Kobe Bryant LA Lakers

29 Admirable Facts About the LA Lakers

Fans of basketball all over the world have their own favorite teams, but no one can deny the appeal of the Los Angeles Lakers! This NBA (National Basketball Association) team has gone from victory to victory and has brought the world some of the most talented and beloved basketball players of all time to the court.

But, how much do you know about this legendary team? Here are some of the most interesting facts about the LA Lakers!

1. The team dates back to the 1940s.

The LA Lakers were originally founded in 1946 in Detroit. They then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1947. In fact, the team was originally called the Minneapolis Lakers to reflect their location.

However, the team made its way to Los Angeles in 1960, where it has remained ever since – and, as far as we know, there’s no plans to change this again any time soon.

2. The team’s name originated in Minnesota, too.

Hailing from Minnesota, it may come as no surprise to you that the name “Lakers” has ties to the area, too. But how?

“Lakers” comes from the state’s nickname, which is the “Land of 10000 Lakes.”
However, the team did not change their name with the move to Los Angeles – even though there are far fewer lakes out this way than you’d expect over in Minnesota!

3. The LA Lakers are one of the NBA’s most successful teams in history.

Given their fame, you will likely already know that the Lakers are a very successful basketball team!

They are currently tied for first place as the winningest NBA team. They have 17 championships under their belt, as do the Boston Celtics. Could that change in the seasons to come? We’ll be sure to let you know.

4. The Lakers won their first-ever championship back in the late 40s.

Back when the Lakers still played for Minnesota, they won their first championship back in 1949.

The team then won their first NBA championship in Los Angeles in the 1971-1972 season.
As it stands, the team last won an NBA championship back in 2020. They’re due another trophy, don’t you think?

5. The team has changed its colors and looks over the years.

Although we tend to picture the standard purple, gold, and white colors when we think of the LA Lakers, the team colors used to be very different! From 1960 to 1967, the team wore a white and blue uniform instead.

But, it didn’t take long for their team to find the colors we now know them for, and the change supposedly took place to help represent the team’s “regal aspirations.” No, really!

Speaking of colors, the team logo features the team’s name in purple and gold, with a moving basketball.

LA Lakers Showtime
Magic Johnson (left)

6. The team has retired multiple numbers.

Any basketball fan knows that to have one’s number retired is a huge honor. It marks the player’s impact on their team and in the sport. Think of it as a way of immortalizing a player!

As such, the LA Lakers are known for having retired the jersey numbers of many iconic players. Some of the most iconic LA Lakers numbers to have been retired include Magic Johnson’s number 32, Kobe Bryant’s number 8, and number 24, and Shaquille O’Neal’s number 34.

7. It was Kobe Bryant’s only team.

One of the LA Lakers’ most famous and beloved players was Kobe Bryant. He was considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time, tragically passing away in the early 2020s.

He spent the whole of his amazing 20-year NBA career with the Lakers! However, he eventually retired from the team and the sport at the end of the 2015-2016 NBA season. He did so as a result of injuries he had sustained over the years, including tearing his Achilles tendon and several knee injuries, which eventually started to slow him down.

8. Magic Johnson was a Lakers mainstay, too.

Another highly celebrated LA Lakers player is Magic Johnson. He played for the Lakers for his entire NBA career – a high-scoring 13 year run.

During that time, he was a member of five championship teams and was crowned MVP many times over. Johnson was known for his flashy style of play and leadership skills, and is still known as one of the sport’s most iconic names.

9. The Lakers had a magic duo.

Speaking of magic, the LA Lakers are known for having one of the best courtside duos of all time. At one point, the team featured players Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant on the same squad – and this legendary duo led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships between the years of 2000 and 2002.

10. The Lakers have some pretty firm rivalries.

Of course, the LA Lakers are in competition with all other teams in the NBA. That being said, they have had a storied rivalry with the Boston Celtics, dating back to the early years of the league.

