Los Angeles Lakers, professional basketball team, one of five teams in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA). One of the league's most successful franchises, the Lakers have won 14 championships since the NBA was founded. The team plays at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Originally based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the franchise takes its name from that state's slogan, "Land of 10,000 Lakes."
The Minneapolis Lakers joined the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1947. With George Mikan, a 6-ft, 10-in (2.1-m) center, leading the league in scoring, the Lakers captured the 1948 NBL title. The Lakers then moved to the Basketball Association of America (BAA) and won the 1949 BAA title. The NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA after the 1948-49 season, and in the five seasons from 1949-50 through 1953-54, the Lakers collected four championships.
GREAT MOMENTS IN SPORTS
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Sets Career Points Record
When Los Angeles Laker Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored a basket with his signature skyhook late in a 1984 game against the Utah Jazz, he became the National Basketball Association's all-time scoring leader with 31,421 points, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain for the title.
The Lakers' dominance ended in 1954, when Mikan retired and the league introduced the 24-second shot clock and a limit on personal fouls. The rules changes led to a faster-paced game, and the club had difficulty adjusting. A 19-53 win-loss mark in 1957-58 was the worst in team history.
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With the number-one pick in the 1958 NBA draft, Minneapolis chose Elgin Baylor, who was named rookie of the year for the 1958-59 season.