The Lakers were initially based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and first played in the National Basketball League in the 1947/48 season. The Minneapolis Lakers won the Western Division by 13 games and joined the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in the following season.
The Lakers remained in Minneapolis for 12 years before they moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1960, becoming the first west coast NBA team. Since then, the Lakers have become one of the most iconic NBA franchises in history.
Current Roster, Owners, GMs, and Coaches
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the star players on the Lakers’ current roster. James leads the NBA in assists per game (10.2) in 2019/20 and Davis has the most steals (1.5 per game) and rebounds (9.3) for the Lakers.
James and Davis are supported by consistent center-forwards Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee, who started 68 games in the regular season. Guards Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Alex Caruso have also been regulars in the 2019/20 season.
Jeannie Buss is controlling the owner and president of the LA Lakers. Buss became president of the Lakers in 2013/14.
Rob Pelinka has been General Manager since March 2017; he is also the vice president of basketball operations. The 50-year-old succeeded former Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, who held the role for 23 years.
Frank Vogel is the Lakers’ head coach and has led the team since the beginning of the 2019/20 season. Vogel’s assistant coaching staff includes former Milwaukee Bucks head coach, Jason Kidd, and Lionel Hollins, formerly Memphis Grizzlies and Brooklyn Nets head coach.
Acquiring Anthony Davis was a big deal for the Lakers this season. They traded away Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks to New Orleans to nab Davis for 2019/20.
The Lakers also signed 35-year-old shooting guard J.R Smith on July 2nd, 2020 as a free agent.
The Lakers have won 16 NBA Championships and made 31 playoff finals since 1947. Their last championship titles came back-to-back in 2009 and 2010 when they defeated the Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics respectively.
Between 2000 and 2002, the Lakers won three straight NBA titles for the first time in their history. They are only the third NBA team to achieve this feat along with the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls.
The Lakers finished top of the Pacific Division in 2019/20 with a .732 win percentage. The team also recorded the highest average points per game in the Western Conference, scoring 114.1 points per game. The Lakers lead the NBA in field-goal percentage (48%) and most blocks per game (6.6).
The Lakers have fielded many NBA greats. Kobe Bryant represented the Lakers for two decades between 1996 and 2006 and succeeded alongside another Lakers great, Shaquille O’Neal. The two superstars won three consecutive NBA titles between 2000 and 2002. ‘Shaq’ finished his career with four NBA Championships, while Bryant retired with five.
Magic Johnson spent 13 years with the Lakers. Johnson played in nine NBA Championship finals and won five between 1979 and 1991. Johnson was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in three consecutive seasons between 1987 and 1990.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s highest scorer ever with 38,387 points, a record that still has not been broken. The 7ft 2 forward joined the Lakers from the Milwaukee Bucks in 1975 and spent 14 years in LA. Throughout the 80s, Jabbar and Johnson led the Lakers to five NBA Championships, with two back to back titles in 1987 and 1988.
Shortly behind Kareem in the NBA all-time scorer list is current Lakers forward LeBron James. James was drafted by the Lakers from the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018 and was the NBA assist leader in 2019/20 with 684 assists.