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NBA Finals Winners, Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are possibly the most beloved franchise in the NBA. Some of the most iconic players in basketball history have suited up for the Purple & Gold. Learn more about the Lakers below.


The Los Angeles Lakers have 17 World Titles as a franchise. They are tied with the Boston Celtics for the most titles in NBA history. The Lakers franchise was founded in 1946. When the team was in Minneapolis, they were called the Minneapolis Lakers. The name Lakers is inspired by the Minnesota nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

George Mikan

George Mikan played for the Minneapolis Lakers from 1947 to 1956. Mikan is considered the first dominant center. The Lakers have a history of having dominant centers on their team, and it started with Mikan.

George Mikan lakers

Move to LA

The Lakers would move to Los Angeles in 1960. The 1960s for the Lakers were defined by Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, and Wilt Chamberlain. Those are four of the all-time greats in NBA history. The Lakers in the 1960s went to the Finals consistently but kept losing to the Boston Celtics. Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain would win the first Los Angeles based championship for the Lakers in 1972. After that 1972 title run, the Lakers would hit a bit of a dry spell.

1960s  lakers


After 2 years at Michigan State, and winning the 1979 NCAA Championship, Earvin Magic Johnson entered the NBA draft. He would be selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the first pick overall. Johnson would play his entire legendary career for the Los Angeles Lakers. Magic would partner with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy to form a dynasty in the 1980s.

LA is of course known for its glamour and entertainment. Magic Johnson fit in perfectly with the city’s culture. Los Angeles loved Magic, and Magic loved entertaining the Laker fans. For more than a decade Magic Johnson was one of the biggest stars in California.

The “Showtime” era of the Lakers, which was defined by fastbreak, and exciting play, was led by Magic. His smile and flair on the court was Showtime worthy. The Lakers won, and lost, in style. This was largely because of Johnson.

Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led the Los Angeles to five championships in the 1980s.

magic johnson lakers

Shaq & Kobe

After four seasons in Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal decided to leave the Magic and join the Los Angeles Lakers. With the Lakers, Shaquille would reach new heights as a player and personality. O’Neal’s best years in the league were while wearing the Purple and Gold. Shaq would win three championships in LA, along with three Final’s MVPs.

From 1996-2004, Shaq and the Los Angeles Lakers were one of the most popular teams in the world. Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant were teammates during the duration of Shaq’s time in Southern California. They both experienced tremendous levels of success and fame as a duo.

Kobe Bryant was instantly a fan favorite because of his charisma and electrifying style of play. His first few years in the league were filled with exciting plays and his potential was impossible to deny. The young Lakers star struggled on the defensive end of the court, and he had difficulties with finishing games early on in his career. Bryant came into the league straight out of high school—and that resulted in him being a little less refined than his teammates, especially Shaq, would like.

The Los Angeles Lakers named Phil Jackson their head coach in 1999. Phil Jackson was coming off his tenure coaching the Chicago Bulls, which resulted in 6 Rings. Jackson was able to nurture Bryant’s game and help take it to another level—the same way he did with Michael Jordan when he coached the Chicago Bulls. Kobe and Shaq were able to co-exist long enough to earn three rings together and accomplish the rare three-peat.

After Shaq’s exit from the Lakers, Kobe would team with Pau Gasol, with Jackson as head coach, and earn two more rings. Kobe and Shaq would both end their careers as all-time greats and icons of the game.

Shaq & Kobe

The King

LeBron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018. By the time James moved to LA, he was already one of the all-time greats. James struggled to find team chemistry in his first few seasons in Los Angeles. He lacked a true star as a teammate. That would change when the Lakers sent the New Orleans Pelicans a substantial package of players and draft picks for Anthony Davis. Pairing James with Davis had Lakers fans excited. The acquisition paid off big for Los Angeles in Davis’s first season with the squad. In 2020, the Lakers would win the NBA Title, and they were led by Davis and James.

lebron james

Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most popular, and accomplished, franchises in sports. Many NBA greats have played for the Lakers at some point in their career. The Lakers have 17 NBA Championships, which is tied with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are the greatest rival of the Lakers, and vice versa, so it is fitting to see the franchises linked in this way.

The Los Angeles Lakers have always attracted the best players, coaches, and staff. The Lakers are always relevant and always on the brink of another dynasty.


- Adam C. Better