Los Angeles Lakers Information
The Los Angeles Lakers are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. They play their home games at Staples Center which is shared with NBA rival, the Los Angeles Clippers. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in NBA history with twenty-three Division titles, thirty-two Conference titles and seventeen Championships. According to Forbes, the Lakers are the most valuable NBA franchise as of 2012 with an estimated $900 million value.
In 1947, the Lakers were founded after the purchase of the Detroit Gems of the NBL. The team joined the NBA in 1948 and went on to win five championships in Minneapolis. They franchise struggled financially in the late 1950s and relocated to Los Angeles prior to the 1960-61 season. The Lakers made it to the NBA Finals six times during the 1960s but lost each series to the Boston Celtics. This sparked their longstanding rivalry that still exists today. They won their sixth NBA title in 1972, however, with new head coach Bill Sharman and newly signed four-time MVP Wilt Chamberlain. The late 1970s did not bring any more titles, nor were the Lakers able to make it to the Finals.
In the 1980s, however, things turned around. They were nicknamed "Showtime" because of their fast break-offense led by Magic Johnson. They went on to win five championships in a nine-year span and their first Finals championship against the Celtics. The dream team included Hall of Famers Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy, and Hall of Fame coach, Pat Riley. Then, Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson retired and the early 1990s led to struggle. Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant were added to the roster in 1996, however and again, tides turned. Los Angeles won three consecutive titles between 2000-2001. They slowed down for a little while but then won two more championships against the Orlando Magic in 2009 and the Celtics in 2010.
Last season was shortened due to lockout but the Lakers ended the regular season with a 41-25 record. They entered the playoffs as the third seed and quickly defeated the Denver Nuggets in the first round. They were then eliminated in the second round by the Oklahoma City Thunder. After a few draft picks and trades, the current roster for the 2012-13 season includes Ronnie Aguilar, Steve Blake, Kobe Bryant, Earl Clark, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Chris Duhon, Devin Ebanks, Pau Gasol, Andrew Goudelock, Jordan Hill, Dwight Howard, Antawn Jamison, Darius Johnson-Odom, Jodie Meeks, Darius Morris, Steve Nash, Reeves Nelson, Robert Sacre, Greg Somogyi and Metta World Peace.