- NBA Championships: 16
- Last NBA Championship: 2010
- Claim to Fame: The list would be longer than this page.
- Claim to Shame: The Lakers had four straight losing seasons from 2013-14 to 2017-18.
There are glamour franchises, and then there the Los Angeles Lakers, who, along with their rival Boston Celtics, comprise the NBA’s royal family.
But this royal ascent didn’t start in the City of Angels, but in Minneapolis in 1947.
The Franchise’s first true superstar, George Mikan, guided them to five titles in six years, before the team eventually moved to LA before the 1960-61 season.
Despite numerous defeats to the Celtics, the Lakers did eventually breakthrough for a title in 1972, led by Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West.
Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ushered in the Showtime era in the 80s, winning five titles. Shaq and Kobe were the early 2000s combo that returned them to greatness with a three-peat.
And Bryant would go back-to-back at the end of that decade before the franchise (finally) fell on hard times, starting with Bryant physically breaking down and the team bereft of an exit strategy.
Bryant’s downturn and eventual retirement tour dulled the fact that the Lakers suffered through their worst stretch of play from 2014 through to the end of the 2016 season in franchise history, which included back-to-back 60+ loss seasons.
New head coach Luke Walton, under the new Magic Johnson regime, set the wheels in motion on a new era centred on a young nucleus led by Kyle Kuzma, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. They finished 35-47 a year ago.
Plans accelerated drastically this summer, when the team landed free agent LeBron James. Heading into his 16th season, James is still the consensus best player on the planet.
His arrival instantly catapults the Lakers back into the spotlight. Such are the expectations that come with a player that has played in eight straight NBA Finals, winning three.