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Here’s How The Lakers Became A Dynasty

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Courtesy of Fadeaway World

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the most recognizable organizations in the National Basketball Association. The Lakers were originally playing in Minneapolis and were owned by Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen in 1947 for only $15,000. During this time, the Lakers were a part of the National Basketball League, which would later turn into the National Basketball Association. While in the NBL the Lakers won their first championships and later moved to the Basketball Association of America where they would win yet another championship.

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In 1958 the Lakers moved to Los Angeles and started to build their team around players that would bring more fans into their arena, like Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West. In the 1972-1973 season, Chamberlin and West would win a championship again after a long drought because of their rival the Boston Celtics. In 1973 the Lakers would acquire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from the Milwaukee Bucks. Abdul-Jabbar would later win a championship against the New York Knicks.

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In 1979 the Lakers would go through another ownership change and the team was bought by Dr.Jerry Buss. Buss would also purchase the Los Angeles Kings and the Forum Arena, where the Lakers would later play all their home games until 1999. Buss wanted to change the Lakers into a team that would bring entertainment to Los Angeles, and he would do this by drafting Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr.

The Lakers would go on to win 60 games in Johnson’s rookie season and win the championship in his first year. The Lakers became known all around the country because of the Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar duo. They played the game at a very fast-paced and aggressive style. Together Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar won a total of five championships for the Lakers organization under coaches Pat Riley and Jerry West.

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After the retirement of Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar, the Lakers were looking for two new stars to continue the winning dynasty that was created by the Lakers organization. The Lakers would find their next two stars in Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neil. Bryant was drafted out of high school in 1996 to the Charlotte Hornets, but the Lakers would trade to acquire him later in the draft. O’Neil was acquired by the Lakers in 1996 and would have problems from the start with both stars getting along on and off the court. It took them until 2000 for them to win their first championship together.

After the first championship, they would go on to win four championships together in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2004. Kobe would go on to win his last championship in the 2009-2010 season against the Boston Celtics. With Kobe Bryant on the Lakers, the team became an organization that would be known all around the world because of his popularity in Europe and Asia. Bryant would be with the Lakers until his retirement in 2016. He influences many players in the league with his style of play and his work ethic.

Kobe Bryant would sadly die in a helicopter crash in 2020 while on the way to his daughter's basketball game. Two years after the crash the city of Calabasas placed a memorial statue of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna at the site of the crash. The Lakers franchise has said that they will be putting up a Kobe Bryant statue in front of the Staples Center.

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In 2018 Lebron James joined the Lakers and brought the winning mentally back to the team. James led the Lakers to their first championship since 2010 in the 2020 season. James has been very vocal on how he wants to play in the NBA with his son Lebron James Jr., so if he is drafted to the Lakers, then James would have a chance to play with his son. The Lakers would have another chance to continue to build around a young star if they drafted James Jr, like they did when they drafted Kobe Bryant.

All of the players who have played for the Lakers organization have said it was a great experience because of the ownership of the Buss Family. Without Dr. Jerry Buss buying the team back in 1979, the team would not be considered a dynasty today.

Courtesy of Michael Tran

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