The Los Angeles Lakers is a professional basketball franchise that currently plays in the Pacific Division of the National Basketball Association's Western Conference. The team originally played in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and it was in "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" that they assumed the "Lakers" nickname. The Lakers have played in three different leagues (the NBL, the BAA and the NBA) and have won a total of 16 league championships, 29 conference titles and 31 division crowns.
The Minneapolis Lakers first took the court during the 1947-48 season as a member of the National Basketball League. Thanks to the acquisition of George Mikan, the Lakers easily won the NBL Championship that season, losing just two games during the playoffs that year.
First NBA Title
The Lakers, still playing in Minneapolis, won their first NBA title--and, in fact, the first NBA title ever--in 1950. Minneapolis beat the Syracuse Nationals in six games to claim the league's inaugural championship, thanks largely to Mikan's 31.3 per game scoring average in the postseason. The team has won 16 titles in all, as of 2014 -- the second highest number in the NBA.
Hall of Famers
Several members of the Basketball Hall of Fame have ties to the Lakers. They include players Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich, Adrian Dantley, Karl Malone, Connie Hawkins, Magic Johnson, Clyde Lovellette, Slater Martin, Bob McAdoo, George Mikan, Vern Mikkelsen, Jim Pollard, James Worthy and Jerry West; coaches Phil Jackson, John Kundla, Pat Riley and Bill Sharman; and announcer Chick Hearn.
NBA Most Valuable Players
Four different Laker players have won the NBA's Most Valuable Player award. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1976, 1977, 1980) and Earvin "Magic" Johnson (1987, 1989, 1990) each won the MVP three times, while Shaquille O'Neal (2000) and Kobe Bryant (2008) have each won one as a Laker.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is NBA's all-time leading scorer, scoring 38,387 points during his 20-year basketball career. Also, in 2006, Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, which is the most in Lakers history and the second highest points total ever in the NBA, behind only Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game with the Philadelphia Warriors. Kobe Bryant holds the overall scoring record for the Lakers with a total of 31,750 points.