Minneapolis Lakers

Country United States United States
City Minneapolis, Minnesota
Founded 1947

The Minneapolis Lakers were a professional basketball team initially playing in the National Basketball League and later in the National Basketball Association from 1949 to 1959. The Minneapolis Lakers are now known as the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Minneapolis Lakers were found in 1947, and adapted the name Lakers referring to the state of Minnesota’s nickname ‘Land of 10,000 Lakes’. The team logo was the state of Minnesota on a large basketball surrounded by the script MPLS Lakers. The team colors were powder blue and yellow. The team played their home games in the Minneapolis Auditorium.

In the 1947- 1948 season, the Minneapolis Lakers were a team playing with the National Basketball League coached by John Kundla. The Lakers who comprised of Jim Pollard, Herm Schaefer and George Mikan were a strong team. The team who finished with 43 wins and 17 losses played the playoffs with ease and reached the finals. The Finals saw the Lakers meet Rochester Royals whom they defeated to lift the 1948 NBL Championships. In 1949, when the rival NBL and Basketball Association of America merger were ongoing, the Lakers moved to the BBA as a first step to the merger. That year they once again made it to the Finals to beat the Washington Capitols to win the BBA Championship. In the 1949- 1950 season, the merger was complete and the National Basketball Association came into existence. The lakers finished first in the Central Division with 51 wins and 17 losses. They played the playoffs and reached the first NBA Finals to face the Syracuse Nationals. The Lakers were once again champions, and claimed their third Championship title. In 1951, the Lakers were face to face with the Rochester Royals in the playoffs whom they had defeated to win the NBL Championship in 1948. The Royals however defeated the Lakers this time and the Lakers missed the NBA finals for the first time. In 1952, the Lakers appeared in their fourth Championship Finals in five years where they faced the New York Knickerbockers. The Lakers defeated the Knickerbockers to claim the 1952 NBA Championships. In 1953 and 1954, the Lakers were NBA Champions once again defeating the New York Knickerbockers and the Syracuse Nationals. In 1954, the Lakers lost their Championship title to the Fort Wayne Pistons in the NBA finals. In 1955, 1956 and 1957, the Lakers could not make it to the finals of the NBA. In 1959, the Lakers drafted Elgin Baylor who won the Rookie of the Year. The same year the Lakers reached the NBA Finals, however were defeated by the Boston Celtics. The end of the 1959- 1960 season saw the Lakers not qualifying to the playoffs and move to Los Angeles after playing in Minneapolis for thirteen years. After relocating to Los Angeles the Lakers were called the Los Angeles Lakers.

In a total of 839 games the team played as the Minneapolis Lakers in the NBA and the BAA, they won 457 games and lost 382 games.

Major Achievements

NBL Champions, 1948.NBA / BAA Champions, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954.

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