behind Chamberlain's league leading 21.

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That very evening, the Minneapolis Lakers proceeded to win the first game of what would turn out to be a 33-game winning streak; the streak was snapped with a loss to the Bucks on January 9,1972.

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Minneapolis Lakers set another record in 1972 by winning 69 games; this mark would stand for nearly a quarter of a century.

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Minneapolis Lakers would fall to the Knicks in the Finals in 1973, and Chamberlain, who had set a record for field-goal percentage that year, making 72.

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Minneapolis Lakers sat out the rest of the season, needing reconstructive surgery to repair his jaw, eye, and cheek.

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That year found the Minneapolis Lakers holding the top overall draft pick in the Western Conference, compensation for Goodrich's departure via free agency three years earlier to the New Orleans Jazz.

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The Minneapolis Lakers won the coin toss and selected Earvin "Magic" Johnson, who had just led Michigan State University to the NCAA championship, and was along with Indiana State University forward Larry Bird one of the top prospects in the 1979 draft.

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Nonetheless, under the tutelage of new head coach Pat Riley, the Minneapolis Lakers returned to the finals that year by beating Phoenix and San Antonio in the playoffs.

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Worthy had a strong rookie campaign, but he broke his leg at the end of the season and could only watch helplessly as the Minneapolis Lakers, hobbled by injuries in the post-season to Bob McAdoo and Norm Nixon, were swept by the powerful 76ers, led by regular season and Finals MVP Moses Malone, in the 1983 NBA Finals.

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The Minneapolis Lakers returned to the finals to face Larry Bird's Boston Celtics.

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The Minneapolis Lakers gained their first ever Finals victory over the Celtics, and they were the only visiting team to ever do this in Boston Garden.

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The strategy worked, and the Minneapolis Lakers accumulated 65 wins, the second-most in franchise history up to that point.

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Johnson then notched his last Finals MVP award as the Minneapolis Lakers defeated their arch-rival Celtics in the finals, highlighted by Johnson's running "baby hook" shot to win Game 4 at Boston Garden with two seconds remaining.

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However, playing without the injured James Worthy and Sam Perkins, the Minneapolis Lakers were overmatched by a powerful Portland Trail Blazers team and lost the first round series three games to one.

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The Minneapolis Lakers then traded Sam Perkins to the Seattle SuperSonics for Benoit Benjamin and the rights to rookie Doug Christie.

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However the Minneapolis Lakers lost the final three games of the series, including an overtime thriller on the road in the fifth and final game, with Phoenix prevailing over the Minneapolis Lakers three games to two.

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The Minneapolis Lakers did make a late playoff push when Pfund was fired and Magic Johnson took over as head coach.

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The Minneapolis Lakers won their first playoff series in the post-Magic era, beating the talented Seattle SuperSonics three games to one before losing to the Western Conference's number one seed San Antonio Spurs four games to two.

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The imploding Minneapolis Lakers lost in the first round of the playoffs to the defending champion Houston Rockets three games to one.

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The Minneapolis Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the 1997 NBA Playoffs.

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The Minneapolis Lakers defeated Portland three games to one in the first-round of the play-offs.

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The following round, Seattle took a one-game lead, with the Minneapolis Lakers responding with four straight wins, taking the series.

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The new philosophy proved to be potent, as the Minneapolis Lakers started off strong, winning 31 of their first 36 games.

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Minneapolis Lakers certainly looked the favorite to repeat the following year, but they had a tougher time of it, accumulating 16 losses by the All-Star break, one more than they had had the entire season before.

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The Minneapolis Lakers lost the first game of the NBA Finals to Philadelphia, but that only proved to be a temporary blip, as they swept the next four games to claim their second consecutive championship.

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Game 7 proved to be as dramatic as the previous games in the series, with the Minneapolis Lakers eventually defeating the Kings in overtime and advancing to the NBA Finals.

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Championship series against the New Jersey Nets was a mere formality, as the Minneapolis Lakers swept all four games in one of the most lopsided NBA Finals ever.

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Jackson was burned out, and the Minneapolis Lakers' management was unwilling to raise his salary from $6 million a year to $12 million that he wanted to continue.

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The Minneapolis Lakers managed to put forth more consistent efforts as the regular season drew to a close.

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Roster management decided to resign Derek Fisher, a past hero, but the Minneapolis Lakers would enter the season frustrated and with question marks.

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On February 1,2008, the Minneapolis Lakers dealt the unpopular Kwame Brown, rookie Javaris Crittenton, veteran Aaron McKie, the draft rights to Marc Gasol, and first round picks in 2008 and 2010 for Spaniard all-star forward Pau Gasol and a second round draft choice in 2010.

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On July 3,2009, the Minneapolis Lakers signed Houston Rockets forward Ron Artest to a five-year contract to replace Minneapolis Lakers forward Trevor Ariza, who signed with the Rockets.

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The Minneapolis Lakers won the Western Conference and made it to a third straight finals, in which they rematched the Boston Celtics.

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However, the Dallas Mavericks swept the Minneapolis Lakers and ended Phil Jackson's career with a 36-point blowout in Game 4.

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The Minneapolis Lakers first contacted Jackson to replace Brown; however, talks stalled as Jackson requested time to consider the position.

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D'Antoni's coaching debut with the Minneapolis Lakers was delayed as he recovered from knee replacement surgery he had weeks earlier.

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Minneapolis Lakers won the rights to the seventh pick of the 2014 NBA draft with which they selected Julius Randle, a freshman power forward from the University of Kentucky.

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The Minneapolis Lakers drafted Jordan Clarkson with the 46th pick of the draft and agreed terms for a two-year deal.

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The Minneapolis Lakers obtained the second pick of the 2015 NBA draft at the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery where they drafted Ohio State University freshman point guard D'Angelo Russell.

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Minneapolis Lakers was replaced by Warriors assistant and former Lakers forward Luke Walton.

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On February 21,2017, the Minneapolis Lakers fired general manager Mitch Kupchak, while Magic Johnson was named as the president of basketball operations.

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On July 9,2018, the Minneapolis Lakers signed LeBron James to a 4-year, $154 million contract.

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On July 6, the Minneapolis Lakers acquired Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks, including the number four overall in the 2019 draft.

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The following round, Houston Rockets took a one-game lead, with the Minneapolis Lakers responding with four straight wins again, taking the series and advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2010.

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