National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America which composes thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada. It is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by the International Basketball Federation as the National Governing Body (NGB) for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues, which include Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL).
The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The league adopted the name National Basketball Association in 1949 after merging with the rival National Basketball League (NBL). The league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in New York City. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, which they share with their fellow NBA rival, the Los Angeles Clippers, and their sister team, the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA. The Lakers are the reigning NBA champions after defeating the Boston Celtics in the Finals four games to three, capturing the franchise's 16th NBA championship on the 50th anniversary of its relocation to Los Angeles. As of 2009, the Lakers are the most valuable NBA franchise. In June 2010, basketball analyst and writer John Hollinger ranked the Lakers as the greatest NBA franchise of all time.
The Lakers franchise was founded in 1946 in Detroit, Michigan before moving to Minneapolis, where the team got its official title from the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes." The Lakers won five championships before relocating to Los Angeles in the 1960–61 season. The Lakers lost all of their eight appearances in the NBA Finals in the 1960s, despite having help from Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. In 1972, the Lakers won their sixth title, first in Los Angeles, under coach Bill Sharman. The Lakers' popularity soared in the 1980s when they won five additional championships during a nine-year span with the leadership of Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and coach Pat Riley, the franchise's all-time leader in regular season game wins and playoff games coached and wins. Two of those championships during that span were against their arch-rivals, the Boston Celtics. From 2000 to 2002, the Lakers won three titles consecutively with the help of Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson. After losing both the 2004 and 2008 NBA Finals, the Lakers captured two more championships, for a total of 16, by defeating the Orlando Magic in 2009, and the Boston Celtics in 2010.
The Lakers hold records for having (into the 2009–10 season) the most wins (3,027), the highest winning percentage (61.9%), the most NBA Finals appearances (31), the second fewest non-playoff seasons with five (San Antonio Spurs have four), and the second-most NBA championships with 16, behind the Boston Celtics' 17. They also hold the record for compiling the longest win streak (33) in U.S. professional team sports (also an NBA record) in the 1971–72 season. Sixteen Hall of Famers have played for the Lakers, while four Hall of Famers (John Kundla, Bill Sharman, Pat Riley and Phil Jackson) have coached the team. Four Lakers (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant) have won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for a total of 8 MVP awards.