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The NBA Los Angeles Lakers basketball team play in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division of the National Basketball Association. The Lakers are based out of Los Angeles, California and play at the Staples Center. The Lakers are the current NBA champions. In the NBA Finals of 2010, the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics to give the Lakers their 16th championship. Only the Boston Celtics have more with 17.
In 1947, the team began playing as the Minneapolis Lakers. In Minneapolis, the Lakers won a total of five championships, led by their center George Mikan, who was one of the NBA’s first superstars. Prior to the start of the 1960-61 season, the Lakers moved to Los Angeles.
During the 1960s, the Lakers were led by Hall of Famers Jerry West and Elgin Baylor and made six appearances in the NBA Finals. However, each time they lost to the Boston Celtics. The Lakers acquired center Wilt Chamberlain in 1968. In 1972, they won their first NBA title in Los Angeles and sixth overall.
After Chamberlain and West retired, the Lakers acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Lakers of the 1980s were called “Showtime” after the fast break offense led by Magic Johnson. Over a nine year span, the Lakers won five championships. The team was lead by head coach Pat Riley, Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
During the early 1990s, after Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar retired, the Lakers struggled. However in 1996, they acquired Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. From 2000 to 2002, the Lakers won three titles in a row. The team was coached by Phil Jackson and led by Bryant and O’Neal. The Lakers lost the NBA Finals in 2004 and 2008, but then won two in a row. In 2009, the Lakers defeated the Orlando Magic and in 2010 the Boston Celtics.