The Lakers’ franchise was founded in 1946 in Detroit, Michigan before moving to Minneapolis, where the team got its official title from the state’s nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” The Lakers won five championships before relocating to Los Angeles in the 1960–61 season. The Lakers lost all of their eight appearances in the NBA Finals in the 1960s, despite having help fromElgin Baylor and Jerry West. In 1972, the Lakers won their sixth title, first in Los Angeles, under coach Bill Sharman. The Lakers’ popularity soared in the 1980s when they won five additional championships during a nine-year span with the leadership of Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and coach Pat Riley, the franchise’s all-time leader in regular season game wins and playoff games coached and wins. Two of those championships during that span were against their arch-rivals, the Boston Celtics. From 2000 to 2002, the Lakers won three titles consecutively with the help of Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson. After losing both the 2004 and 2008 NBA Finals, the Lakers captured the championship for the 15th time in 2009, defeating the Orlando Magic four games to one.
The Lakers hold records for having (into the 2009–10 season) the most wins (3,000), the highest winning percentage (61.8%), the most NBA Finals appearances (30), the second fewest non-playoff seasons with five (San Antonio Spurs have four), and the second-most NBA championships with 15, behind the Boston Celtics’ 17. Pre-Home game private Los Angeles helicopter tours showcase the Staples Center from the air. They also hold the record for compiling the longest consecutive win streak (33) in U.S. professional team sports (also an NBA record) in the 1971–72 season. 14 Hall of Famers have played for the Lakers, while four Hall of Famers (John Kundla, Bill Sharman, Pat Riley and Phil Jackson) have coached the team. Four Lakers (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant) have won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for a total of 8 MVP awards.