And, given that both teams are currently tied for first as the teams who have won the most NBA championships, that sense of competition is unlikely to die down any time soon!

11. West was a Lakers legend.

Jerry West was another player who spent his entire NBA career with the LA Lakers.
However, don’t worry if you don’t remember his name as a player! He first joined the Lakers in 1960.

He later became better known as Mr. Clutch, the team’s general manager. He even helped build championship teams! In fact, the team eventually retired the jersey number 44 in honor of Mr. Clutch – chances are if you know a Lakers fan, they know his name. Or, they should!

12. Lakers coaches have been world class.

Beyond talented players, the LA Lakers have also benefited from some of the most notable coaches in the league.

For example, some of the best coaches the team has ever had at the helm include the likes of Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, and Bill Sharman.

13. Their home games are played at the Staples Center.

The Lakers are known for playing their home games at the famous Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

The Center is shared with the NBA’s other Los Angeles team, the Clippers, as well as the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. Why build another stadium when you have one good enough for three?

The stadium measures around 900,000 square feet, and it’s got 20,000 seats available for basketball fans.

14. The Lakers and Clippers don’t get on famously.

Aside from the Celtics, the Lakers also have a famous rivalry with their local foes, the LA Clippers!

Their famous rivalry is known among fans as the “Battle of LA.” There’s an all-time series running between the two teams, with the Lakers ahead by over 40 points. Like the Lakers, the Clippers weren’t formed in LA, either. They once hailed from Buffalo, New York!

15. The Lakers made Chick Hearn a star.

One of the most famous people involved with the Lakers is easily Chick Hearn. He was the longtime Lakers play-by-play announcer.

Did you know that he even coined several world-famous basketball terms? Some of his most well-known terms include ”slam dunk” and “air ball.” Chances are, if you hear some basketball lingo, Hearn helped to popularize it.

Jerry West
Jerry West (left)

16. They’ve made some fantastic draft picks.

What really sets the Lakers apart from the pack is the team’s uncanny ability to pluck future superstars out of the draft.

For example, did you know the likes of Magic Johnson, Larry West, and Kobe Bryant were all draft picks? Sometimes, it’s all about leading with your gut!

17. The team’s success goes beyond their championships.

Ok – so, the LA Lakers are joint winningest when it comes to NBA championships. But, as any true basketball fan knows, success isn’t measurable by championships alone!

So, what else is in the Lakers’ trophy cabinet? 19 conference titles, for a start!

18. LeBron James brought a new level of success to the team.

The Lakers went through a rebuilding period during the 2010s – it had been some time since they’d made major waves in the NBA, and were holding out for that next big star acquisition.

Enter King James! The Lakers returned to championship contention with the acquisition of LeBron James in 2018 – perhaps one of the most valuable moves the team’s made in its history. James is one of the most successful forwards in basketball history, and he’s far from throwing in the towel just yet.

19. The 2019/20 season was fantastic for the Lakers.

The LA Lakers famously won the NBA championship in the 2019-2020 season. At the time, the team was led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The latter was acquired by the Lakers in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2019, a trade that proved to be a pretty sweet deal!

The Lakers have yet to reap further championship glory at the time of writing, but with King James still in the squad, anything could happen.

20. The team has a huge (and famous) fanbase.

The LA Lakers are definitely not short on fans! In fact, some of the most famous faces in and around LA support the side.

Some of their most famous fans include Ice Cube, Denzel Washington, Will Ferrell, Adele, Jack Black, and Snoop Dogg.

These celebrities can often be found courtside at Lakers games and sometimes even show their support online on social media.

And the team’s fans go beyond celebrities! In fact, the Lakers have had success in international markets, with a significant fan following in countries like China.

LA Lakers

21. They built up an impressive winning streak.

As if being one of the two winningest teams in NBA history wasn’t enough, the LA Lakers still own the NBA’s longest winning streak of all time!

They won a total of 33 games in a row during the 1971-1972 season, thus making history to beat. And, for now, the team is still yet to be beaten on that!

