The Los Angeles Lakers are a professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. The team competes in the Western Conference Pacific division of the National Basketball Association (NBA). One of the most prestigious basketball teams of all times, the Los Angeles Lakers have enjoyed the thrill of being the NBA champions 16 times, 31 Conference titles, 23 Division honors and 30 Hall of Fame players. The team last lifted the NBA trophy in 2010, and after bidding farewell to its star player, Kobe Bryant, is ready to enter a new era. New head coach Luke Walton is excited to usher the promising young core into the upcoming games, hoping to reclaim the Lakers past glory. If you are looking for the Los Angeles Lakers tickets, they are available here.
Whether it’s Mike Eruzione’s game winning goal in the 1980 Winter Olympics or Muhammad Ali’s ‘rope-a-dope’ technique in ‘Rumble in the Jungle’, sports play a big role in our lives. Millions around the world idolize athletes for their talent, commitment and dedication. From Christiano Ronaldo to Lebron James, sports tickets have become an integral part for all sport lovers around the world.
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Early Years as Minneapolis Lakers
Real estate owner Ben Berger and sports entertainment executive Morris Chalfen formed the Minneapolis Lakers in 1947. They purchased the disbanded franchise Detroit Gems and the team played its first season as part of the National Basketball League (NBL). 1948-49 season was played as a BAA team and finally in 1960 the Lakers joined the NBA. Given that Minnesota is called the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, the team decided on the name Lakers. Even after they relocated to Los Angles in 1960, they stuck with the name.
Minneapolis Lakers were the NBA’s first dynasty. Through 1949 till 1954, they dominated the league with their fierce playing style. The team was built around the Center George Mika, who led the show for six seasons and earned the Minneapolis Lakers five straight scoring championships. Since inception the Lakers were far from a one-man team and it has remained their style even today. Jim Pollard, Slater Martin, Clyde Lovellette and Vern Mikkelsen formed a solid offense and added a lot of muscle to the front. To round things out, they had a stellar coach in John Kundla who knew how to deal with diverse personalities and heightened expectations. Kundla was an important part of the Lakers’ equation and his approach as a push-button coach led the Minneapolis Lakers to many extraordinary wins.
Relocation and the Birth of Los Angeles Lakers
After NBA reduced its teams to 11, the Minneapolis Lakers were sold to a businessman Bob Short. He moved the team to Los Angeles in 1960 and the Lakers became the NBA’s first West Coast franchise.
The team’s solid record earned them the second draft pick in 1960 and they chose Jerry West. Jerry’s name has gone down in the Basketball Hall of Fame and he was also 14-time NBA All Star. He led the side to their 6th NBA title overall and first as the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers went head to head with the seasoned NBA teams like Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics. They faced the latter in the 1962 NBA Finals and after sharing 4 games a piece with the Celtics, were finally defeated in game 7. This encounter has gone down in NBA’s history as one of the best finals due to the determined playing style of both the teams. For four consecutive seasons from 1971 till 1974, the Lakers clinched Division championships and two Conference titles in 1972 and 1973.
The team made coaching changes in 1972 and hired former Boston Celtics player Bill Sharman. The Lakers continued to roll that season, surpassing the Milwaukee Bucks record-winning streak of 20 games. In the NBA Finals, the team met the New York Knicks and after five games, finally defeated the Knicks to earn their first NBA Championship in Los Angeles.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Era
The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975. He joined the side when it was already faltering after the departure of Wilt Chamberlain. In his first year with the Lakers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was named the “Most Valuable Player” and in his second season, he steered the side to the number one position. Known for his trademark “sky-hook”, Abdul-Jabbar helped the Los Angeles Lakers win five NBA championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988). He won the 1985 NBA Finals MVP. Under the leadership of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the team showed signs of greatness and Los Angeles Lakers tickets sold out fast for their games.
Magic Johnson joined in 1979 and the power duo of Jabbar-Johnson treated the fans to “Showtime”. Featuring a run-and-gun game of basketball, Magic Johnson would stun all with his passing skills and Abdul-Jabbar would slam it home with authority. Together they won five championships for the Lakers and remained one of the NBA’s top competitors throughout the rest of the 1980s. After 20 seasons, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar retired in 1989 and in 2016 was voted by ESPN as the “second best player in NBA history” after Michael Jordon.
