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Lakers

 The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles, California. They play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, which they share with their local NBA rival, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles King of the NHL, and the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.[2] The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, and have won 16 championships, their last being in 2010. As of 2013, the Lakers are the second most valuable NBA franchise according to Forbes, having an estimated value of $1 billion.[3

The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the NBL. The new team began playing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, calling themselves the Lakers in honor of the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes".[4] The Lakers won five championships in Minneapolis, propelled by center George Mikan, who is described by the NBA's official website as the league's "first superstar".[5] After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.

Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Boston Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four time MVP Wilt Chamberlain to play center, and after losing in the Finals in 1969 and 1970, they won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired another center, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who had won multiple MVP awards, but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s. The 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their Magic Johnson-led fast break-offense, and won five championships in a nine-year span, including their first ever Finals championship against the Celtics in 1985. This team featured Hall of Famers in Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy, and a Hall of Fame coach, Pat Riley. After Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson's retirement, the team struggled in the early 1990s before acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. Led by O'Neal, Bryant, and another Hall of Fame coach, Phil Jackson, Los Angeles won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat". After losing both the 2004 and 2008 NBA Finals, the Lakers won two more championships by defeating the Orlando Magic in 2009 and Boston in 2010.

The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak (33), set during the 1971–72 season, it is also the longest of any team in American professional sports. Sixteen Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles, while four have coached the team. Four Lakers—Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant—have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Awards for a total of eight awards.[8]

2011–present: Post-Jackson era

After Jackson's retirement, former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown was hired as head coach on May 25, 2011.] Before the start of the shortened 2011-12 season, the Lakers traded Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks after Odom requested to be traded. On the trade deadline long time Laker Derick Fisher along with a first round draft pick were traded to the Houston Rockets for Jordan Hill. With a 41–25 regular season record the Lakers entered the Playoffs as the third seed, the team defeated the Denver Nuggets in the first round in seven games but were eliminated by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round in five games.

On July 4, 2012, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns agreed to a sign-and-trade deal that would send him to the Lakers in exchange for the Lakers' 2013 and 2015 first round draft picks, 2013 and 2014 second round draft picks, and $3 million. The trade was made official on July 11, 2012, the first day the trade moratorium was lifted. On August 10, 2012, in a four-team trade the Lakers traded Andrew Bynum and acquired Dwight Howard. On November 9, 2012, Mike Brown was relieved of coaching duties after a 1–4 start to the 2012-13 season. Assistant Coach Bernie Bickerstaff took over as interim head coach, leading the Lakers to a 5-5 record. On November 12, 2012, the Lakers hired Mike D'Antoni as head coach.

Los Angeles Lakers Roster

Player # Number Position
Kobe Bryant 24 Shooting guard
Dwight Howard 12 Center
Pau Gasol 16 Forward-center
Steve Nash 10 Point guard
Metta World Peace 15 Forward
Steve Blake 5 Point guard
Andrew Goudelock 0 Guard
Earl Clark 6 Power forward
Jordan Hill 27 Center
Antawn Jamison 4 Small forward
Jodie Meeks 20 Shooting guard
Robert Sacre 50 Center
Darius Morris 1 Point guard
Devin Ebanks 3 Forward
Chris Duhon 21 Guard

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