22. Kobe Bryant made Lakers history in 2006.

Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006 is the second-highest single-game scoring performance in NBA history.

His record closely follows that of Wilt Chamberlain, who currently still holds the top spot for scoring 100-points in a single game.

Given how highly some of the biggest stars in the current game are scoring, it might not be long before Bryant and Chamberlain’s scores are truly challenged.

23. Several people have owned the Lakers.

Given the LA Lakers’ long history, it’s only understandable that it has gone through several ownership transitions over the years.

That being said, at the time of writing, the Buss family has maintained control over the team since the 1979-1980 season.

Currently, it is Jeanie Marie Buss who is the controlling owner, and thus the overall president of the LA Lakers.

24. The Lakers produced many NBA MVPs.

Unsurprisingly, the Lakers have had multiple players win the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

Some of their most famous winners include Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O’Neal. More recently, LeBron James won MVP in 2020.

25. The Lakers are accompanied by the Laker Girls.

One of the most famous things about the LA Lakers is actually the team’s cheerleading squad! The squad, known as the Laker Girls, is one of the most famous cheerleading teams in the NBA.

The members of the squad are incredible athletes in their own right and have their own huge fanbase. The squad was first commissioned all the way back in 1979 following Jerry Buss’s acquisition of the Lakers.

Laker Girls

26. The team has had multiple buzzer-beaters.

Some of the best basketball moments for fans and players are buzzer-beaters. These nail-biting moments can completely change the way a game ends right at the very last second!

As it happens, the Lakers have had several memorable buzzer-beaters in franchise history, including Derek Fisher’s shot against the San Antonio Spurs in the 2004 playoffs. If you were there, you know what we’re talking about. If you weren’t, look it up on YouTube!

27. The LA Lakers is a highly charitable organization.

One of the best things about the LA Lakers is that it is a very charitable team. The team’s widely known for helping multiple non-profits in California, notably by donating collector’s items from the team to fundraising events.

The team’s even held charity golf tournaments – just to make things a bit more confusing – over the past three decades, with more than $500,000 raised for children’s benefits in LA in 2019 alone.

28. The team carried the pain of the loss of Kobe Bryant.

One of the Lakers’ most iconic players, Kobe Bryant, tragically died in 2020. In honor of the fallen player, the team gathered and agreed to carry that pain with them for the remainder of their season.

They also wore “Black Mamba” jerseys to commemorate Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who died with him in a helicopter crash.

Bryant was nicknamed the “Black Mamba” affectionately, and was regarded as a legend even when he was alive. He was inarguably one of the most focused and committed players not just in the Lakers’ history, but across the NBA.

29. They gained a “Showtime” nickname in the 1980s.

You might be aware of the Harlem Globetrotters – but for a time, the LA Lakers were as close as you could get to that style of showy play while still playing legitimate basketball!

The team earned the glitzy nickname of the “Showtime Lakers” in the 1980s, thanks to central stars in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson, who helped to make the sport more of a spectacle.

Kobe Bryant

FAQs About the LA Lakers

Who is number 7 on the Lakers?

Currently, Gabe Vincent is the LA Laker who wears the number 7 jersey! This talented player is from Modesto.

Who owned the Lakers before Jerry Buss?

Jack Kent Cooke owned the LA Lakers before Jerry Buss. He bought the team from him for $67.5 million.

Cooke was a prolific sports entrepreneur. As well as the Lakers, he was the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Los Angeles Kings, the Washington Redskins (now the Commanders), and the Los Angeles Wolves! That’s a heck of a sporting portfolio.

Who was the greatest Lakers duo?

If you ask any Lakers fan, they will likely tell you that the best Lakers duo of all time was Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! It is believed that Kareem’s strength and grace on the court worked wonderfully with Magic’s speed and offense strategies.

However, the incredible partnership between Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant over the years is perhaps just as notable as the “Showtime” years.

Do you know any fun facts about the LA Lakers? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on May 17, 2024. Suggest an edit

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