Kobe Bryant Era
Kobe Bryant joined the Lakers in 1996, starting another era of historic wins and championships. He produced some of the most legendary moments in Lakers and NBA’s history. A volume scorer and a winner, he led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships. Teaming up with another legendary Center Shaquille O’Neal, Bryant-led Lakers won three consecutive NBA championships (2000, 2001, 2002). Thousands of fans who bought Los Angeles Lakers tickets witnessed a historic win in 2009 and then in 2010, when the Lakers once again won back to back NBA titles. His announcement of retirement in 2016 drew strong reactions and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated, “With 17 NBA All-Star selections, an NBA MVP, five NBA championships with the Lakers, two Olympic gold medals and a relentless work ethic, Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest players in the history of our game”.
His unconditional love for the sport has made him the only player in NBA history with more than 30,000 points, 6,000 rebounds and 6,000 assists. With Kobe Bryant gone and Luke Walton as the new coach, the Los Angeles Lakers have taken a step forward in their rebuilding process. If you’re a Lakers’ fan and looking to get their tickets, the Los Angeles Lakers tickets are available here.
A Year in Sports
There are hundreds of sporting events taking place everyday all over the world.
In the United States alone for instance, the year starts with the biggest event The Super bowl in February. Then it’s March Madness with NCAA’s men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. This is followed by Golf with The Masters in Augusta Georgia and the Boston Marathon in April. May brings The Kentucky Derby and The Stanley Cup Finals which goes into June. June also marks the beginning of the NBA Finals. July brings a second serving of golf with the US Open and PGA Tours. August takes everyone to Flushing Meadows for Tennis with The US Open. And October and November marks the start of the World Series with the New York Marathon squeezing in November.
With the year this busy, fans in the United States have plenty of options to support their favorite athletes and teams.
A Matter of Leagues or Leagues of Extraordinary Athletes
Every generation has their sporting heroes. The Silent Generation (1925-1945) saw the advent of a sporting culture in the United States. It was around these years many of the leagues such as the NFL (1920) and the NBA (1946) were founded and consequently gave birth to the likes of Jerry Rice and Michael Jordan. Even though MLB had a head start with it being founded well before any of the other leagues, it wasn’t long before the others caught up.
Over the last few decades, NFL has taken over other leagues in both popularity and revenues. Even though baseball has always been America’s ‘Favorite Past Time’, the introduction of televised games gave a big boost to both the NFL and the NBA.
Here are a few numbers to put things in perspective. According to CNN, the NFL brought $13B in revenues in 2015. Compare it with MLB’s ($9.5B) and NBA’s ($5.2B) and NFL may seem like a behemoth however, MLB still sells the most tickets. Most of NFL’s revenues are generated from television rights and advertisements.
To digest these numbers, there needs to be a generous helping of why these leagues have become multibillion dollar commodities.
Your Sporting Heroes & The Moments That Made Them
Great moments in sports were not a result of a flash of brilliance. It took a lifetime of commitment on the athlete’s part to perform when their teams and fans needed them the most. Take Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan, Jerry Rice, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky; all of these athletes are known for these special moments. Here are some moments that made them true icons.
Babe Ruth Calls The Shots – You know you’re special when you point in front of a packed stadium where you next home run will land. Babe Ruth did that in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series. He pointed to Charlie Root just before the pitch and hit a 440 feet home run over center field.
The ‘Re’ - Coronation of Michael Jordan – With one point down and the last few seconds left of game 6 against Utah Jazz in 1998, Michael Jordan re affirmed his place as the King. Jordan’s twenty footer basket gave Bulls their third consecutive and sixth championship in eight years.
Throw ‘em Wide for Rice – Considered by many as the greatest wide receiver to play in the NFL, Jerry Rice is a three time Super Bowl champion. Even though there are many, his true moment came when he opened 49ers account with a 44 yard touchdown on the third play of the drive in Super bowl XXIX (1995). The 49ers defeated the Chargers in 49-26 and the rest as they say is history.
The Thrilla in Manila – This was a clash of not only the best boxers of this or any generation, it was a fight between two remarkable different but equally talented individuals. Long story short, Muhammad Ali came out on top, but he accepted that this was as close to death as he could possibly get.
The Great One – Wayne Gretzky is the perfect combination of skill and intelligence. He is also the perfect example of how you cannot define a player’s career with a single moment. As the leading goal scorer of all time in the NHL, Gretzky’s career simply just cannot be summarized.
You can always relive these moments on video or more aptly on YouTube. However, to experience what the crowd felt and how loud it gets when thousands roar in one voice, you need to get sports tickets. It is the only way to experience the true euphoria of the moment. For, if you’re not there, you will never be able to capture the true grandeur of the spectacle we call sport.